Helping those with big debt
More than 40 people have or are being helped out of debt through Christians Against Poverty (Cap) in Timaru.
Cap, a non profit organisation, was founded in Britain 20 years ago and adopted in New Zealand 10 years later.
It functions by partnering with local churches to lift people out of debt and poverty. The Life Church in Timaru started its Cap debt help line centre in 2015.
Church Pastor Gordon Rosewall said it was a bold step for anyone to make contact with the Cap head office and acknowledge they needed help.
They did not have to have any belief system to get help. From January to September this year 10 clients sought assistance.
‘‘It is so easy to get credit...and get more than one credit card which compounds the situation when someone is already in debt and cannot manage,’’ Rosewall said.
Timaru Debt Centre manager Michella Brosnahan said Cap NZ handles more than $15 million of debt in New Zealand on behalf of its clients who have unmanageable debt.
‘‘We walk with the journey with them...An amount that seems small to some of us might be unmanageable to others.’’
Debt could occur through too many hire purchases, or the loss of a job or injury. Ninety per cent of clients who became debt free stayed debt free, she said.
Though the service was free it required effort.
‘‘We require the client to show co-operation with us.’’
This meant they had to fish out all their payment contracts and other financial information so it could be sent to the Cap specialist team of financial advisors at head office in Auckland.
The team members were funded through donations and trusts. They offered a combination of advice including: financial education, budgeting and insolvency services.
‘‘The average time to get out of debt when clients work with us is about two to three years,’’ Brosnahan said.