Free Me provides a voice for those who find it challenging to say no.
It allows individuals to block themselves from obtaining any further debt. The individual is registered to the database and lenders can search to see if they are on there, if the individual tries to apply for credit from one of our registered lenders.
Our philosophy is ‘no fees no excuse.’ We want borrowers to be able to freely use the tool and we want lenders to have no excuse for not checking the database. Removing the financial barriers to utilizing this tool makes it more accessible to all people and means even the smallest of lending companies can have this tool available to them.
Lending Matters is a Dunedin collaboration. We are a network of social service agencies, lending companies, community groups and key stakeholders. The network was formed in 2013 to address the issue of unsustainable debt in our city. The concept for Free Me evolved from meetings about the issues of gambling harm and unsustainable debt. Our network began developing local solutions to problems identified over the years, we could see the negative impact of irresponsible lending and borrowing and wanted tangible solutions for these issues. From this the concept of Free Me was born. Initially this was going to be a local tool, however we quickly learned that other areas were having similar problems and wanted to share this tool with the whole of New Zealand. We are proud to say that this is a bottom up initiative, it has come from the Dunedin community and Holley Innovations and has been gifted to Aotearoa to help protect our future moving forward. For more information you can go to our website lendingmatters.nz or our Facebook Page