“I'd be sleeping in the park, I reckon”: Lived Experience of Using Financial Counselling Services in South Australia*

Christina M. Pollard, Sue Booth, Jonathan Louth, Catherine Mackenzie, Ian Goodwin-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The need for non-profit financial services increases with economic hardship. Consumers' experience of accessing non-profit financial counselling services in South Australia was explored across five focus groups. Thirty-six participants discussed service efficiency and potential improvements. The qualitative analysis we completed revealed five themes. Regarding non-profit financial services: (i) Financial counsellors are life changers; (ii) Microfinance is “critical for survival”; and (iii) They're “hidden”. For-profit products are (iv) Fast & easy “at a cost”; and there is (v) Frustration with broader system failures. Non-profit financial services assisted with consumption smoothing and emotional support, but without adequate income financial well-being was not established. Consumers rely on for-profit products in crisis situations. Findings support policy to build financial resilience and increase income.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalEconomic Papers
Early online date7 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • consumption smoothing
  • financial counsellors
  • financial products
  • lived experience
  • microfinance
  • policy

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