Kia Ora, I'm Nicole. 

I'm 26 and love adventures and working with young people. When I'm not with my kids (or working) you'll find me at a boxing gym, on a mountain bike or longboard, travelling to see friends and whanau or taking photos and enjoying social media.

We've recently started using a Liberty Trust loan for the second time!

When I was 13, my parents started contributing to Liberty Trust for me and my sister. The plan was that we would continue the payments ourselves once we left home. However I had had a few jobs before I was 18 and my smart mother convinced me to put my savings onto their bank loan to save interest. When I left home, my parents continued the Liberty Trust payments in lieu of repaying the loan I'd given them. Take note - this will later apply.

Fast forward a few years and my husband and I were able to be confident when we purchased our first home, knowing that the Liberty Trust loan would be coming in a year or two. What a privileged spot to be in.

When our loans came up, my sister wasn't in a position to utilise her loan and so we were able to use both memberships. Liberty Trust were AMAZING at this point, taking the full bank mortgage over even though it was slightly more than we were actually entitled to. What a bonus and blessing in so many ways.

Unfortunately my husband left only a year into our Liberty Trust loan. It was a long 12-months following that, as we sorted our financial affairs. There was a difference of opinion around who the loan would belong to going forward, however because of a few factors: 1. my parents contributing entirely at the start; 2. half of the loan originally belonging to my sister and 3. Liberty Trust advising decisions around the future of the loan were for my parents to make as they had begun the memberships. (Humbling at the time but also helpful!)

Eventually ex husband bought me out of our home and me and my family retained the full remaining amount of the loan. For the next 9-months things were still chaotic for me as I hadn't had a career, I became transient to be near family, I received a neurological diagnosis and faced family court! I naturally didn't think I was in a position to be buying anytime soon, but Liberty Trust were again willing to be flexible as we looked at other options, and having the ability to look ahead to a bright property future for me and my kids was always one light in a dark time.

Long story short I was able to make some permanent decisions and the puzzle pieces to a new life fell into place so quickly. The offer on a new home was accepted the same week I got a new (dream) job! I moved in and started work the same week in October 2019. I've been adjusting to a new normal and living a good crazy ever since!

As a single parent on a part-time income with a huge fuel bill (avg 800kms /week - until lockdown!) there is no way I would have been able to gain a bank loan, despite being confident of my own repayment ability - but Liberty Trust worked with my parents and I to enable me to buy a new place. We now have a great wee unit in a bodycorp which provides some maintenance support being on my own, and it's a real safe space and haven for us - it's 30 mins from Taupo and we have a gate to the lake, spacious backyard and a pool and spa to soak up time together.

I had plenty of things on my prayer list for "one day" - good lighting, keyless entry, and a dish drawer! A lake view and the lawns mown for me are just icing on the cake. God is in the big and the small. I could go on and on about how this place has all that we need in many ways.

It's not particularly a roomy budget, but it's such a great feeling knowing how much better off I am to be paying the loan back than being in cheaper accommodation and having nothing to show for it in 10 years. Not to mention the stability for the kids. They never want to leave the house and seeing them love being there is pretty special!

I often said that "2019 Nicole" is living out "2013 Nicole's" actions and choices, but I think we have to include my parents 2006 choices in that one. Thankful for their love, support and faithfulness.

Thanks Liberty Trust for allowing us to approach our finances together as a larger family, treating us on a case by case basis, and being the blessing that keeps on giving through such a challenging time. You have contributed to our wellbeing in so many more ways than just financially. For now, knowing that we won't have to move anytime soon and there's the option for my children to grow up in the same home is more than enough. But the fact I could be debt free before my children leave home means I feel confident I can continue to structure life in a way that means maximum quality time as a family.

Nga manaakitanga


3 May 2020