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Borrowing from Halton credit Union alternative to payday lenders
10:20am Monday 26th August 2013 in News
HALTON Credit Union is putting its users back in control of their finances.
With structured repayment plans and limited borrowing, credit unions provide an alternative to payday lenders and loan sharks.
Strict regulations, lower interest rates and transparency are amongst the reasons why they are preferred according to Christine Heesom, general manager for Halton Credit Unions.
She said: “We are not a quick fix, you have to become a member and save for at least 13 weeks before you can borrow against what you have saved. We are regulated more than pay day loans companies and have much lower interest rates.”
The union works by encouraging members to save on a weekly basis before they can borrow up to twice the amount in savings.
Christine continued: “It is about making a commitment, encouraging financial management for the individual and taking some responsibility for it.
“Since the bedroom tax came in, some of our members have had problems and are struggling to save as much as they would like. Most people are saving for Christmas or a holiday but others for things like school uniforms.”
Members can still access their savings once they have borrowed as long as half of the value of the loan remains in the account.
She said: “We treat everyone equally in regards to how a loan is allocated to them, it doesn’t matter how much you earn. We can offer loans to people with poor credit histories because they have made the commitment and saved.
“We also offer instant loans but they are subject to terms and conditions. It is capped at £300 but paid back over a year, unlike pay day loans which can leave people with huge shortfalls every month.
“We are not going to solve all the problems but people should gives us a try.”
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