Some friends were chatting about a family in the papers getting into terrible debt and losing everything, turning to loan sharks and seeing their lives ruined by money worries.
They asked “why isn’t there somewhere they can go for help before things get so bad? How can we help?”
My slightly gobsmacked answer was, erm, there’s the credit union.
Established as a safety net for people in financial need, credit unions are an ethical lender with fair interest rates and affordable repayments.
We lend money just like other organisations, but we do it with the intention of helping, rather than trying to get as much out of our customers as we can.
Some members are in financial difficulty and, unable to get credit from the banks, come for short term loans to cover every day needs. We can lend the money at a fraction of the cost of a payday lender, and help members to save while they pay back the loan, reducing their need for a future loan.
Other customers, who may be ok financially but need a one-off loan for a car or new washing machine perhaps, could go to a bank or apply for a credit card.
But if they come to us, we can often match the rates they’re offered elsewhere and their repayments will go back into the pot to be lent out to someone who is having sleepless nights worrying about how they’re going to pay their bills tomorrow.
Credit unions help people to help each other. That’s CLEVR Money.