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Make 2024 the year YOU TAKE CONTROL of your Finances

2023 has been a challenging year for most of us and many people’s finances are being stretched to breaking point. With the start of a new year, now’s the time to think about how we can all manage our money better.

No doubt many of us will have spent more than we budgeted for over Christmas and there will be some hefty bills landing on the mat this month. The first thing to say, if you’ve got a new year credit card hangover, is don’t let the interest build up and don’t turn to high-cost lenders to pay off your bills. We can help you clear what you owe, so you don’t get into a spiral of debt.

One of our low-cost Saver Loans, for example, allows you to borrow enough to pay off your bills, while allowing you to save a little bit each month. Our loans are fair, affordable and you will only pay interest on the reducing balance of the loan; you can pay off the loan at any time and you can access your savings once the loan is repaid, and the Saver Loan principle means you can gradually reduce and ultimately eliminate your need to borrow.

For example, £1,500 repaid monthly over a year at our typical rate of 12.7% APR, would mean 12 monthly repayments of £134, with typical total interest paid of £100. In addition, the value of savings at the end of the period would be £336. You can apply for a low cost ‘Saver Loan’ at any time if you are using our Salary Savings Scheme. Members using other payment methods will be required to save at least £20 per calendar month for two consecutive months before we consider a Saver Loan application, although we do have other loan products available without a pre-saving requirement.

Perhaps you don’t need a loan but would like to start building up some savings for a rainy day. If so, the Credit Union can offer a secure and ethical home for your hard-earned cash. You can save as little or as much with us as you would like, although we would recommend at least £20 per calendar month or £5 a week.

Members can save by direct debit or standing order directly from their bank, or employees of organisations that participate in our Salary Savings Scheme can have savings payments deducted directly from their salary.

Our PrizeSaver account, with the opportunity to win up to £5,000 each month, might be just what you need to persuade you to save regularly for the future. In the past year our members have won over £12k with 2 members winning the top prize of £5k.

We also offer multiple ‘budgeting accounts’ so a single payment to the credit union can be allocated to different accounts for things such as Christmas, holidays, children’s accounts or ‘pets and vets’ costs.

Martin Groombridge, Credit Union Chief Executive, said: “The New Year is an ideal time to sit down and review your finances. For some of us, we may need a little extra help to cover the cost of Christmas, and rather than piling up the debt on your credit card or turning to high-cost lenders, one of low cost Saver Loans could be the answer.

“For others, the opportunity to start building up a pot of savings is the priority, and we provide our members with a safe home for their savings. As well as offering a dividend on our savings accounts, our new Prize Saver account gives members the chance of winning one of over 20 prizes each month.

“So, whether you need to save or borrow, why not talk to us in 2020, as we could have just the solution you need to help you manage your money.”

If you would like some help managing your money, then we provide information on the Money Management page of our website about a range of resources which could be useful for you. The MoneyHelper Budget Planner, for example, is a great place to start getting your finances in order and there is advice on debt and borrowing as well as how to check your credit report. Of course, if you’re one of our members and would like to discuss your financial situation, you’re always welcome to contact us, and the team at MoneyHelper is also on hand to provide free, impartial advice to those with money troubles.

It’s never too late for a new start, and a new year is the perfect time to begin budgeting better. So, if you would like to benefit from the range of services and support we offer at the credit union, then why not join us today?



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