Mansfield Credit Union Celebrates Office’s Second Birthday

The Mansfield branch of Nottingham Credit Union has celebrated its second birthday by raising over £100 for chosen charity, Mansfield Arthritis Support Group.

The credit union marked the occasion with a tombola and cupcakes to fundraise.

Branch manager Marie Haywood said: “We moved into this office in November 2015 so that we could be more visible and closer to people in the local community. We have 650 members in the Mansfield area who we serve with affordable, ethical, financial products and to date we’ve lent out over £525,000 to the local community in loans.

“We place a strong importance on financial education and offer our members a one to one based service. Our staff take the time to sit with members and go through a budget planner, income and expenditure and look for areas where we might be able to save money for members – for example, we just helped one lady save half the cost of her water bill. We look to try and improve everyone’s financial situations as a whole.

“Christmas is coming and we would advise people in the local community not to be lured into deals with higher-cost and payday lenders to help fund the festive season. Come in and see us to find out if we can help. Every person who takes a loan from the credit union at the moment also pays into a savings account so they can save while they borrow. We already have people who are saving for Christmas 2018 so they won’t need to borrow again next year.”

The Mansfield branch of Nottingham Credit Union also gives talks and visits the local community to help with financial education, including local Sure Start Centre, Mansfield Council and Ashfield District Council.

The Mansfield branch of Nottingham Credit Union is open Tuesday to Friday between 9.30am and 2.30pm.

For more information, pop in to 3 Clumber Street in Mansfield, NG18 1NU, find us on Facebook @NottinghamCU, call 0115 828 3121 or email info@nottinghamcu.co.uk

Categories: LATEST NEWS.

Blog: Nottingham Credit Union’s Ella Ferris on why the importance of responsible lending has been highlighted by BrightHouse’s £14.8million fine.

“Last month, rent-to-own retailer BrightHouse was told to pay £14.8m to 249,000 of its customers by financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). There were two reasons for this – the first was to compensate customers who had cancelled agreements after one down payment, but who hadn’t received a refund. The second was for not making a proper financial assessment of customers who had signed up to make sure that payments were affordable – therefore not acting as a responsible lender.

“A report by the Financial Inclusion Centre in March 2016 found that the cheapest washing machine at BrightHouse cost £471 – but with the three-year weekly repayments at 69.9% APR, it actually cost £1056 with product insurance in total. This is over £500 more – whereas the cheapest similar product on the high street was £250. Four times cheaper.

“High-cost lenders like BrightHouse (and payday lenders which have even higher interest rates) make it really easy for customers to access credit for household goods and they then may end up paying back twice as much or not being able to afford to repay at all. It is pure and simply charging people on a low level of income and who have limited choices in terms of credit (and who may be desperate) a higher price when they are less able to afford it. While £10 a week for a washing machine seems OK in the grand scheme of things, customers need to realise that they are paying for it over three years, as opposed to six months. Goods can also be overpriced to start with and all these things are setting customers up for a fall.

 

“When you’re living on a low income and spending more than you need to on household goods with high cost lenders, this affects how much you can put towards vital things like food, rent, heating and bills. There are affordable and ethical alternatives out there including credit unions which don’t sell washing machines, but can provide loans to people who need them. We work in partnership with local registered social landlords who help promote us to avoid tenants using high-cost or payday lender and get trapped into the cycle of debt.

“The key thing is to work out how much a product is going to cost you overall over the duration of the loan. Most loans specify APRs, but these baffle people and it is much more important to consider the total amount to pay back because this will help you to make a decision as to if you can afford it.

“At Nottingham Credit Union, we are an affordable, responsible lender and have a lot of customers who have come to us after having difficulties with high cost and payday lenders. It’s very easy to get into these situations – easy access to finance for products, very quick turnaround and with great customer service so people go back for more. It’s sometimes not quite so easy to get out of the debt created.

“We try to help educate people into looking at all the options and whether they can afford repayments. We try to look at where we can help reduce costs for our members by properly assessing paperwork and bank statements. £10 a week for a washing machine doesn’t sound like much, but when you add up the total cost it could cover an annual family holiday.”

If you would like to speak to Nottingham Credit Union about cheaper loans, contact us on 0115 828 3121 or info@nottinghamcu.co.uk

Categories: BLOG.

Money saving – how to sort your festive finances

NCU-infographics-01It’s now only six weeks until Christmas!  The festive season is always one for overdoing it on too much turkey, but at Nottingham Credit Union we want to help you make sure that your festive hangover isn’t a financial one which sticks around, by giving you our top 5 money saving tips.

Christmas is traditionally a time of year for the giving and receiving of gifts rather than money saving, but last year the Money Advice Trust flagged that over 16.9million of us borrow to cover the cost of Christmas and that 76 percent (12.8million) use credit cards and 2.6million use high-cost catalogue credit.

We’ve compiled some top money saving tips for Christmas but, if you must borrow, borrow responsibly and affordably as it is all too easy to get trapped in the debt cycle with payday loans and high-interest borrowing.

We know that Christmas can be an expensive time of year and, if you do need to borrow, Nottingham Credit Union can offer you a low-cost loan (and ways to help you save for next Christmas at the same time).  We are not for profit and don’t impose any early repayment charges or penalties.

Whether you have already saved with us for Christmas or you need to borrow a little more, you can register for our easy, safe and secure online and mobile banking here to have access to your money within three hours.

To find out more, call us on 0115 828 3121 or apply on our website.

Categories: LATEST NEWS.