Tag Archives: credit unions

Don’t make the wrong decision when you need debt help

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Couple counting out money

Make sure you do the right thing

We regularly hear from people who have buried their head in the sand and let their debt situation spiral out of control. This can be due to having too many payday loans, spending too much on credit cards or any number of other reasons.

From the release of our 2011 Statistics Yearbook last month we already know that 45% of people wait over a year before asking for debt help. It seems as though people try and exhaust all possible options before admitting that they need debt help.

So what are these other options? And more importantly, what are the consequences of not getting advice from a free and impartial charity like us?

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Know your rights: January’s debt news

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Justice scales law

She must be freezing at this time of year

After all the build up Christmas and New Year now feels like it never happened, and it’s February already! Thoughts have already turned to the next consumerist event which is less than two weeks away; Valentines Day. (if this is you don’t forget to read our blogpost from last year on frugal wooing!)

If you’re more concerned with January’s changes in debt law and financial news that could affect you, then read on…

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Know your rights: November’s debt news

posted by in Budgeting, Debt news Leave a comment

Justice scales law

Certainly not winter there

Don’t the months fly by? Christmas draws ever closer and it’s time for November’s changes in debt law and financial news that might affect you.

The Autumn Statement (a kind of half-term report on the state of the Budget) was revealed yesterday by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. While many are still working out the implications of what he announced, five of the main points of the Autumn Statement were:

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Consider a Credit Union to save for Christmas 2011

posted by in Budgeting 6 Comments

Joina credit union

It feels like next Christmas is a million miles away, and if you’re like me, you don’t want to see another string of tinsel, mistletoe or mince pie for as long as possible!

It sounds boring but now is the time to start thinking about putting money aside so there’s no panic spending on the plastic when it gets to December 2011.

Planning ahead

According to a moneysavingexpert.com poll, 18% of people that voted have already started buying gifts, but 49% have not yet bought anything, including Christmas cards, wrapping paper and decorations.

Although pay day always seems to take ages to come round in January, it appears that some of us still manage to free up the extra cash to pick up the Christmas bargains in the New Year sales.

If you’re not one to plan so much that you’re buying gifts and decorations already, you could consider saving for Christmas instead.

So what exactly is a Credit Union?

Credit Unions are small ethical organisations that are set up by communities with common interests. For example, they might work in the same industry, such as a Teachers Credit Union or a Police Credit Union, or they could live in the same area, or belong to the same trade union or church.

They are non-profit financial organisations that offer services such as savings, loans and current accounts to their members. Run ‘by the members, for the members’, participants have a real say in how the Credit Union is managed.

The co-operative values and principles of credit unions mean members have full control of their own financial business, keeping the benefits in the community.

According to The Association of Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL), there are 40,258 credit unions in 79 countries all over the world. There are around 450 Credit Unions in the UK with 788,257 members.

What do Credit Unions do?

Credit Unions provide a financial ‘community’, so each of its members can benefit, rather than paying out to third party shareholders. They can offer savings accounts, affordable loans, current accounts, life insurance and in some cases funeral plans and cash-based Child Trust Funds

Credit Unions are particularly useful for those who can’t benefit from high street lenders, possibly because of poor credit rating. Often, their products are competitive and can sometimes even beat deals that can be found in mainstream finance.

There’s no excuse

So with all of the saving plans that are available, there’s no excuse for realising too late that there’s no money left for Christmas gifts and over committing on credit instead. Don’t be the one asking for debt help at this time next year – be prepared.

You can find a local Credit Union through Find Your Credit Union, and for more details check out the ABCUL website.

Have you started thinking about Christmas 2011 yet? Are you a member of a Credit Union? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

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Consider a Credit Union to save for Christmas 2011

posted by in Budgeting Leave a comment

Joina credit union

It feels like next Christmas is a million miles away, and if you’re like me, you don’t want to see another string of tinsel, mistletoe or mince pie for as long as possible!

It sounds boring but now is the time to start thinking about putting money aside so there’s no panic spending on the plastic when it gets to December.

Continue reading »

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