Saving & borrowing with a Credit Union makes so much sense

New laws came into effect last week that make things easier for Credit Unions to raise money. I’m proud to have introduced that legislation when I was Economic Secretary to the Treasury under the last Labour Government. Credit Unions are owned and controlled by their members and operate for the purpose of promoting saving, providing credit at affordable rates, and other financial services to members. The Leeds City Credit Union is one of the largest and most successful in the UK. The 35,000 members across Leeds and Wakefield are encouraged to save for their future, and in return receive access to a range of financial services including affordable credit, current account facility and a return on their money.

On Friday at the Leeds Credit Union office in the centre of Leeds I met with staff and managers. As well as collecting money for savers they provide affordable credit to families right across Leeds, including many hundreds in my Morley and Outwood constituency.

Staff at the Credit Union told me that all too often families who usually manage their money ok end up in trouble when there’s a family emergency or if someone loses their job and circumstances change. The Credit Union is there to help. As well as savings (which can be just a couple of pounds a month) they provide bank accounts, loans and credit too. From a full bank account service to a loan for a new washing machine, the Credit Union is a great community resource.  

Credit Unions are a really fair way for people to save and access credit. Rather than paying huge interest rates from doorstep lenders, payday loan companies or loan sharks, Credit Union loans are much more affordable. So someone who borrows £500 from a doorstep lender will probably pay interest making their total repayment £825. With the Credit Union, the same loan would cost just £540.

Kielly Narrower from the Leeds Credit Union works with Morley schools, churches and children centres, encouraging families to save and borrow money safely. She promotes all the services the Leeds Credit Union has to offer, from Christmas Club savings to small loans.

As well as joining via a school, church or children’s centre, locally you can access the Credit Union at Morley Town Hall on Wednesdays. But if we want to get staff available locally more often more people need to become members. It’s easy to join. There are forms available at the Information Point at Morley Town Hall or you can call 0113 242 3343 or go to their website and get the form from there: www.leedscitycreditunion.co.uk You don’t need to make a huge deposit either, just a few pounds a month all adds up. 

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Posted January 16th, 2012 by Ed