12 December 2022
Beware of Loan Sharks this Christmas
Christmas is upon us, and with it comes the usual temptations to overspend and get into debt. For us working in credit unions, it's important to remind our members and the wider community about the dangers of taking on too much debt, especially during the expensive Christmas season.
The cost of living and energy crisis has made it harder than ever for many people to make ends meet. In these difficult times, it's crucial to avoid money lenders or loan sharks, who often charge exorbitant interest rates, up to 187% APR, that can quickly spiral out of control.
If you're struggling to manage your finances and need help, the first place to turn is the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS). MABS offers free, impartial advice on budgeting, debt management, and other financial matters. Their trained advisors can help you create a plan to get back on track and avoid falling into debt.
If you still need financial assistance after seeking advice from MABS, your local credit union is there to help. As a credit union member, you are a part-owner of a financial co-operative and have a say in how it is run. This means you can trust that you will receive a sympathetic hearing and a fair loan when you need it most.
At your local Credit Union, you will find friendly, knowledgeable staff who are dedicated to helping you manage your finances. They will take the time to understand your situation and offer personalised advice on how to get the help you need. And because credit unions are not-for-profit institutions, they can offer loans at competitive interest rates that are much lower than those offered by loan sharks or money lenders.
In conclusion, Christmas can be a time when people are tempted to overspend and get into debt. But as credit unions, we want to remind our members and the wider community that there are better options than turning to money lenders or loan sharks. If you need help with your finances, seek advice from MABS and consider turning to your local credit union for a fair and affordable loan. Remember, your credit union is there to help its members, and it's not just for Christmas!