The cost of living and crippling prices are putting a great strain on households. Inflation is running at around 10%, fuel costs have hit a record high and costs of electricity are likely to increase further in October this year.
Solway Credit Union which is based in Dumfries and operates throughout Dumfries and Galloway, excluding Wigtownshire, has significant experience in helping local people manage their money.
A credit union operates like a small bank. Its members save, either by regular amounts or through investing a small lump sum. After about 3 months as a member, if you wish, you can borrow an amount of up to three times the amount invested. Lending decisions are usually made very quickly, the period of repayment of the loan taken can be up to 5 years, and the interest rate charged at 12.5% is very much less than many personal loans, and even significantly lower than most credit cards.
Credit Unions differ from the big banks in that they are entirely locally owned by their members, are operated by staff who live in the region, and are overseen and led by a board whose members also live in your region. They are similar to banks, in that you can save or borrow online or by arranging to visit the Solway Credit Union office in George Street Dumfries. Also like banks they are regulated, and savings are protected. Savings can be withdrawn without notice.
Typically, members borrow to purchase household items like a fridge or washing machine, or to help finance a vehicle repair. Sometimes members will borrow to settle an existing debt with a loan company or credit card balance on which a high rate of interest is being charged. This often allows them to establish a more affordable repayment arrangement at a lower cost.
In the current financial climate, it’s easy to see why many are turning to Credit Unions to help manage their money.