Join a credit union and stabilise your finances
Credit Unions are community banks which pay interest on deposits and offer affordable loans.
You can save as much or as little as you like. If you save on a regular basis, you may apply for a small low cost loan after only 12 weeks. Interest paid on loans is 12.68% APR on the declining balance. This means that if you borrow £300 over 52 weeks, the total repayment is only £334.06. Compare this with Provident (doorstep lending) where the rate is 82 per cent. The total repayable is £546.
To qualify for a small low cost loan, you just need to show that you can save regularly. The loan could be for anything you like: a school uniform, a holiday, a special occasion or a car service.
Credit Unions are not interested in your debt history, and only want to help you gain control of your finances. To join you will need to take in your £1 joining fee and two forms of identity. After that, you can save by monthly standing order from a bank or benefits account if you prefer. Your savings are insured and credit unions comply with all government financial regulations.
Find out more about the Clivey Credit Union (in the CliveyYouth café) at Clive Parade near The Moonrakers: Wednesdays 10am to 12noon and Saturdays 11am to 12noon, and also Mondays 10am to 11am at Toothill Church.
Volunteers are always needed to help with collections, so if you have a spare hour which you can give to learn about the credit union, call 529938 for details.
Free advice in West Swindon
Are you feeling overwhelmed by Christmas spending? Are you worried about being made redundant? Have your benefits stopped and do you need help with an appeal?
Sometimes there are so many questions bearing down that it can make you feel helpless. However the West Swindon Family Centre offers a free and confidential advice point service which provides information, guidance and representation on a range of issues including debt and finance management, benefits issues, employment, housing and family law.
Their friendly and approachable advisors Richard Stacey, left, and Christian Sweeney, right, provide sympathetic but clear guidance on the options available to you at drop-in sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9.15am to 10.15am, and 2.15pm to 3.45pm.
Appointments can also be made during these times by calling 871303 or mailing: email@example.com
The West Swindon Family Centre is located at 15 Gainsborough Way, Freshbrook.