Financial advice and practical support will be available to Spennymoor residents when the NEFirst Credit Union sets up shop at the Spennymoor Youth and Community Association.
The Durham Savers project (as part of one of Spennymoor Area Action Partnership’s initiatives), will be bringing the credit union to the Youth and Community Association every Thursday, between 2.30pm and 4pm, from Thursday 1 February projects.
NEFirst Credit Union is a not-for-profit organisation that offers community-focussed banking services such as savings and loans, in an attempt to tackle poverty and debt culture in County Durham.
Cllr Jane Brown, our Cabinet member for social inclusion, said: “Over the last three years NEFirst have helped many people save, but also borrow at a fair interest rate, so avoiding the online payday lenders who charge much more in interest.
“For example, a year-long loan of £500 from a long established high-cost lender, could cost borrowers over £400 in interest, whereas through NEFirst Credit Union, the total cost of the loan would only be £49 in interest
With these high cost lenders and weekly payment stores still overused, the credit union is a welcome service; helping people to avoid getting into deeper debt.
“When money is saved into the credit union, that money can be used to help people in the community borrow at a fair interest rate.
“Any profit or surplus the organisation makes during the financial year is shared with members as a dividend.”
The Stop Loan Sharks Team is also offering a limited number of £25 incentives, on a first-come-first-served basis, for people who join the credit union and save for 12 weeks.
This follows a number of successful campaigns throughout Durham that have led to a number of ‘loan shark’ prosecutions and a reduction of loan shark practice.
NEFirst is regulated by The Bank of England and, like high street banks, savings are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (up to £85,000).
For more information about Durham Savers visit: www.durham.gov.uk/DurhamSavers