Thursday, 29 July 2010

Aldershot Credit Union branches out to Farnborough

From August more people living in the Rushmoor area will have easier access to the Credit Union.
Currently located in Aldershot Town Centre, the Credit Union will soon operate from two locations: First Wessex offices in Gordon Road, Aldershot and Rushmoor Borough Council offices in Farnborough.

• From Thursday 12 August (and every other week) Gordon House 1-4pm

• From Thursday 19 August (and every other week) Rushmoor Borough Council offices 1-4pm

The Credit Union offers secure and ethical banking and loans on a not-for-profit basis for local people. It is controlled by its members and offers a genuine alternative to high interest credit, loan sharks and doorstep lenders.

This joint venture between Rushmoor Borough Council and First Wessex is an important part of tackling financial exclusion in Rushmoor and providing local people with safe options for saving and borrowing.

Nicky Barham, Manager of the Aldershot Credit Union explains: “One member was paying £30 a week to doorstep lenders – which barely covered the interest. A loan from the Credit Union has helped reduce her weekly repayments by half. We’ve now set up an Xmas Savings Account for her, and she’s paying into it weekly to save for Christmas.”

Matt Smith, Community Regeneration Manager at First Wessex hopes more local people will join thanks to the expansion: “We’re working really hard to deter people from turning to loan sharks when they find it hard to get credit or loans elsewhere – and this really is a genuine alternative. We hope that having the Credit Union based in both these offices will mean we can catch lots of people’s attention and raise awareness of this crucial facility.”

Councillor Paul Taylor, Rushmoor Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Corporate Services, said: “The Credit Union offers a valuable service in providing residents with a safe way to save and borrow money. We are extremely pleased to be able to offer an additional base at the Council Offices so the service can expand into Farnborough and I’m sure local people will appreciate the easier access.”

Councillor Clifford thinks Credit Unions are a great community asset, that offer competitive interest rates to borrowers and cuts out greedy bankers and loan sharks. Those that borrow from them often save with them, so borrowers are less likely to default on payments as they are essentially borrowing from neighbours.

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