Category Archives: Credit Union

Credit Unions – Keeping the Loan Sharks at Bay

Visiting the Woodbridge branch of ISCU (the Ipswich and Suffolk Credit Union) on Thursday, I was particularly excited to see they were offering a Child Benefit Loan and Savings Plan.

Money is very tight these days and it can be desperately hard to know where to turn when your child needs a new pair of shoes, or the electricity bill lands on the doorstep.  People may be tempted to go to a Payday loans company, or a loan shark and find themselves in a spiralling vortex of debt.

Loan sharks are unlicensed moneylenders who charge very high interest rates, sometimes using intimidation, harassment, threats and violence to frighten people who can’t pay back their loan. They often pressurise people into borrowing more from them to repay one debt with another. They are illegal. Payday lenders operate legally and offer short-term high cost loans which can also get the borrower into an expensive nightmare – repaying many times more than they borrowed. Their operation is under considerable criticism from MPs and Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert warns against them.

Many people would be better turning to a credit union, which  is a savings and lending co-operative, owned by its members. You can join ISCU if you live, work, volunteer or study in Suffolk. Members can pay wages, benefits or pensions into their account – small sums are welcome – and can borrow money at varying rates depending on membership and savings.

The amazing thing about the ISCU Child Benefit Savings and Loan plan is that it provides a guaranteed loan AND savings plan for anyone who is getting Child Benefit.  If you join the credit union and arrange to pay your Child Benefit into ISCU you can apply for a £400 loan immediately. The repayments are £12.00 weekly over 37 weeks. Total interest will be £44.11, so you will repay a total of £444.11 (26.8% APR).

If you have 1 child and your child benefit is £ 20.30 per week you will also be  building up £ 8.30 per week in savings, and so when you have repaid the loan you will also have a lump sum of £ 307.10.

If you have 2 children and your child benefit is £ 33.70 per week: you will also be building up £ 21.70 per week in savings, and so when you have repaid the loan you will also have a lump sum of £ 802.90

If you have 3 children and your child benefit is £ 47.10 per week, you will build up £35.10 per week in savings,  and so when you have repaid the loan you will also have a lump sum of £ 1,298.70

This loan could even be used to help someone out of the claws of a payday loan company or loan shark, and leave them with  money in hand at the end of the loan to  guard against future emergencies.

Of course, if you just want to  save money, ISCU will be equally glad to see you.

Opening venues days and times vary. The WOodbridge branch operates

Thursdays: 10am – 11am at the Salvation Army Centre (at the very bottom of New Street) Woodbridge