Its been hard not to open a newspaper this year or turn on the TV without learning more about the credit crunch. Financial institutions, it seems, get into trouble after lending too much to those who can least afford to borrow. The consumer society is driven by debt, costly borrowing and over-consumption.
One alternative to the dangers of debt and the loan sharks is to join a Credit Union, which is designed to help people get into the saving habit while also borrowing small amounts at an affordable rate. A branch of Ipswich and Suffolk Credit Union (ISCU) has now come to Woodbridge and is open on Monday from 1130-1230 at the Fred Reynolds Centre, Churchill Close and on Thursday from 1100-1200 at the Salvation Army Hall, beside the library.
Here are answers to some of the misconceptions about Credit Unions:
People often think it is only for those who want a loan.
Everyone can join. At the moment ISCU cannot afford to give you a return on your savings but if enough people join then a dividend can very quickly be declared.
It encourages us to get into debt and rely on credit.
Even if you have a credit card which you pay off in full at the end of each month, you are using credit. Being a member of the Credit Union means that when you need to borrow you can do so at the lowest possible rate, especially if you have saved with CU for a short time first. You wont have to rely on doorstep lenders who can be very expensive.
My savings will be at risk.
ISCU is part of the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd and is regulated by the Financial Services Authority. So, unlike informal or Christmas savings clubs, our savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Whats the catch?
There is a 3 joining fee but after that there are no hidden charges or repayment penalties. Loans can be paid off as and how you wish and interest is only paid on the outstanding balance.
How do I join?
Either come to the Salvation Army Hall or phone ISCU on 01473 690690. If you wish you can save by direct debit or by using Paypal.
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