6 November 2014

Loan sharks – there is an alternative

An event to help victims and potential victims of loan sharks is being held at Jubilee Library next week (14 November from 2-4pm).

Brighton & Hove City Council is hosting the event to raise awareness of the work the East Sussex Credit Union is doing to make low cost credit available to those who need it most.

The event has been organised jointly by the council, the credit union and the office of the Bishop of Horsham, the Right Reverend Mark Sowerby – who will be a keynote speaker at the event.

The council is investing £90,000 a year over the next two years in the credit union as part of its strategy for tacking inequality in the city and helping vulnerable people.

Credit unions offer valuable support to people who are struggling financially, many of whom have no easy access to bank accounts or low cost credit.

They are an alternative to high-cost lenders who charge exorbitant rates of interest, and who often have very restrictive terms and conditions.

Because they are not-for-profit organisations, credit unions can offer affordable loans, as well as advice, guidance and financial education.

The East Sussex Credit Union – one of the biggest in the country – has more than 3,500 members. A number of local businesses have also signed up to the credit union’s payroll deduction scheme as a benefit for their staff, including the council.

Representatives of the credit union will be on hand at the Jubilee Library event to answer questions about the full range of services they offer and enable people to become members on the spot.

Deputy leader Cllr Ian Davey said: “More and more people are suffering with spiralling debt with no access to mainstream credit and banking services.

“I believe the East Sussex Credit Union could potentially help thousands more local people. We want to spread the word that in this city there is an affordable and ethical local alternative to loan sharks.”

Residents who wish to join the credit union at the event itself will need to bring proof of ID such as driving licence or work ID card and proof of address.

Visit http://www.eastsussexcu.org.uk for further information about the services offered by the East Sussex Credit Union.