A Bassetlaw councillor who fell victim to a doorstep lender has urged residents to sign up to the local credit union.
Coun Josie Potts first borrowed money to give her children a good Christmas many years ago. But things escalated and she soon found she was ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’.
“I can see how people can get depressed due to money problems. It keeps you awake at night,” she said.
“It would get to a Friday and we wondered if we had enough to pay. It got to the stage where we never really had enough.”
Coun Potts was able to pay off the lender when her husband got a lump sum of money from work.
“It was a relief to get rid of him,” she added.
This week Coun Potts signed up for an account with the 2 Shires Credit Union, along with MP John Mann, Bassetlaw Council leader Coun Simon Greaves and chief executive Neil Taylor.
The credit union encourages people to save what they can and offers loans for amount that people can afford to repay. It has around 1,300 adult members and 600 junior members.
Coun Potts said: “This is like a Godsend. I’m saving for next Christmas or a holiday.”
“You can save a little or big amount, whatever you can afford to pay. That money is mounting up and you don’t have to worry.”
Mr Mann said: “People need to be saving and here is an effective way of saving or borrowing money without going to the loan sharks or payday lenders.”
“This can stop a lot of people getting into problems with money, which is becoming an increasing problem.”
Coun Greaves said the credit union offers a ‘financial lifeline’ to people.
“I hear lots about problems with doorstep lenders and payday lenders with extortionate rates of interest,” he said.
“This is an affordable option and it’s great that we have secured a presence for the credit union in the district.”
“I think people in desperate times really need to look at the options of the credit union.”
Credit Unions are not for profit, financial co-operatives run by their members and offer safe savings and loans.
Eric Thompson, manager of the 2 Shires Credit Union, said the credit union offers two main things, a safe and secure place for people to save money and low cost affordable loans.
He said people can save as much or as little as they want, as often as they want with an account, while its ethical and affordable loans are only given out at levels that people can afford to repay.
Anyone who lives or works in Bassetlaw can sign up. There is also a junior account for youngsters under 18.
“We are trying to encourage people to think about Christmas next year and to start saving for it,” he added.
For more information visit 2 Shires Credit Union at the Queen’s Building annex in Worksop, visit www.2shires.org.uk or call 01909 500575.