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Borrowing Money Safely and Tackling Loan Sharks

glenda the lender person in  a shark costume​There are various options available if you need to borrow money, but the cost of these services varies significantly depending on which option you choose. 

It is very important that you understand the cost of borrowing and choose the option that is right for you.  That you only borrow what you can afford and do not become a victim of a loan shark

Credit Unions

Credit Unions are financial organisations which are owned and run by their members, for their members. 

Membership is based on people having a ‘common bond’ such as living in a certain area.  They aim to help you take control of your money by encouraging you to save what you can, and borrow only what you can afford to pay back. Once you have a reliable record as a saver, which usually means saving for a few months, you can apply to borrow from the Credit Union. As your savings grow you can borrow more.

Advantages of Credit Unions:
  • A Credit Union can help you get your finances under control.
  • You can take out affordable loans. Credit Unions are much cheaper to borrow from than most loan companies or credit cards. They have low interest rates, you will not need to have a credit check, and there are no hidden charges.
  • You can be paid dividends on savings of up to 8% per year, depending on the profits of the Credit Union.
  • You will have access to free money advice.
  • When you borrow from a Credit Union you normally get free life assurance that will cover the cost of the loan.

If you want to join a Credit Union, a good staring point is the Warrington MoneyBox shop, which is located in the Market. You can speak to advisors about your options for Credit Unions in the Warrington area to help you decide which one is right for you. You can visit the shop at Warrington Market (Stall 25a) during the following times:
  • Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday 10am – 3pm
  • Thursday 10am – 12.30pm 
  • The first Saturday of every month 10am – 1pm. 
For more information call them on 01925 652929 or on email.
For more information on how to join a Credit Union in your area, or for further details about the collection points and times, please contact your local office listed below where volunteer advisors will be happy to help you. Alternatively, you can visit the Warrington Credit Union website or check out the Warrington Credit Union leaflet.

Local Credit Unions include:
  • North East Warrington Credit Union (NEWCU) - Fearnhead
  • Fairfield, Howley & Latchford Credit Union - Howley
  • Sankey Brook Credit Union - Liverpool Road
  • Warrington Credit Union - Westy​

Stand up to Loan Sharks

The England Illegal Money lending Team are helping Loan  into prison and keeping money in victim’s pockets! Help them to catch them.  If you are aware of a Loan Shark operating in your area report them anonymously and in confidence to 0300 555 2222 or email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk

Nationally, the England Illegal Money Lending Team have secured 368 prosecutions, leading to over 318 years’ worth of custodial sentences. Helped over 26,000 victims and have also written off over £71 Million of illegal debt. 

Moneyline...

Moneyline is a an organisation who aim to provide an affordable credit service for people who are unable to use mainstream lenders such as high street banks due to having a low income or a bad credit rating. They are a not-for-profit organisation, but they do need to ensure that the money they lend out is paid back to ensure they can afford to continue their service. You need to have a bank account to apply for a loan with Moneyline because they keep interest charges down by collecting payments via Direct Debit.

They offer flexible loans and try to match the payments and the length of the loan to your needs. You can pay weekly, fortnightly, 4 weekly or monthly. They also help people to save by offering a current account provided by the Bank of Scotland and specifically designed for Moneyline customers.

You can discuss your options with Moneyline by calling into their office at 6 Friars Court, Barbauld Street, Warrington, WA1 1EX. You can drop in at any time for a chat or call them on 01925 650899. You can also enquire online.

Other lenders you should be aware of…

​High street banks/Building Societies: Loans from larger institutions such as the well-known high street lenders usually have a comparatively low interest rate and so can be cheaper than alternatives such as doorstep and payday lenders. However, they will usually conduct credit checks and will require a good credit rating. 

Doorstep Lenders: Although doorstep lenders may be convenient and do not usually require credit checks, they are often very expensive to borrow from because of their high interest rates. Using these lenders often leads to increased money problems and rising debt.

Payd​ay Loans: These loans are intended to be taken over a very short period of time, usually a few days before payday. Extremely high interest rates are charged because of this, often over 2000%. If they are not paid back on time, the debt can spiral out of control very quickly.

Loan Sharks: These are illegal lenders who are not licenced to lend money, and do not follow the rules of the credit industry. They do not usually give proper information about the terms of the loan, and often use intimidation and violence to make people pay them. In some cases, people are bullied into paying back many times what they have borrowed.  You should avoid loan sharks at all costs, and if you have become involved with one, you can get help or report them anonymously by emailing the Office of Fair Trading's Illegal Money Lending Team on calling 0300 555 2222.