New credit union will combat debts misery

The Oxford Times: Robin Peake is a volunteer with the Barton Credit Union which opens next week Robin Peake is a volunteer with the Barton Credit Union which opens next week

A CREDIT union will open in Barton next week as volunteers bid to help estate residents with money woes.

The service is first being showcased on Monday – the day known as “Blue Monday”.

The third Monday of January is said to be the most miserable day of the year as people are hit by overspending at Christmas.

Union volunteers will talk to potential members at St Mary’s Church, Bayswater Road, on Monday and the following Saturday, both from 5pm to 7pm.

People join for £1 and give a £1 deposit to start a saving account and give a minimum of £2.50 a week.

Interest rates of 26.8 per cent APR, two per cent a month, are offered.

Volunteer Robin Peake said the service offered investors and borrowers “ethical” rates.

He said: “It allows members to borrow at a fairly low rate, a ridiculously low rate compared to pay day lenders.”

The volunteer said members would only have to pay back £102 if borrowing £100 for a month.

But he added: “It gives an opportunity for many people to save money ethically. It is not just open to people on low incomes.”

So far eight volunteers have come forward to help residents access the union.

Mr Peake said the team had hoped to set up a branch of the Oxford Credit Union but legalities meant it was not possible.

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Leaflets advertising the service are set to be delivered to more than 1,800 homes in Barton over the weekend.

The events have been set up with the help of a £500 grant from Barton and Sandhills city councillor Van Coulter.

The Labour councillor said: “For many, the post-Christmas blues are taking hold. Some people under financial pressure might well be considering a pay day loan. But that’s probably the worst thing to do.

“A better alternative is to join the local credit union. Because they are a not-for- profit organisation, the credit union fairly prices its loans.”

Earlier this month, plans were also unveiled to open a credit union in Witney.

Comments (3)

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10:39pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Let's hope it's open at weekends and evenings - when payday lenders are most useful to the needy.
Let's hope it's open at weekends and evenings - when payday lenders are most useful to the needy. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 11

3:10am Wed 15 Jan 14

Myron Blatz says...

Pity, Cllr Coulter, your Party's previous Labour Government under Gordon Brown didn't knock pay day lenders into touch and out the window when it had the chance, instead of bailing-out the banks and financial institutions with public money. Let's hope that this time, the Credit Union idea will last longer than before in Barton, and that Oxford Credit Union will also be able help pull Blackbird Leys back from the proverbial brink - and perhaps something which Labour-controlled Oxford City council should be helping with, instead of funding community newspapers, ethnic cookery courses and local radio stattions.
Pity, Cllr Coulter, your Party's previous Labour Government under Gordon Brown didn't knock pay day lenders into touch and out the window when it had the chance, instead of bailing-out the banks and financial institutions with public money. Let's hope that this time, the Credit Union idea will last longer than before in Barton, and that Oxford Credit Union will also be able help pull Blackbird Leys back from the proverbial brink - and perhaps something which Labour-controlled Oxford City council should be helping with, instead of funding community newspapers, ethnic cookery courses and local radio stattions. Myron Blatz
  • Score: -114

5:56am Wed 5 Feb 14

danicagraceB says...

Fewer individuals trust the banks nowadays, after the economy went in the toilet and then they turned on their customers with fees. Consequently, numerous people started ditching the banking industrial complicated for credit unions and community banks. Credit unions also don’t report to a board of shareholders. Members are the shareholders and by law, credit unions operate as non-profits. Any profits accumulated are distributed to members as dividends.
Fewer individuals trust the banks nowadays, after the economy went in the toilet and then they turned on their customers with fees. Consequently, numerous people started ditching the banking industrial complicated for credit unions and community banks. Credit unions also don’t report to a board of shareholders. Members are the shareholders and by law, credit unions operate as non-profits. Any profits accumulated are distributed to members as dividends. danicagraceB
  • Score: 0

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