Today is International Credit Union Day. To mark this day Credit Unions across Wales are promoting the “Say No to Debt Row” campaign. This campaign is designed to raise awareness that Credit Unions loans are capped at 42.6% APR. This is compared with many hundreds of thousands of per cent charged by high cost alternatives such as doorstep or payday lenders. A typical loan of £300 from a Credit Union, repaid over 6 months would cost less than £29 in interest. From a doorstep lender, the interest would be likely to be over £150.
Credit Unions are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives that provide savings account, affordable credit and other financial services to their members. Credit unions exist to serve their members rather than maximise profits for the third-party shareholders.
In the last 10 years Credit Union membership in Wales has doubled from 34,000 to 72,000. And Credit Union growth is stronger in Wales than any other part of the UK.
I am a proud member of a Credit Union in Flintshire. They offer ethical finance to people at sustainable rates. For too long pay day lenders have been people’s first point of call, but I want people to know that there is an alternative: Credit Unions.
I hope this campaign will let people know of the benefits that being a member of a Credit Union brings.