Credit union starts up weekly advice sessions in Chippenham town centre shop (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Credit union starts up weekly advice sessions in Chippenham town centre shop
10:48am Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
THE North Wiltshire Credit Union is reaching out to more people hit by benefit cutbacks and rising debts by this week starting weekly advice sessions in Chippenham’s High Street.
They are being hosted on Wednesdays by Popshop Wiltshire in the Emery Gate shopping centre from 11am to 1pm, and the first was held yesterday.
Credit unions are not-for-profit organisations which enable their members to borrow at affordable interest rates, after they demonstrate they are able to save.
The credit union’s presence in the town centre has been welcomed by Islay Roberts, manager of Chippenham Christians Against Poverty.
Mr Roberts said: “Benefit cutbacks combined with the ease of payday loans are causing spiralling debt and making life hard for people in Chippenham. If they miss a payment, the amount doubles.”
He said the constant badgering by internet or phone-based companies was very stressful for families, who may go to lengths to get away from them, for example changing their phone numbers.
He advised steering clear of borrowing if possible. “If you need to borrow, a credit union can be a better option as they usually have much smaller interest rates and you see someone face to face, which is a lot of people find easier,” he said.
Ellie Gill, one of the directors of Popshop Wiltshire, the pop-up shop selling ethical goods which has been in Emery Gate for more than a year, said: “This is about helping the credit union to be more visible and accessible and reach out to more people in the Chippenham area. Credit unions can offer a fairer and more social alternative to other more predatory lenders.
“This ethos chimes with the spirit of Popshop Wiltshire which aims to support local producers and showcase the work of social and ethical enterprise.”
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