£1 million! Would you credit it!
Joining Forces, a credit union service for the Armed Forces, was launched in October 2015 since when it has lent more than £1m and attracted a membership fast approaching 1,000.
The arrangement, backed by the Ministry of Defence, was launched to tackle problems faced by military personnel who may find themselves with limited access to financial services, leaving them a potential target for high cost credit providers such as payday lenders and loan sharks.
The service – provided by three of the UK’s leading Credit Unions provides simple savings accounts and affordable loans for Service personnel straight from their pay.
It was launched under the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise by the nation that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
Since launching the Credit Union service is fast approaching 1,000 members, having lent over £1million to date. Members of all three services are welcome to join along with veterans who are in receipt of a MOD pension.
Why can a Credit Union help, where other financial providers may not be able to?
The credit union service for the Armed Forces, allows Service personnel to save and borrow with repayments straight from their pay. This means the risk of lending significantly reduces and we may be able to help where others may not.
As not-for-profit financial co-operatives, Credit Unions are owned and run by our members. They will do their utmost to help solve the problems faced by our members, whilst at the same time ensuring they lend responsibly.
See the case studies below as to how the Credit Unions have helped fellow colleagues:
Plane Saver Credit Union
Plane Saver were recently approached by a serviceman who found himself in a spiral of debt, with a series of high interest Credit Card and Payday loans, with monthly repayments over £555 at an average interest rate of 244% APR.
They were able to lend to the individual responsibly, consolidating his existing debt into one manageable repayment straight from his pay, leaving the member with a new monthly repayment of £301 at a more favourable interest rate, meaning he saved £254 per month and could get back on track with his finances.
Serve & Protect Credit Union
A member of the Armed Forces saved over £6,000 in potential interest when Serve & Protect helped them by approving a £5,000 consolidation loan. With nowhere else to turn, they settled an existing car loan, where the member was paying an extremely high APR.
This is just one example of how Serve & Protect are helping many of their members borrow sensibly, whilst providing good customer service and personal assessment of loan applications.
London Mutual Credit Union
A Warrant Officer with 16 years’ service, recently took a London Mutual CU loan as he wanted to take a further education course in his spare time. He told us: “The whole joining and loan application simple and straightforward, and was kept informed all through the loan application process.
I am really glad that I’ve found an ethical and affordable lender – not for profit – and I’m particularly pleased that there are no hidden charges and no early repayment fees. I’m repaying the loan direct from salary and I can just forget about it, and I’m saving a small amount each month as well as repaying the loan.”