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Start the New Year with a financial detox

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Start the New Year with a financial detox

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Published by Maike Riedel for Circle in Housing and also in Bill Payments, Communities

- New service launched to help Merton residents feeling the pinch after festive spending

Merton Priory Homes has launched its ‘Money Tuesday’ outreach service, in partnership with Croydon, Sutton and Merton Credit Union (CSM) and the Money Advice Service, to help local people with money and debt concerns.

In a bid to help local people to avoid a festive hangover, Merton Priory Homes and its partners are asking residents to kick start their 2012 money detox and not wait until the Christmas credit card bills hit the letterbox. Through the new service, residents can learn how to budget and stay on top of their finances from money saving experts. Other services include free, confidential advice on benefits and tax credits as well as help in dealing with debts, tax or pensions.

“The new year should be about starting fresh and looking forward,” says Pauline Ford, managing director of Merton Priory Homes. “With the financial downturn making things tighter every day, this time of year can be really tough on people. But they shouldn’t bury their heads in the sand - there is help! We are here for our residents and this service helps anyone who has questions about their finances and in particular people who are struggling. The service also gives people the opportunity to save as well as access to affordable and flexible loans regardless of their credit history.”

At the launch of ‘Money Tuesday’ last month, 37 people opened Credit Union saving accounts to access low cost loans and plan for the future. This brings the total number of Merton Credit Union members to over 400. Residents also took advantage of the Money Advice Service who gave confidential, expert advice on tackling debts and budgeting, i.e. setting up their personal budgets. 

Helen Mason, CMS credit union operations manager, said: “Even in difficult economic times it’s particularly noticeable that many residents who came to the launch event were keen to start a pattern of saving with the credit union as a way of building up a safety net. This is a great plan, as it allows new members to build up a savings history with the credit union for when they might need to apply for a loan and get a better rate of interest on the loan repayments."

About ‘Money Tuesday’

MPH, part of Circle Housing Group, successfully joined forces with Croydon, Sutton and Merton Credit Union (CSM), Credit Sutton and Money Advice Service and is funding the independent advice and support service to help local people. The service is accessible to all Merton residents.

A Credit Union outreach worker is available every Tuesday between 10am and 2pm at The Grange, 1Central Road, SM4 5PQ. No appointment is necessary. Money Advice Service are present fortnightly on Tuesdays. People need to book appointments in advance by calling 0300 500 3000.

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