Severnside reward their customers for saving
Published by Kerry Stanley for Severnside Housing in Housing and also in Communities
Severnside Housing is inspiring its customers to start saving by offering a great new initiative. All their customers have to do is open an account at one of Shropshire’s two Credit Unions and Severnside will pay £10 straight into their account to help get them started. Once the account reaches £50 a further £10 reward will be added to say ‘well done’ and encourage them to keep saving.
Severnside is alarmed at the increase in pay day loan companies and door step lenders who offer loans at extremely high interest rates, which can prove impossible to pay back. They are also concerned that welfare reform changes and the introduction of Universal Credit, paid in monthly arrears, means that a large proportion of their customers need to learn to manage their budget and money in new ways and they want to do everything they can to support them.
A Credit Union is a not-for-profit ‘community bank’ owned and controlled by its members. Members are encouraged to save what they can and only borrow what they can realistically afford to repay. Credit Unions are an affordable alternative to payday loan companies and door step lenders, which is why Severnside are so keen to promote the benefits to their customers.
Shropshire has two Credit Unions – FAIRshare Credit Union and Just Credit Union. Junior Child Accounts are available from birth with free membership and Severnside are also offering £5 to start off these accounts.
Severnside also has a small team of staff available to help customers with benefit enquiries, rent arrears, debt, doorstep lending and unemployment. The team has already helped many customers manage debt and successfully find work.
Sue Dell, Severnside Housing’s Community Development Manager said “We understand how hard it is in the current financial climate for our customers to manage their money and save for the future.
Borrowing money from a pay day lender or loan shark may seem like a good idea but it is far better to borrow money from a credit union. A few hundred pounds borrowed from a high interest lender can very quickly turn into a huge debt with little chance of ever paying it off.
We really want to help our customers successfully manage their money and save a little for the future.”