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HAs unite to battle loan sharks with affordable loans

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HAs unite to battle loan sharks with affordable loans

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Finance

HAs unite to battle loan sharks with affordable loans HAs unite to battle loan sharks with affordable loans

Housing associations across the north of England are joining forces to offer affordable lending to their tenants in an effort to battle loan sharks and payday lenders.

With research showing that illegal money lenders and providers of high-cost short-term credit regularly target housing association estates, Guinness Northern Counties, City West Housing Trust, New Charter Housing Trust, Tameside MBC, Helena Partnerships, Riverside, Coast & Country and Eastlands Homes have teamed up with not-for-profit organisation My Home Finance to offer an affordable and ethically run short-term credit product.

The effects of the government's welfare reforms, including the bedroom tax, have left many social housing tenants' facing a reduction in their finances in recent months, making some vulnerable to highly expensive payday and door step lenders.

Tess Pendle, head of My Home Finance, said: “Often people who have got a poor credit history are unable to access affordable lending – whether this is via a high street bank or a credit union.

"Not only are we able to offer a loan but we also make sure that each individual is able to afford the repayments. For each loan applicant, we thoroughly assess their financial situation to ensure that they are completely optimising their income ahead of taking on more financial commitment.”

John Cockerham, director of neighbourhood service for Guinness Northern Counties, said: “Like many housing associations, we are aware of the financial challenges a lot of our customers face and we provide help and support on range of money matters including budgeting, welfare benefits advice and the best deals available for household utility bills. We know there are times when our customers require a loan but, as they are likely to be refused affordable credit from high street banks and credit unions, their only previous options were to go to door step lenders, payday lenders, or even loan sharks.

“By working with My Home Finance, we are able to help our customers access a fairer and cheaper borrowing option, with an affordable payment plan should they wish to take a loan."

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