A CREDIT union, which recently launched in Chorley, is celebrating recruiting its 100th member and opening up new collection points as demand for its services grows.
Unify Credit Union, a financial co-operative owned and controlled by its members, set up at Chorley Council’s Union Street offices in September to offer help to local people who are struggling during the economic downturn. by giving them the opportunity to save more easily and take out low cost loans.
Since then it has added 100 members to its books, and is opening up collection points at Coppull St John’s Primary School and Astley and Buckshaw Children’s Centre in the new year.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Chorley Council leader, said: “We knew that there was a need for its services in Chorley and we’re being proved right. There are hard-working people in Chorley who are finding it hard to get by and credit unions can offer a safe place to save and a place they can get low-cost loans without having to pay extortionate interest charges.
“I am really pleased that people are taking up the service and I hope that many more people will call in and find out what an excellent service the credit union can offer.”
Unify Credit Union was established in 2002 and is Wigan’s largest financial co-operative. It is regulated by the independent Financial Services Authority and it is owned and controlled by the people who use its services.
With loan interest from just 1% per month (12.7% APR) and dividends on savings (2.5% in 2011) more and more people are opening accounts.
Angela Fishwick, general manager of Unify, said: “We are delighted at the level of response we’ve had from people in Chorley and we’ve been busy setting up new collection points in the area.
“We’ve also now launched a text messaging service because the bulk of our calls are for balance inquiries and people can also find out by text if their loans have been approved.
“Loans are also being paid straight into people’s bank accounts electronically, but for those who don’t have a bank account we’ve introduced the Credit Union Prepaid Debit Card which is similar to a Visa debit card but members can’t go overdrawn.
“And we are now encouraging people to save towards Christmas 2013.
“If anyone living or working in Chorley wants to join Unify, all they need to do is to get in touch with us.”
The collection points are open at:
• the council’s Union Street offices each Wednesday from 10.30am to 2pm
• Coppull St John’s CE School on Wednesdays 8.30am – 9.00am
The collection point in Astley & Buckshaw Children’s Centre will be opening towards the end of January.