Jan 16 2012

Credit Unions: An Even Better Way to Save in Harrow

Christmas may be the last thing on your mind but for anyone feeling the pinch after an expensive festive splurge you may want to start putting money aside for next year.

Harrow’s own credit union offers a range of safe and rewarding savings accounts including a cash ISA, for people can put money aside – and earn interest – for Christmas, holidays or even the cost of going back to school in September.

Harrow Council is working with M for Money Credit Union to promote its services, which also include low cost borrowing. It is part of the Council’s New Year ‘Help’ campaign showcasing the information and support available to anyone struggling to make ends meet.

Credit unions are financial cooperatives which are owned and operated by their members for their members. In Harrow M for Money Credit Union has been operating for nearly two years.

Graham Tomlin a Director of the credit union said.

“Our members like the fact that they can save small amounts either weekly or monthly without having to pay charges. They can have separate accounts for Christmas and holidays and they can pay in cash using a Pay Point card.

“Best of all the regular savers can take small loans at very affordable rates which are only a fraction of what doorstep lenders would charge.”

Cllr Bill Stephenson, Leader of Harrow Council and an M for Money customer, said:

“Years ago if you wanted to save for Christmas you had to find a pub or club that operated a Christmas Club but these were unregulated and sometimes ran into problems.

“More recently Farepak hampers went bust owing customers millions because they too were unregulated. In contrast M for Money Credit Union is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority just like a bank so you’re [sic] savings are guaranteed.

“Their savings accounts are a great way to spread your costs or put money aside for a special occasion, even if it’s just a few pounds every month, and it’s never too early to start.”

On the 8th January the law relating to credit unions was relaxed enabling many more people to get access to this increasingly popular way of saving and borrowing.

The new credit union rules mean that community associations, churches and other voluntary organisations can now join the credit union along with their own members.

To join or find out more about M for Money Credit Union visit www.mformoneycreditunion.org or call 020 8756 3866.

The Council has created a handy online guide with lots of information on money, housing, jobs and training, and more. Go to www.harrow.gov.uk/help or read more on these pages about the assistance available.

Source: Harrow Council

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