Credit union to help Daventry tenants

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A Daventry housing group has started offering credit union services to its tenants.

Daventry & District Housing (DDH) is offering customers the opportunity to access the services of the Northamptonshire Credit Union via its offices at Nene House on Sopwith Way in Daventry.

Sean Silver, who works for the credit union, is currently based at DDH once a week and has started meeting with DDH tenants to help them budget and save for the future. A DDH tenant and three other credit union representatives are also supporting a weekly drop-in service on a voluntary basis.

Lisa Gascoyne, DDH neighbourhood services manager, said: “We are really pleased to have linked up with the Northamptonshire Credit Union to help make the services they provide more accessible to our customers. As a credit union member myself, I know that it’s a great way to save.

“DDH tenants can now book appointments or drop into our offices on a Monday between 9am and noon to set up an account, access affordable borrowing alternatives and discuss a range of saving options. Appointments can be made via the DDH customer service and income teams.”

The credit union, which is a community bank owned and run by its members, offers a number of different products and provide affordable loans, a saving facility and budgeting advice.

One example is the budget plus account which has been designed with the introduction of Universal Credit in mind and enables income, either in the form of salary or benefits, to be paid in directly to cover rent and other bills. Any remaining income is then loaded onto the accompanying prepaid Visa debit card to spend on things like food, clothes, petrol and leisure activities.

“Credit Unions can help people that haven’t got a bank account or those that have experienced difficulties with banks in the past,” Sean said.

“The loans we provide are a great alternative to doorstop lenders, payday loan companies, credit and shop cards and people living in their overdraft. Customers can access finance from a trusted provider that will not allow them to become trapped in a cycle of debt.

“We are here to help by providing sensible, practical advice and the means for people to manage their own finances, budget on a weekly or monthly basis and save for the future. We work with discretion and sensitivity and I hope to be able to assist as many people as possible.”

In order to set up an account with the Credit Union, customers must live or work in Northamptonshire and deposit a minimum saving of £1 per week into their account.

When registering for an account, people also need to bring proof of identification (such as a passport, driving licence, or benefit letter) and proof of address (a utility bill or bank statement).

People can access their savings from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm by phoning the Northamptonshire Credit Union office and requesting a transfer to their bank account or prepaid VISA debit card.

DDH tenants can be referred by DDH staff or refer themselves by booking an appointment with Sean. For more information or to book an appointment call 0300 456 2531.

DDH is also looking for more tenants to support this new service on a voluntary basis. Full training and support will be offered to help tenants provide basic budgeting guidance, assistance with completing forms and other duties.