A group of volunteers from Berwick, in partnership with residents’ forum Berwick Deserves Better, are working with Northumberland Credit Union to bring a regular paying-in point to the town.
‘Berwick & District Savings and Loans’ will offer access to secure savings accounts, including a children’s savings account which pays 3% APR credit interest.
The scheme can also offer low cost loans at just 1% interest per month (12.7% APR). These rates apply to everyone, regardless of circumstances, and there are no credit checks undertaken.
The savings and loans scheme is available to anyone who lives or works in Northumberland, and with the exception of a £2 joining fee there are no charges to save with the group. Members will be able to make deposits to their account by visiting the local paying-in point or by a regular Standing Order from a bank account.
Gary Morton, one of the volunteers organising the scheme, said: “This could be a great asset to our town - it encourages children to save regularly, it allows adults to save weekly from the smallest amount, and for people who need a loan it is a much cheaper and safer option than a pay-day loan.”
The team has a potential paying-in venue arranged, with training and materials provided by Northumberland Credit Union.
“All we need now are volunteers who are willing to help staff the paying-in point,” Gary said. “We’d really like to hear from anyone who is interested, no matter how much or how little time they can offer.”
The pay-in point will initially be open for two hours, one day a week, but the group is hoping to attract a pool of volunteers and expand this to another two hours with an evening session.
Northumberland Credit Union is a not-for-profit co-operative owned and run by local volunteers. For more go to www.ncul.co.uk.