Credit Union gives out 30,000th loan

PCCU Credit Controller Julie at the new branch in SPE Furnishings, Burnley.
PCCU Credit Controller Julie at the new branch in SPE Furnishings, Burnley.
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Pennine Community Credit Union is showing its worth to the people of Burnley and Pendle following another set of successful year-end results.

The not-for-profit organisation, which opened in 1982, gave out its 30,000th loan as it bucked a national trend that has seen some of the lowest household saving levels in the UK for a half a century.

This year, savings were up 15% with collective savings now totalling more than £5.7m.

The popular Christmas Savings Account, where people save throughout the year but can only access the account during the festive period, has also seen an increase from £139,000 to £160,000.

Kathryn Fogg, chief executive of PCCU, said: “It is pleasing that the local community see PCCU as a safe place to save their money.

“The continued success of the Christmas Saving Account highlights the important role we play for families in the most expensive part of the year.”

The Credit Union, which has taken its total lending to the community to £44m., has seen an increase in people borrowing for a whole range of reasons as people look for an alternative to high interest lenders.

“Credit will always be needed in everyday life and encouraging people to borrow from PCCU as an alternative to those high cost lenders will save them and the community thousands of pounds per year,” said Kathryn.

“Over the last 12 months account holders have saved over £7m. in interest (compared to a well-known door step lender’s lowest rate of 299.3%).

“Making sure a person can afford to repay a loan is very important to us. People like the fact each application is assessed individually by a member of staff and not a computer.

“We sit down with a person, complete a free money health check and tailor the loan to suit them.”

The Credit Union has set its targets high for the next year. They have recently opened a new branch within SPE Furnishings which sells new branded furniture, paint and electricals in Briercliffe Road, Burnley.

The social enterprise uses the profits made in store to operate the local food bank and street soccer programme.

PCCU are in store to offer affordable finance on furniture, providing an ethical alternative to the high interest pay weekly stores.