Union offers debt help over Christmas

PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 November 2010

Many people get into debt trouble over Christmas

Many people get into debt trouble over Christmas

Archant

NORTH Somerset Credit Union is running a campaign to stop people getting into trouble with debt over the festive period.

Already the campaign, launched this week, has been praised by one mother who it helped with debt problems built up over the last festive period.

The union is hoping to warn people of the dangers of using doorstep lenders and loan sharks to pay for presents over Christmas.

Union members have been on Weston High Street talking to members of the public about how they can cope over such an expensive time of year without getting into trouble with loan sharks and doorstep lenders.

Claire Hawks, a 32-year-old mother-of-three from Tavistock Road, Worle, thinks from past experience that the union’s work is essential for those who aren’t up to scratch with debt.

She said: “I’ve dealt with doorstep lenders in the past, mainly for Christmas and I got a lot into a lot of debt - it all adds up at that time of year.

“The union has helped me deal with that, and it’s always provided someone to speak to about it.

“It’s very important because debt can make you so depressed, I became clinically ill worrying over my debt problems.”

Union manager Jackie Simpson said: “It’s part of a year-long campaign we’ve held to try and showcase these problems.

“At this time we’re trying to make people aware of the true costs of borrowing. We’re trying to get people to look at interest rates, as we know some people can get caught out by them.

“We have had a lot of people borrowing from doorstep lenders who offer you vouchers and instalment payments of £5 or £10 a week, which sounds great, but then they are still paying them back by the next Christmas. Some people have a very hard time paying it off.”

Weston MP John Penrose helped to officially launch the campaign, and said: “I was delighted to launch North Somerset Credit Union’s campaign.

“Every family knows how tight money can get, especially over Christmas. The union has a long history of helping people deal with their debt problems and I’d urge anyone who’s having problems to contact them to see how they can help.”

To find out more about the campaign, visit the union’s office in Orchard Street, Weston, or contact them on 01934 429573.

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