Although April is nationally recognised as Stress Awareness Month, financial stress is an issue that can affect anybody at any time. With that in mind, we were very pleased to receive some feedback from a member who we recently helped reduce their financial stress.
They emailed us to say:
“Since receiving my first loan from Leeds Credit Union, I have managed to get my finances into a much better position.
“I’ve since been accepted for a second loan and am making additional payments to pay it off as fast as I can. I am also depositing small amounts of money into my savings account so that I have something set aside for a rainy day.
“I am very grateful to everybody that works for LCU. The impact of their products and services has enabled me to become much more financially stress free so I just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ to the staff there!”
There’s nothing we like better than helping our members, which is why we make sure they have easy access to our range of affordable loans, all of which are tailored to suit their individual circumstances.
With our employees also on hand to offer help and assistance, we’re proud to be helping our local community cope with the ongoing cost of living crisis and the financial stress that has come with it.
To find out more about our loans, savings accounts and other services, click here.
Many people join Leeds Credit Union (LCU) because they need help dealing with debt. Here’s the story of one of our members who used our services to ensure they and their partner never needed to deal with unscrupulous doorstep lenders again.
“I have been an LCU member for three years and my main reason for joining was for the personal loan and to look into savings accounts. My partner and I were short on cash at the time so we applied for a loan to repay outstanding debts and the following day we were accepted. I was shocked; I did not think that we would be accepted.
“Being accepted for various loans over the years has been life-saving”
“Up until joining, we had religiously been using doorstep lenders for loans, but we have stopped using them now and only use LCU for our financial needs instead. The loans are much more affordable, faster and more reliable. It is all made so easy and has reduced our monthly outgoings; I’d be lost without it.
“Being accepted for various loans over the years has been life-saving. The money has gone towards a holiday, household goods including a new fridge, cooker, sofa and bed, and it also helps if I’m short on bills and need a top-up. The customer service is always fantastic, and the staff are so polite and helpful that they feel like family. I think I now know them all by name and vice versa!
“Since joining I have never looked back. LCU has helped my partner and I out of some difficult financial situations. My mum is now also a member and no longer uses doorstep lenders either. We are all in a much better place now and would never go anywhere else so thank you!”
We love making a positive difference to our members by helping them reduce their monthly outgoings and pay off their loans – or credit with higher rates of interest – so it was great to read these kind words.Our affordable loans are available to all Leeds Credit Union members. For more information and to apply now click here.
When a Leeds Credit Union member contacted our MABS (Money and Budgeting Service) team in need of support, we were only too happy to help.
The first step was to arrange a telephone appointment with the member, a housing association tenant in full time employment who also receives Child Benefit and was struggling to manage their finances, with rent arrears, council tax and water and energy bills all causing them concern.
In order to ascertain the member’s financial situation, we carried out an income and expenditure assessment to get a better picture of how their money was being spent each month. Once we had all the relevant information, we offered to get in touch with their water and energy suppliers, housing association and the local council to discuss the outstanding payments and the ways in which we could help them start reducing their arrears.
Next, we contacted the Council Tax department at the local council and were informed that the tenant had a balance of £582.30 outstanding for 2021/22 and a further £833.15 for 2022/23. We negotiated with an adviser and agreed to payments of £20 a month towards the outstanding arrears balance, plus a monthly payment of £123.00 towards this year’s bill.
Then, with rent arrears of £631 outstanding, we calculated how much rent they could afford to pay and reached an agreement with their housing association on a monthly payment of £40 to reduce their debt in addition to their weekly rent charge. We also agreed to review this figure again if they felt they were struggling to afford it at any point in the future or if their circumstances changed.
We then liaised with Yorkshire Water and agreed to complete an application form for the Community Trust Fund to try and get some of the member’s arrears cancelled. It was also agreed that the tenant could go on the company’s Resolve scheme, a debt support scheme designed to help customers who are struggling to catch up on previous water bills. This meant that when the member made the agreed payments over the next 12 months, Yorkshire Water would credit their account every quarter to reduce the outstanding amount.
Finally, we contacted energy company SSE to ascertain the tenant’s outstanding balance, enable them to provide SSE with up-to-date meter readings and work out how much the tenant needed to start paying every month. A monthly figure of £185 was agreed for the next three months, at which time it would be reviewed again.
After updating the income and expenditure assessment with the new figures, the MABS team advised the tenant that opening one of our Bill Paying Accounts would be an effective way of keeping track of their finances and allowing them to always know how much they had available to spend. It would also enable us to make direct payments for their rent, energy, water and council tax bills. The member agreed to this and said it would help them keep on top of their finances.
By agreeing fixed monthly repayment amounts with their debtors, we have ensured our member’s bills will always be paid on time going forward, while they will also be able to reduce their arrears and still retain access to any surplus money that remains once all their agreed outgoings have been met.
If you need help dealing with debt, our Money and Budgeting Service (MABS) could help get you back on your feet in no time. For more information, click here.