Credit union to help stamp out loan sharks
PUBLISHED: 14:06 10 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:33 23 August 2010
A COUNTY-WIDE service has been launched to fight the threat of loan sharks. Kent Savers, a credit union which will offer loans to people struggling to secure money from high street lenders, was launched at Little Pebbles Children s Centre, Ordnance Road
A COUNTY-WIDE service has been launched to fight the threat of loan sharks.
Kent Savers, a credit union which will offer loans to people
struggling to secure money from high street lenders, was launched at Little Pebbles Children's Centre, Ordnance Road, Gravesend on Thursday.
A not-for-profit organisation funded from public money, the union is hoping to undercut loan sharks and protect people from falling into the vicious cycle of debt that such borrowing from unregulated lenders can create.
"We have been dealing with people who have had to borrow at 2,000 per cent interest. It is absolutely disgusting and can ruin people's lives," said chief officer John Fowler.
"We want to make sure there is an affordable financial service available to everyone who needs it."
Working out of the Old Town Hall in Gravesend, Kent Savers will provide service for 1.6million people in the county, making it the largest coverage of any one single credit union.
"We are an independent
organisation, but we have been publicly funded and are non-profit. Any money we do make will be ploughed back into the company to make sure we can provide even better offers."
"Certainly our staff won't be receiving any big bonuses," said Mr Fowler.
As well as providing loans, at a fixed rate of between 11 and 26 per cent depending on the amount, Kent Savers is also there to provide advice to savers about who to see and how to invest their money.
It has been set up for £750,000, a third of which came from Kent County Council and the rest provided by The Department of Work and Pensions, Gravesham Borough Council and a number of other partnerships and organisations.
Access to the service can be gained by visiting the centre in Gravesend, or by going to www.kentsavers.co.uk