With a healthy savings pot and growing membership, Wolverhampton City Credit Union (WCCU) has set itself the ambitious target of saving WV people £2 million in high interest loan repayments in 2017.

WCCU’s manager, Matt Goulding said the exploitative lending market was targeting struggling households, charging high interest for loans and sucking the life out of the local economy.

“We’re in a really healthy position to become a rival and ethical lender of affordable loans in Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire. We’re determined to make a real dent in the local exploitative lending market by extending our loans. If we do so with the help of our friends and supporters, we think we could save local people around £2 million in high interest loan repayments.

“People who don’t qualify for mainstream credit end up paying through the nose with doorstep or payday loans. The consequences for turning to loan sharks can be even more damaging and distressing. So we have a duty to extend our ethical lending role.”

Matt said WCCU intended to do so by focusing on strengthening links with WV voluntary sector organisations and employers and securing greater visibility in local communities.

Local employers are helping their staff to save or repay a loan directly from their salary through WCCU’s payroll deduction scheme.

And the credit union’s keen to make links with local voluntary sector organisations and volunteers. Matt explained: “We’ve already established a new community base at Bilston Town Hall in partnership with local charity, Gazebo, and we’re planning to launch a Fair and Affordable Finance Shop at Low Hill Community Centre thanks to the commitment of our local volunteers, Tony Blakeway and Eileen Owen.

Organisations interested in promoting WCCU in their neighbourhood, community or workplace should call Matt on 01902 572340 or email contactus@wccul.co.uk

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