Need help managing your money?

Now more than ever, people might be finding their finances stretched and need support to get back on track.

Promoted by Demos
Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 12:40 pm
Find help accessing affordable credit

Whether you’re facing a sudden drop in income, job insecurity or benefit delays, it can be tempting to borrow money, at any cost, to make ends meet. But if you sign up for more than you can afford to repay, under terms that aren’t fair, you could easily end up worse off than before.

Luckily, there are services across South Yorkshire to help you find fair credit and other practical help to tackle money worries during and beyond the pandemic.

Demos, the cross-party think tank and educational charity, has been delivering the South Yorkshire Good Credit Project to help reduce the need for high-cost borrowing and raise awareness of more affordable options. Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis and local stakeholders from the public, private and voluntary sectors are supporting the initiative and working together to transform credit provision.

Better way to get help

Joanne Ainley, marketing and relationships coordinator at Demos, said: “Taking out a payday loan or borrowing from doorstep lenders might seem like the only option if you need cash in a hurry, especially in these difficult times, but there are better and cheaper ways to do it.

“We believe good credit should be fair, affordable and transparent. The lender will be clear about what you’re signing up to, won’t charge sky-high interest rates and will check that you can pay it back.

“With so much uncertainty around employment and household incomes just now, getting affordable credit from a responsible lender or advice from a trusted source is crucial. With guidance, you might also find alternatives to borrowing.”

Free support

The Good Credit Project is highlighting some of the free support available to help you manage your money or deal with debt. While face-to-face contact is partially restricted during Covid-19, providers are generally offering a choice of ways to get in touch so it’s important to remember that support is still accessible even if premises might not be.

The Good Credit website, goodcreditindex.co.uk/listings lists local services offering information, advice and good credit near you – including several which can provide affordable loans.

Among them are credit unions which only allow members to borrow what they can afford and may be able to lend you money even if you have a poor credit rating.

Credit unions also offer other financial products and services designed to help people budget and save. Budgeting accounts, for example, help you to manage regular payments such as bills or arrears. For those in work, payroll deduction schemes are another simple way to make loan repayments or save small amounts on a regular basis by having agreed sums taken directly from your wages. Employers can set up these schemes at no cost and with no admin burden by contacting their local credit union which can be found via the listings on our website.

Commenting on the pioneering Good Credit Project, Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “If people can’t access affordable credit, circumstances may force them to turn to short-term, high cost credit that is unaffordable. Missed payments and soaring interest rates then keep people in a cycle of bad credit from which it is difficult to escape.

“Through this project, we aim to set an example for other parts of the country.”

If you would like to know more about how to access affordable credit if and when you need it or find free advice and guidance across South Yorkshire and nationally, please visit https://goodcreditindex.co.uk/