Loan applications to Sheffield money lender at all time high

A not-for-profit money lender is experiencing a ‘deluge’ of loan applications as Sheffield residents prepare for Christmas.

Monday, 7th December 2015, 5:00 am

Sheffield Credit Union said nearly 200 people joined in November, adding to thousands of existing members.

The Credit Union offers a range of financial solutions from Christmas Saver accounts, to personal loans of between £100 to £5,000.

And it is with the small value personal loans that the Credit Union has seen demand grow this winter. The total value of loans issued by the member owned organisation in November was its highest in its 11-year history.

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Loan underwriter Sarah Horsfield said: “We received our first Christmas loan application in July this year. As a parent myself, I know that there is a lot of pressure on parents to make Christmas really special. A lot of our members are planning their Christmas months in advance.

“We try to make it as easy and affordable as we can for our members, as we understand the stresses

they are under.”

General Manager Jackie Hallewell said: “For most people it is because we are different – we have real people making the loans decisions, we only use computers to help speed up the process, but the final

decision is always made by a human.

“We will only lend if the loan is affordable, and also offer what we believe are the best rates available in the city. Our small loans of up to £1,000 have always been great value, but we have developed our products to offer loans of up to £5,000 too, where our interest rates are lower than at the high street banks.

“Our staff team will always recommend the products which are cheapest for the member, and we try to move people to our cheapest loans and where possible offer incentives to encourage members to save for known expenses such as Christmas.

“We are fortunate that we don’t operate a business where staff earn commission.”