The economic downturn has been tough for everyone. And making ends meet can be especially hard for people on low incomes. Thats why three Hampshire based housing associations have hooked up to give their customers an alternative to door-step lenders and pay-day loans.
First Wessex, Radian and Sentinel Housing Association have joined forces with My Home Finance a not for profit social business offering loans and related services to people excluded by traditional high street lenders.
Sentinels operations director Julian Chun, explains: Tackling this issue together with our partners gives us more clout and its great news for our customers. Nationally payday loan companies issue around 10,500 short term loans a day – charging sky high interest rates with an average APR of 272% rising to as much as 5000%. Theres never been a greater need for a responsible alternative.
First Wessex, Director of Operations, Carol Williams, said: We know from working with our customers that people often dont realise the cost of the money that theyre borrowing or feel that they dont have any other choice. This new initiative will offer a safer alternative to door-step lenders with more affordable repayments alongside offering other valuable help with finances, such as bank accounts and budgeting.
Radians Assistant Director (Inclusion) Sandra Theckston, added: This is a great opportunity to assist our customers to make informed choices about their borrowing whilst working in partnership with others who share our ethos. We will be recruiting Customer Champions to promote this service across our geography.
My Home Finance typically charge an APR of 69.5%. And work with customers to make sure they can afford the repayments without having to rob Peter to pay Paul. They dont exclude people who are unemployed or on benefits even if they have a poor credit history. They treat every applicant as an individual and assess them on their current circumstances.
Helens a Sentinel customer and explains how shes been affected: I know from personal experience how easy it is to borrow money from doorstep lenders and for it to get out of control. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for when I took out my first loan. I thought I could easily afford the weekly repayments so I didnt check the APR at the time. I couldnt believe they were charging me a whopping 399%. I think its great that people like me will be able to borrow more cheaply and sensibly through My Home Finance.
My Home Finance said The support of First Wessex, Radian and Sentinel has been invaluable in helping us to bring our services to their residents. Working together we are confident that we can help those in need take the first step in breaking the cycle of debt by offering a genuine alternative to high cost lenders.
For customers of First Wessex, Radian and Sentinel its easy to apply. They can call 0845 094 3259 or for more information check out www.myhomefinance.org.uk