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Credit union move to Keith

By Shelley Nicol

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Helping people make their money go further.
Helping people make their money go further.

A NEW service that can help people get out of the trap of high-interest payday and doorstep loans will start in Keith next month.

North East Scotland Credit Union (NESCU) will, from September 22, have a new collection point at the REAP office, 177 Mid Street, Keith, where people can go to join. It will be run by volunteers, including well-known local woman Elizabeth Runcie.

Aberdeen-based NESCU, which has been operating for just over 10 years, and which is backed by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils, offers a way to save money regularly, especially for those who don’t have bank accounts, and also can offer low-interest loans to members.

NESCU chief executive Dave Sims told the ‘Herald’: "We are a not-for-profit organisation where people can save and where we can also help people escape the misery of high-interest loans by offering them loans on just one per cent a month interest rate on a reducing balance of the loan.

"We have 2,400 adult savers and 100 children savers in Grampian and what we aim to do is to offer people simple financial options. Joining is simple, we need a form of identification that proves residence, such as a benefit letter, and a form of photo id. There are no credit checks and anyone who wants to join is guaranteed to be accepted."

Mr Sims said that while the credit union aimed to help people escape the financial misery caused by high-interest loans or credit card repayments, low-interest loans were also available to anyone else who wanted to join. "Banks at the moment are not interested in giving loans of less than £2,500. So people who need less than that have often turned to payday lenders or doorstep colletors.

"The principle of the credit union is that people save to allow others to get loans. It’s all about thrift.

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