Wigan households are among the first to benefit from a new affordable alternative to extortionate payday loans.
Last year Wigan residents took out 30,255 payday loans worth an astonishing £7.2m - making the town one of the highest users of this form of expensive short-term credit in the UK.
The new data from the Financial Conduct Authority, the financial regulator, shows that these local households paid an eye-watering £4.7m in interest and fees - equivalent to £154 in additional charges on the average loan borrowed of £238.
Thankfully there is now a fairer and much cheaper alternative called Just Borrow and Wigan households will be the first to benefit.
Operating for nearly 30 years, Unify Credit Union, the town’s mutually-owned community bank with 10,000 members, is launching these new online Just Borrow loans that will help save local residents and workers hundreds of pounds.
Its chief executive Angela Fishwick said: “People may think that with the demise of Wonga, this problem has simply gone away.
“But it is still a huge problem with lots of these firms out there, charging hard-working families ridiculous amounts of interest to borrow small amounts of
“We wanted to give local people a real and affordable alternative.”
The new ethical short-term loans allow people to apply online at www.justborrow.co.uk/cu/unify to borrow between £100 and £750 that can be repaid over three to nine months.
The online platform makes it quick and simple to apply 24/7 with applicants getting an immediate decision.
“If approved, the money is paid quickly and directly into the borrowers’ bank account with monthly repayments automatically collected via your debit card on the selected
“We’ve developed this new loan facility so that it matches the speed, efficiency and user friendliness that people now come to expect.
“The BIG difference is that you pay back just a fraction of the costs with the credit union compared to other extortionate online lenders who can charge up to a staggering 1,509 per cent APR,” said Angela.
This new facility is available now for anyone living or working in Wigan - as well as Leigh, Chorley, Skelmersdale and Leyland - making it much easier for those needing to borrow to avoid getting ripped-off by high-cost payday/instalment lenders.
“If all those Wigan families had taken a Just Borrow loan instead of the exorbitant payday lenders last year, the credit union would have kept at least £3.9 million in the pockets of local people - that’s a lot of money that could have been saved for our town.”
Borrowers automatically become a member of the credit union for free.
And they join 10,000 local people that use the financial cooperative to access its straightforward saving accounts as well as a range of other loan products and ethical financial
Why not see for yourself and apply for a Just Borrow loan by visiting the website www.justborrow.co.uk/cu/unify