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Plan wisely for Christmas

Posted on 1st October, 2014 by Lincoln Against Poverty

Christmas is traditionally a time when many feel the pinch so the Lincoln Against Poverty project has launched its festive ‘Say no to high cost borrowing’ campaign to help people manage their money and show where they can get help and advice if they need it.

Lincoln Against Poverty is co-ordinated by City of Lincoln Council and has the backing of a number of partners from across the city, from public, private, academic and voluntary sector bodies.

One of the partners, Lincolnshire Credit Union, a financial cooperative owned and controlled by its members, has joined the first stage of the four-month campaign. The organisation can offer loans, subject to approval, at significantly lower rates than pay day loans and high interest lenders and can also create savings accounts for people to help them put money away for the festive season.

Linda Burden, from Lincolnshire Credit Union, said: “Don’t overspend this Christmas and be left with debts you can’t afford to pay off.

“Stick to a few simple rules – plan ahead and don’t overspend, don’t get stressed out in a last-minute present buying frenzy, decide on a budget and stick to it, try not to feel pressurised by children and don’t go overdrawn without telling your bank in advance. You will be penalised quite heavily and this is a very expensive way to access credit.

“Why not join us next January; start saving and make Christmas 2015 an enjoyable and debt free Christmas.”

Councillor Rosanne Kirk, city council portfolio holder for community cohesion and social inclusion, said: “There are increased pressures today with the cost of living, many families are experiencing hardship, some families may find themselves in a situation where they borrow from high cost lenders, this will increase their debt.

“The City of Lincoln campaign ‘Say No to High cost borrowing’ is part of our anti-poverty strategy to make people aware of the dangers of borrowing from high cost lenders, to help people avoid high levels of debt.”

Councillor Karen Lee, Chair of the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee which has carried out a review into poverty in the city, said: “Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee undertook a two month review with partners looking at the issue of high interest lending.

“We heard about a number of cases where people have struggled paying back high interest loans. In the months leading up to, and immediately after Christmas, we want to let people know that if they struggle financially, there are organisations that can provide advice and support.

“October’s message signposts to Lincolnshire Credit Union which is based in City Hall, and is a source of responsible credit for many households.”

If you need more information from the credit union they can be contacted by visiting www.lincscreditunion.org or by calling 01522 873550.

You can download a copy of the poster below.

A4 poster