Salford Credit Union is offering £1 million for locals to lend in order to rebuild the community during the current pandemic.

Salford Credit Union has also joined forces with seven other credit unions across Greater Manchester to offer £15 million to millions across GM in the initiation of their COVID recovery plan.

Chief executive of Salford Credit Union, Sheila Murtagh said: “With all the credit unions in greater Manchester, we all share a common goal to try and help everybody and help people get better off and that’s why we work together.

“It is very much about looking after our members and local people, so that’s what we’re doing in Salford but also across Greater Manchester.”

She adds: “It is all about trying to help people in Salford and to put them in a better place financially.”

The Sound Pound Consortium that is made up of these credit unions want to show these communities that they are there to help during these uncertain times.

“We really wanted to try and get our message out there, because a lot of people have never heard of credit unions so a lot of people go to high cost lenders instead and have to pay a lot more interest rate,” whereas Salford Credit Union actually “help customers save”, says Sheila.

“A lot of our members have been with us for 20 years and we’re seeing that some people are having their hours cut or going onto furlough, so we help them through that,” she adds.

Salford Credit Union are a non-profit co-operative and have currently got around 3800 members, including juniors – they hope by doing this they are able to help people who are financially struggling due to the impact of COVID and to provide a vital boost to their economy.

What are Credit Unions?

  • They are ethical, non-for-profit organisations.
  • They help people save for the future and become financially independent.
  • They put people first and to help anyone that needs financial support.

Sheila says: “If someone’s washing machines breaks or if they need new school uniform then, with these smaller loans, we can often help.”

She adds: “Its very much about trying to help local people and not rip them off!”

When asked whether the pandemic has had a direct correlation with the number of loans being taken out, Sheila says: “We have had some more loans (since the pandemic hit) but it varies each month.

“Certainly what we did see was people, where they could afford to save, were actually trying to put savings away because nobody knows how long this is going on for.”

Sheila says: “We thought people might be taking all their savings out, but that hasn’t happened, so that also does mean we have money to lend out to people, so it is all local money.”

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