Councillor uses Twitter to back Wisbech’s new credit union

Councillor Virginia Bucknor

Councillor Virginia Bucknor - Credit: Archant

A FENLAND councillor has used the social networking site Twitter to support the new Wisbech credit union, after hearing about the plight of woman who borrowed £500 at Christmas, and is faced with repaying almost triple that amount.

Shocked to hear about the high interest rate charged by a doorstep lender, Councillor Virgina Bucknor sent out a Tweet about the woman having to repay £25 a week on a £500 loan until next Christmas - the repayment totalling £1,300.

Cllr Bucknor said: “This lady said to me she wished had known about any pitfalls before she borrowed the money.”

On Twitter, Cllr Bucknor also gave details on Twitter about the opening hours of the Wisbech Rainbow Savers Credit Union, which opens on Mondays afternoons at The Oasis Centre and at The Rosmini Centre on Tuesday afternoons.

Keen to stress the lower levels of interest charged by the new credit union, Mrs Bucknor says a doorstep lender would charge 254 per cent APR on a £300 loan over 50 weeks - with the borrower having to repay an extra £225.

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But the new Wisbech Rainbow Savers would charge 26.8 per cent APR on a £300 loan over 37 weeks, with the interest totalling £30.56.

“I want to show the difference in interest payments,” said Cllr Bucknor, a member of Wisbech Town Council and Fenland District Council. “The credit union wants to encourage saving. It is offering an alternative safe service. If a mother agrees to puts her child allowance into an account regularly, she can apply for a loan immediately.

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“As an added incentive to join, the first 100 members who join and save regularly for at least two weeks will have £25 added to their account.”

Normally, a member has to save for 13 weeks before they can qualify for a loan.

Cllr Bucknor - who wants to take the message about saving into local schools - says she is “delighted” with the response to Wisbech Savers, a new branch of the Rainbow Saver Anglia Credit Union, backed by Fenland District Council and with strong support from Wisbech councillors. A team of about 25 volunteers has been trained to run the new service.

“We are chuffed and honoured that these people have made this commitment,” she said. “They are all so keen , and have helped the credit union get off to a great start.”

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