Clevr Money loans out £2m in 2020

CLEVR Money, the credit union for the Fylde Coast and Preston, issued 3,000 loans for a total of £2m in the year ending September 2020.

The Blackpool-based organisation provides loans of between £200 and £15,000 which can be used for everything from paying every day bills to home improvements and debt consolidation.

As a credit union, loan interest rates are capped to ensure local people have access to fair and affordable credit.

Membership grew over the year, from 5,332 to 5,654, and total savings grew 11 per cent from £4m, to £4.4m. As loans are made from the savings pot, the £484,000 income generated was reinvested back into the business; this was up 44 per cent from £336,000 in 2019.

As a not-for-profit organisation, the year’s success also allowed for a dividend of 0.5 per cent to be paid out to its shareholders; those members who have savings with the credit union. Around 40 per cent of members are employees of Payroll Partner organisations, companies which join up to provide their staff with the benefits of credit union membership.

Ron Bell, president of the CLEVR Money board, said: "Recent difficulties and uncertainties have created an understandable reticence to borrow money on the one hand, and a greater need for cash on the other. As a credit union, our role is to cater to the needs of the community and respond to the realities of people’s lives, and be there to support whatever requirements they have.

"In 2020 we saw more lower value loans taken out by people needing cash for day-to-day expenses, and responded with the launch of the smaller child benefit loans for cash-strapped families.

"We also saw growth in the number and value of home improvement loans taken out by homeowners investing in their properties. And we noted a significant number of higher value loans for debt consolidation, which is a sensible solution for those struggling to manage multiple repayments at a time of uncertainty and job insecurity."

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