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About us :: Community investment

The High Cost Competition

The most active high interest lenders, both nationally and locally, are the 'doorstep lending' companies Provident and Greenwoods. As the description implies their agents call door-to-door lending and collecting. Between them they employ 19,000 agents nationally and are reputed to have £3,000,000 out on loan in West Cumbria at an APR of 272%.

Some doorstep lenders charge so much interest that a £500 loan will cost another £410 in interest. Use our loan sliders to see how much you could save by taking a loan from a credit union loan.

Ultra High Cost PayDay Loans

There has recently been a rapid increase in 'Pay-day loan' providers, both on the High St and via the internet. These companies (e.g. 'Wonga') typically charge 2,000% APR, although the local CAB has come across an example at 6,000% APR.

Furthermore there are an increasing number of retailers such as 'BrightHouse' that offer finance for their goods on weekly repayments with high APRs that can significantly increase the cost of the original item.

YES - Your Essentials Service

The YES scheme provides an affordable alternative to high street weekly payment stores, high cost doorstep lenders and payday lenders. Find out more here

Our response

By 1st January 2014 Allerdale Credit Union had approximately £370,000 out on loan locally, generating £6,000 in monthly interest. Had this amount been lent by a 'doorstep lender' the monthly cost in interest would be £25,000.

The Allerdale Credit Union is currently saving local households £19,000 a month - or £230,000 per annum. This is £19,000 a month that is kept within the local economy, supporting local traders, businesses and employment opportunities.

Why save with us?

  • Your shares give you access to affordable credit.
  • The more money ACU holds as shares, the more we can help local people by offering affordable loans. Every £500 you save with the ACU stops another £300 exiting the local economy.

Why borrow from us?

  • Our Standard Loan product and our 'Handy Loans' are considerably cheaper than the high interest lenders mentioned above.
  • Apart from the core funding support we receive from Cumbria County Council and other funders, our only source of income is the interest we receive on the loans we advance. Even if you have access to cheaper loans than ours, borrowing from us is the best possible way to support our efforts to alleviate financial hardship in Allerdale.
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