Linda Wells, housing and community services director for Bracknell Forest Homes, which is organising the initiative along with the borough council, said: “The credit union is a safe and secure option for managing monthly finances.
“We hope many residents will find the service very useful to manage their priority bills such as rent.” The credit union will also set up so-called 'jam jar accounts’ for members, whereby members pay money into one account, divided in different sections, such as rent, food and energy bills.
It is helpful for monthly budgeting, with bills paid to the relevant organisations owed money and any remaining money paid into a separate account. The cost of having a jam jar account is £5 a month.
Residents can visit the credit union service on the following days: l Bracknell Forest Homes (Berk-shire Court) on Mondays between 9.30am and 1.30pm (for jam jar accounts and inquiries only) l Bracknell Town Council (Brooke House, High Street opposite Bentalls) on Wednesdays, from 9.30am-1.30pm l Other venues including children’s centres on a regular basis – call 01344 382833 for details.
Bracknell Forest residents joining the scheme will be part of the United Savings and Loans credit union, set up in Hampshire in 2001.
The credit union will also provide loans to people.
Although the interest rates are generally higher than high street banks – as much as 42.9% APR to borrow less than £2,000 – Bracknell Forest Homes says the credit union’s lending criteria is less strict than the banks.
Residents can call Reece Norman on 01344 382853 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to apply for the credit union or visit www.usal.org.uk Bracknell Forest Homes will cover the membership costs for 100 of its tenants for the first year.
To find out more, residents can visit Bracknell Town Council’s Brooke House office between 9.30am and 1pm.