Sheffield Money - I welcome this radical alternative to payday lenders
Sheffield Money has just launched. It’s an organisation challenging the high interest rates offered by pay-day lenders by promoting decent impartial financial advice to those who need it most.
Everyone knows you can’t always plan for the unexpected when on a low income. A tight budget means if your washing machine or your boiler breaks down you can come seriously unstuck. If things can’t wait it can be a disaster - and payday lenders and the rent-to-buy industry have been exploiting this insecurity for years. Whilst work has been done to regulate these lenders they still offer promises of “easy” cash loans to tide you over to your next pay-day, with unaffordable high interest rates; deceptively exploiting those who have limited options. If borrowers cannot afford the repayments, they often take out another loan and get caught in a spiral of debt.
Rent-to-buy often means customers pay dramatically more overall for basic white goods, such as fridges and washing machines, because they couldn’t afford to buy them in one go. It is clear a good alternative has been missing from the highstreet. It has become the norm that those who can least afford it pay more, being punished by the system for not being high earners.
Sheffield Money is a pioneering project that recognises the needs of those at risk of debt. It offers a huge range of products from various providers to challenge the exploitation in the market. Whether it’s an alternative for rent-to-buy white goods or more affordable short-term loans, this is the best challenge to pay-day lenders a city has ever provided.
Everyone who goes to Sheffield Money will get clear advice. The organisation acts as a not-for-profit, ensuring it will put a person’s financial well-being first. They will never offer an unaffordable product.
I will always fight for good jobs and higher wages so people can afford to support their families. To ignore how low-paid, unemployed or vulnerable people get ripped off by current providers in the here-and-now would be irresponsible though, and we should welcome any effort to support them. Sheffield Money offers a new way of working - so if you need advice or a different way to save via a credit union or help with your finances, why don’t you drop by.