Derbyshire County Council is opening up credit union collection points in its libraries to encourage residents to use them to start saving and as a source of safe, affordable loans.
The council recently approved £360,000 to help credit unions provide loans to more residents on low incomes who may be tempted by payday loan companies and other high risk borrowing.
And it has now opened up collection points for Bolsover-based 2 Shires Credit Union at its libraries in Clowne, Creswell and Shirebrook making it easier for people to visit.
Collection points are locations where people can save a small amount each week and for those with credit union loans to make repayments.
Coun Dave Allen, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities, said: “Credit unions are playing an increasingly important role in supporting people in times of financial difficulty by encouraging saving and providing access to affordable credit.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer three of our libraries as collection points to make it easier for residents to use the service and are now looking at the possibility of bringing in other branches.”
2 Shires Credit Union currently has 400 members in Derbyshire. It is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm and plans to extend its opening hours from next month
Credit unions encourage people to save as well as offer access to instant loans of modest amounts up to around £500. Repayments can be made by cash, by standing order from a bank or secured by direct deduction from benefit payments to help prevent debt.
All applicants are assessed on their current ability to repay and will be advised about other sources of financial support if a loan is not the best option for them.
For more information visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/debtandbenefits and www.derbyshire.gov.uk/welfarerights