Expensive loans are not the only answer

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Expensive loans are not the only answer Expensive loans are not the only answer

The recent reports that payday lending company Wonga was sending out fake solicitor letters to cash-strapped customers who couldn’t afford their fees to frighten them is just further evidence of why people should take great care before borrowing money from a payday lender.

Of course most of us have to borrow money from time to time, but there are real alternatives to paying the cripplingly high interest rates that are charged by all payday loan companies.

The good news is that the whole of London is now covered by a network of credit unions, which are financial cooperatives, owned and democratically controlled by their members.

Credit unions allow people to start saving small amounts of money, but also to borrow money at reasonable interest rates.

They are a real alternative to payday lenders, let alone illegal door-step lenders.

Joining a credit union makes sense for everyone. The more people who belong to a credit union the less opportunities there will be for the likes of Wonga, other payday loan companies and loan sharks.

Stephen Knight AM Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member

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