Castlebar Credit Union urges people to avoid moneylenders

Castlebar Credit Union urges people in the Castlebar area to avoid the use of moneylenders this Christmas. Castlebar Credit Union is on hand to help you through the Christmas season.

Many of us get caught up with the extra expenses of Christmas - we have all been guilty at some point of overspending during this holiday season. It is easy to feel pressured to overspend and get caught up in panic buying which may result in many families being financially stretched beyond their means, or having to borrow - in some cases from moneylenders.

But this does not have to be the case, says Castlebar Credit Union which today launched its annual Christmas campaign. The campaign urges the public to avoid borrowing beyond their means to avoid a sack full of debt in the New Year. Christmas really is about giving, not stretching the family finances. Families can be savvy when it comes to shopping for Christmas. For example, starting early and avoiding last minute 'panic buying' can really help keep costs low and provide the family member sufficient time to search for the best deal.

The Irish League of Credit Unions is fighting back against the dangers of using moneylenders; People are legally being charged up to 188.5 per cent interest on such loans by legal moneylenders – even worse by illegal money lenders.

In 2012, the Irish League of Credit Unions found that Irish consumers spend €527 on average at Christmas. More than half of consumers (56 per cent ) expected to experience a shortfall in spending over the Christmas. Twenty five per cent believed that they would end up paying for Christmas well into the New Year because of extra financial expense. Thirty one per cent worried about where they would get the money to pay for extra expenses for Christmas. Manager Anne King, said: “We are warning people in the Castlebar area not to be tempted into using moneylenders, due to the extremely high rate of interest charged. Also watch out for credit card debt, as a high rate of interest will be charged to balances that are not cleared on time every month. In addition, we want to encourage people to plan ahead and avoid this situation in the future. Contact their credit union early in the New Year and start a Christmas savings account for next year. This way you can put a little bit away every month towards next year’s Christmas expenses.”

She added: “Setting a Christmas spending budget is more important now than ever, as is writing a list. This will allow people to be in a better position to keep a tight rein on the Christmas shopping costs. Our team of staff will be happy to sit down with you at any stage and talk to you about a budget plan, or if needed a small loan at a reasonable rate of interest. Talk to your credit union first.”

For further information contact: Castlebar Credit Union on 094 9022969, email [email protected], or call into the offices at Market Square.

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