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South Manchester Credit Union chief interviewed for BBC Breakfast

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09 Nov 18

Chief Executive of South Manchester Credit Union, Sheenagh Young was interviewed on BBC Breakfast this week discussing the benefits of a credit union Christmas savings account and how best to manage your finances in lead up to the festive period.

Credit unions have a long history of supporting their members with savings accounts and lending facilities when heading into what for many families is the most expensive time of the year. Statistics show that across the credit union sector, the lead-up to Christmas is the busiest period for outflows of savings and new lending. 

This week the BBC highlighted that ‘One in five people have already done their Christmas shopping’ and Sheenagh was invited to the Breakfast show to give an insight to how a credit unions help their members plan for the annual festivities.

Speaking to a national audience, Sheenagh said: “Since 2008, and the pressures that have been on people’s wages, people have gradually become more and more organised for Christmas because they have needed to.

“They have needed to plan ahead and stretch their finances as much as possible. It is a big pressure for the perfect Christmas. I think on the positive side a lot of the families really make it a priority to make Christmas special for their children. They work for it all year and they want it to be memorable, something really special for them.

“Credit unions are there for ordinary families to afford their lives and we offer savings and loans. On the savings side, we see that people save regularly throughout the year for Christmas. We have a Christmas club and people put aside regular amounts and find that they have got a nest egg available for them for the Christmas period.

“Obviously we also see people borrowing as well. I was checking the numbers for our credit union and for the month of October the loan applications are up 31% 2018 on October 2017. So we are seeing an increase of people coming earlier, getting their finances organised much earlier than in previous years. I think of one the key messages for us is to encourage people to avoid high cost credit and to get as organised as they can, not to spend more than they have and not to avoid loan sharks and payday loans.

“The key things are what money can’t buy and it is better to take care of your financial wellbeing and think more long-term, not to think I have got to have something perfect now, but to think ahead to next year as well”.

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