Supporting responsible lending

Cllr Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council's Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities

Calderdale Council is continuing its support for those struggling financially and is working with the Calderdale Credit Union to offer access to advice and help, including responsible borrowing options.

The Council is part of the Calderdale Money and Debt Forum, a subgroup of the Anti Poverty Partnership made up of local partners and chaired by Citizens Advice Calderdale, which meets regularly to address a wide range of issues related to finance.

Members of the forum identified that there are currently limited options for affordable credit, particularly for low-income families. To help address this issue, the Council is funding a new loan scheme, allowing local people to access small loans through the Calderdale Credit Union.

The Council recognises that well-managed and responsible credit can be an important financial tool, promoting structure and good money management. The Credit Union loan scheme would allow residents to borrow between £50 and £250 for a maximum term of 12 months, at a low interest rate, offering a safe and reliable alternative to other short-term lending options.

Those applying for a loan would also be required to save at least £1 per week with the Credit Union, alongside repayment of the loan. Financial incentives would be offered to further support people to save, with a credit of £5 automatically applied to accounts.

When a member manages to save £25, this amount would be matched with an extra £25 paid in by the England Illegal Money Lending Team(external link) (IMLT), also known as Stop Loan Sharks. The IMLT investigates and prosecutes loan sharks and supports borrowers. It uses money confiscated from illegal lenders under the Proceeds of Crime Act to fund incentives like this to encourage people to save and increase their financial resilience.

Anyone affected by illegal lending can call the Stop Loan Sharks team on a 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222 or access support through the website link). There is a Live Chat facility on the website, available 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.

For more information about this scheme, email  or call the Credit Union on 01422 386060.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said:

“We understand that the cost of living crisis is having a real impact on Calderdale residents, with household costs remaining high and budgets continuing to be stretched.

“When people are already struggling, unexpected costs can cause serious financial pressures, which can result in people turning to high-cost, short-term credit options such as payday lenders or loan sharks. The high interest rates of these options can lead to people experiencing a spiral of debt, from which it can be difficult to recover.

“We’re working with the Calderdale Credit Union to offer an alternative to these lenders, with a new loan scheme offering responsible lending, with the benefits of additional financial incentives to support and encourage saving.”

Simone Armitage, General Manager at Calderdale Credit Union, said:

“Calderdale Credit Union are pleased to working alongside other agencies to help support those affected by the cost of living crisis. 

“We are an ethical not-for-profit financial organisation and our services are available to those who live and work in Calderdale.

“A small interest free loan can, at times, serve a purpose in the short term, but longer term our members find starting a savings plan proves beneficial. Those savings don’t have to be huge amounts, but when done on regular basis, can grow into something substantial, and that can come in handy for a rainy day.”

Supporting responsible borrowing is just one of the ways the Council is helping local residents through the cost of living crisis. There’s lots of advice and support available on the Council’s Money and Wellbeing pages, Help and support with money | Calderdale Council. The Council also works with local partners, through the borough’s Anti-Poverty Partnership to coordinate work to ensure it best supports the borough’s most vulnerable residents. The work of the Anti-Poverty Partnership supports the Council’s priority to reduce inequalities and the Vision2024 for Calderdale to be a place where you can reach your potential and live a larger life. Find out more at

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