There are only 22 weeks till Christmas

Council leaders promote credit unions
Council leaders promote credit unions

The local authority is reminding residents this week that Christmas doesn’t pay for itself, so it makes sense to join a credit union now.

Christmas can be an expensive time of year, and it makes sense to plan ahead. And athough Christmas happens every year, sometimes we don’t always act on our knowledge!

A spokesperson for Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “Now is the perfect time to start saving with your local credit union so that you can meet these costs. Building up savings is always a good idea, but especially when you know that at Christmas you are likely to have higher than normal outlays.

“There are two credit unions in Dumfries and Galloway: In the west, Stranraer Credit Union is available to people who live or work in Wigtownshire, and Solway Credit Union (based in Dumfries) covers the rest of the region. Why not join a credit union, set up a standing order to save regularly from now until Christmas, and watch your kitty grow? You might prefer to make a regular visit to the credit union office to pay in, or some employers can now deduct regular amounts for savings from your salary (please ask your employer). Your money is completely safe, and will be there whenever you need it.

“Credit unions are also a source of sensibly-priced loans. If you have been a saver for 13 weeks or more, and you find that you need to borrow, then you can apply for a loan (within limits). This might also help to spread the cost of Christmas, and much better to borrow from a local credit union than some other much more expensive lenders.”

Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Councillor Ronnie Nicholson, commented: “Christmas is an expensive time for everyone, so it makes good financial sense to plan ahead for the inevitable costs. The credit union is a safe way for people to save and borrow money. Dumfries and Galloway Council is committed to tackling the cause and effects of poverty in all its forms.

Colin Smyth, chair of the council’s welfare reform committee, said: “Through the committee, we have agreed to invest an additional £105,000 over a three-year period to ensure the development of Credit Unions.

“By supporting sensible saving and borrowing in this way, not only for Christmas, but all year round, we are encouraging people to take charge and improve their own finances.”

To find out more, you can contact Stranraer Credit Union, 25 Hanover Square, Stranraer DG9 7AG: 01776-706911; Stranraer_cu@tiscali.co.uk

Solway Credit Union, The Hub, 24-26 Friars Vennel, Dumfries DG1 2RL; 01387-267200; www.solwaycreditunion.co.uk (you can join online).