Here We Are A Year On

How are you feeling a year on?

Well here we are a year on from the start of the pandemic and, I don’t know about you, but I am beginning to feel there is a light at then end of this tunnel. Everyone I speak to has mixed emotions of excitement and caution.

Excitement because we have not been so close to being able to meet up with friends and family, get back to work or go on holiday. Cautious because it has been some time since we felt able to go about our daily business the precautions of masks, social distancing and hand sanitising.

Still open for business

We are proud that we have never had to close for business in the last year. Our branch may have had shorter opening hours, but use of our online services has more than doubled. Over 4,000 of our members manage their Hoot account via the App or member area. Members have had uninterrupted service during this time and we have had over 1,000 new members join us.

Are you suffering financially?

Sadly, many members have suffered financially during the year and have fallen behind with loan repayments. For those who have contacted us, we have been able to find a way to help them get through this difficult period. It may be just a short-term thing that we can help with; or if something more serious where we can point you in the right direction.  If you find you have fallen behind, please don’t ignore it contact us; I am sure we can find a way to help.

Credit unions value their members and are here to help so we dislike taking any kind of action with regard to people who cannot pay their loan. The money you have borrowed comes from the savings pot of other members. We therefore have a responsibility to help you to pay us back. You should remember that, if you do not repay your loan, your credit rating will be affected and you may find it harder to get credit in the future.

Don’t ignore it

If you find you are getting overwhelmed with debt don’t be tempted to go to a debt management company or dive straight into an IVA without getting free advice first. Not doing this may cost you dearly and you could end of paying more to the DMC in fees than you are paying to reduce your debt.  Contact an organisation that gives free advice such as Stepchange or Payplan who can help you to get the best solution for you, because they are not taking a fee.

Our help pages have lots of information about managing your money including contact numbers.

Finally, money worries are one of the biggest causes of stress. Make an appointment with your GP or go online to and type ‘money worries’ into the search box for advice Often just talking to someone about your worries helps a lot.

Wishing our members a safe and worry-free Easter.

26 Mar 2021

Author: David Batten, CEO
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