Credit Union volunteers in town

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Volunteers from the Wisbech Rainbow Savers Credit Union, set up earlier this year because of the imminent introduction of Universal Credit, will be in Wisbech Market Place on Saturday (June 22) to answer queries.

Rainbow Savers operates weekly from the Oasis Community Centre on Mondays and the Rosmini Centre on Tuesdays. However, the Oasis Rainbow Savers will be changing its times to Thursdays from noon to 2pm starting in July. This change is to see if this time is more convenient to residents – given the number of Bank Holidays there are on Mondays.

The purpose of Wisbech Rainbow Savers is to help members save regularly, lend at very low rates of interest and provide advice and support to help members to look after their money.

From October, universal credit will start to be introduced nationally. New benefit claims will be for universal credit instead of income support, Job Seeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance or housing benefit.

Universal credit will contain similar allowances towards rent, which will usually be paid directly to residents instead of being paid directly to a landlord. One of the many benefits of joining Wisbech Rainbow Savers is that members can open an account enabling their rent to be paid directly into that and then on to their landlord (including any housing association such as Roddons). When Universal Credit starts, it will be paid monthly in arrears and not in advance. It’s really important that people are prepared for this as benefit.

If people don’t have bank accounts or have not set up a Wisbech Rainbow Savers account, they will be receiving a lump sum each month for their rent etc.

“We are particularly worried that people are being asked to budget extremely carefully and quite suddenly and if they need to borrow money to feed and clothe their families they may resort to the payday loan companies who are charging obscene interest rates,” said Virginia Bucknor.

“That there are now 72,000 of them shows a market growing at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, the Government has just scrapped its own crisis loan scheme. Wisbech Rainbow Savers can help people who have no bank account or who find budgeting challenging to save regularly and provide them with support and loans at very low rates,” she added.