The region’s leading credit union has offered five tips to help people manage their finances through the coronavirus pandemic.
HEY Credit Union has closed its branches across the Humber region, including one in Brook Street, Hull, to help stop the spread of the virus.
The not-for-profit savings and loans organisation, which has 15,000 members and junior savers, is continuing to take on new members, opening savings accounts and granting loans to members using alternative contact methods.
The union issued five pieces of advice for Hull residents.
1 Seek out Government help
“The first step for anybody is to seek out and follow Government advice,” said a spokesperson for the organisation. “The Government has provided a range of support schemes for people who have suffered financially as a result of coronavirus, whether self-employed, furloughed or claiming benefits.
2 Avoid payday lenders
“No matter how bad things get, we would always strongly advise against turning to expensive, short-term credit options such as payday lenders or worse, loan sharks. These people seek to prey on the most vulnerable in society and often it can lead to a debt spiral that becomes hard to escape. Remember your local credit union will try to help as much as they can, with much fairer conditions.
3 Speak to your creditors
“If you are struggling to pay money due on mortgages, loans or credit cards, speak to your provider. They are likely to be more understanding in the current climate, and you can apply for payment holidays to give yourself more breathing space.
4 Beware scammers
“It may seem hard to believe, but people are posing online as banks, the HMRC and even the NHS to try and scam people out of their money. Always remember to stay vigilant, and never click on links that seem unusual, or give personal details to anybody that you are not completely sure about.
5 Save if you can
“Finally, if you’ve been lucky enough to have your income unaffected by coronavirus, now is the time to put away the extra money saved on transport and other expenses into a savings account. You could do worse than saving with a credit union which exists to support the local community.”
Chief executive John Smith said: “The HEY Credit Union team is working hard behind the scenes to make sure our members can continue to access their accounts, transfer funds and apply for loans during this difficult time for everyone.
“If members’ finances have been affected because of coronavirus, we are encouraging them to get in touch. We are here to listen and try to find helpful solutions.”