Managing your money in uncertain times

With the costs of living rises having more of an impact on our finances, many people will be struggling or feeling the pinch, and may want to alleviate the burden by borrowing money.

If you are starting to feel your finances are out of control, there are ways you can take charge of your money with the right advice and support. We would advocate speaking to a professional money advisor before things get out of hand. You can arrange this by contacting Renfrewshire Citizens Advice or Advice Works, particularly if you believe you may be entitled to benefits.

The Money and Pensions Service Money Helper website is a great resource with helpful money guides on everything from living on a squeezed income to talking to your creditor if you are struggling to manage loan repayments. You can find all of their guides here.

Other credit sources

If you have tried to get a loan or been refused, and even refused a credit union loan other responsible lenders may let you borrow a smaller amount than a bank will give.

As with all financial providers, they will have their own terms and conditions for credit so make sure you are aware of where to find this information and have read them over. Help can be available from the Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau money teams.

Conduit is a responsible lender offering fair and affordable personal loans and presents an alternative solution to high-cost credit. The maximum you can borrow is £1500.

Conduit takes its responsibilities and commitment to its customers and stakeholders very seriously. They support individuals, families and communities by offering lower-cost, affordable, and flexible loans that best fit the circumstances of each individual. Everyone is different and everyone has a different story. That’s why their team considers all applications regardless of credit history and they are regulated and monitored by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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Is There An Alternative To Borrowing Money? Yes, there is, with Fair For You

Fair For You offers fair, flexible affordable loans for household essentials. You can shop online for household goods such as fridges, washing machines, beds, prams, car seats and furniture.

If, for example, your washing machine breaks down and you need a replacement quickly, you shop as normal on their site, then at checkout go through their credit application form.

Goods can be paid for on a weekly, fortnightly, four-weekly or monthly basis. Their representative interest rate, at 51% per annum fixed, equivalent to 64.8% APR, is much less than High Street rent to buy stores. They can also uplift old items.

You also own the product rather than just rent it from them, and they will deliver it within a few working days and can uplift old items.

Take a look at how Fair for You help their customers in this short video and join the Fair for You credit revolution.

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Shop at Iceland with Fair For You Food Club Card

With the Food Club Card you can stock up your freezer at Iceland, both online and in-store, using a preloaded card to spread the cost of your household groceries.

  1. Apply for an initial top up of between £25.00 – £75.00
  2. If your application is successful, you will receive an email response to confirm you have been approved. Many customers receive a decision within an hour (when they’re open)
  3. You will receive your preloaded card within 5-7 business days & then you can use the balance on your card to shop in store or online at Iceland.
  4. Repayments are set at £10.00 per week and you can choose which day of the week your repayments come out
  5. You can take out further credit for additional Iceland shops (up to 6 times per year if approved) up to a total limit of £100 outstanding at any one time
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How to switch to a social tariff

Ofcom has highlighted the startling fact that out of the 4.3 million households on Universal Credit, less than 6% have switched to a ‘social tariff for broadband.’ The price comparison website FasterBroadband compares broadband deals from national providers and also offers a social tariff comparison facility. You can filter eligibility criteria and contract terms.

If you’re not eligible

If you do not meet the criteria for a social tariff broadband, try a price comparison website like FasterBroadband. By entering your postcode into the broadband availability checker, you can filter the results by first-year cost and preferred provider.

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The Responsible Finance website has a search function here which gives you options for fair credit in your area

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