It’s no secret that times are tough for many young people in the UK. The cost of living is soaring, and securing credit has become increasingly challenging. As a result, some are forced to turn to less-than-savoury sources for financial help. A brand-new grime music video from Stop Loan sharks has been released, and it’s here to guide our young people away from the pitfalls of debt and loan sharks. Instead, it puts the spotlight on the amazing work of credit unions, revealing them as a safe and sustainable way to borrow and save.
The video tells the tale of Amy, a young woman who found herself in a financial difficulty after a rough breakup. But, thanks to a credit union, she managed to break free from the debt cycle and regain control of her financial life.
The head of IMLT, Tony Quigley, which investigates and prosecutes illegal lenders, is well aware of the financial struggles our young people face today, especially with online loan sharks. They might start off friendly, offering to take payments for online purchases. Then in the next breath, they’re offering high-interest loans and using intimidation tactics to get their money back.
But here’s the good bit: credit unions are the heroes in this story. They offer a safe and reliable way to borrow and save money. And this video? It’s a megaphone shouting this message loud and clear to our young people, steering them away from those illegal lenders and towards financial safety.
Theo Thompson, the content creation strategist at Nourish Social, knows this video is more than just a project; it’s a mission. It’s about changing perceptions and showing young people that credit unions offer promising financial pathways.
Robert Kelly, the CEO of ABCUL, adds that credit unions are changing with the times. Many are going digital, offering on-demand customer service, and attracting younger members. They provide a safety net for fair, affordable credit and help build financial resilience through savings, no matter how small.
In case you’re wondering, a credit union is like a financial co-op that offers savings, affordable loans, and various services to its members. The best part? It’s owned and run by the members themselves, so there’s no profit-driven agenda. The stats back it up too. There are 246 credit unions across England, Scotland, and Wales, with over 1.44 million members. Membership is on the rise, and loans and deposits are following suit. Between 2014 and 2022, the sector saw impressive growth.
A concerning fact from a recent Financial Lives survey found that 68% of 18 to 24-year-olds stopped saving or investing in the first half of 2023. Additionally, 19% of young adults had their financial services or products refused, compared to 15% of all UK adults.
Around 1.08 million people in the UK are still borrowing from loan sharks. That’s where the IMLT comes in, having supported over 31,000 people and written off over £91 million of illegal debt. They’ve also secured more than 410 prosecutions for illegal money lending.
So, if you’ve been affected by illegal money lending or know someone who has, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can call the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline at 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is even available on the website from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.
Let’s spread the word, and help our young people find a safer, more secure financial path. It’s time to say goodbye to loan sharks and hello to credit unions.
You can watch the video in full here: