News

Season’s Greetings from Essex Savers

A Christmas decoration of greenery and golden balls with a poinsetia in the centre

Wishing all our members a Very Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for the coming year.

A huge thank you to our volunteers across Essex, Southend and Thurrock and those at Head Office. Essex Savers couldn’t function and provide our services in these areas without you – you are the “face” of Essex Savers where you are.

2016 has been a most successful year with continuing business growth - we have supported many more members with their financial needs.

2017 sees the start our five-year growth plan to double membership, savings and loans whilst improving access to our services. As the best publicity is “by word of mouth”, it is up to us as members ourselves to spread the good news of Essex Savers, its services and how we help individuals and organisations. Please let your family, friends and colleagues know about us over the holiday and encourage them to join. To achieve our goal for growth and therefore long term sustainability, we need many more members and increased savings to meet the high demand for affordable credit.

Alison Davies, our President, said:

“We are delighted with our achievements over the last year. The high demand for loans continues and we see each week how relatively small sums can help our members. Not only for those in crisis but also for those borrowing for more positive reasons like holidays, home improvements and business starts-up. Our members benefit from easy access to credit when needed so avoid taking high interest loans that cause over-indebtedness. They will also be building up savings as they do so.

“With membership at 5,000 and rising we have our staff and volunteer team and their excellent customer service to thank.”

Could you join us and become a local Essex Savers volunteer? Click here for more information.

Season’s Greetings from all of us at Essex Savers net Credit Union
and very best wishes for the New Year!

International Credit Union Day – The Authentic Difference

Thursday, 20 October is International Credit Union Day. And, just like other credit unions around the world, Essex Savers will be celebrating ICU Day by reflecting on everyone who has played their part in making the credit union movement such a vital component in the lives of more than 223 Million people.

A colourful advert for International Credit Union Day

This year’s theme is “The Authentic Difference.” Credit Unions demonstrate this difference every day in their ownership, their management and their ethics. Additionally, credit unions, like Essex Savers, apply the principle of “People before Profit”. And, as part of our way of supporting this principle, Essex Savers is pleased to continue to provide the Engage Classic Account and Visa debit card.

If you are looking for a more ethical way to bank and manage your money, as well as the opportunity to, maybe, make a little money from your account (rather than your bank making money out of you), then our Engage Classic Account and Visa debit card might just be what you’re looking for.

Engage Smartcash, which is the recently launched account for our Young Savers – aged 8 to 16, is another way that credit unions embrace and support what makes us different.

Finally, if you have a story to share about how our Essex Savers has made a difference to you, we would love to hear about it. Just click here to share your story.

Thank you for your continued membership and support.

Alison Davies
President
Essex Savers net Credit Union Limited

The Smartcash account is now available at Essex Savers

A grey-haired man and woman holding a large representation of a Smartcash debit cardThe Smartcash junior account is the great new way for credit union members aged 8-16 years old to receive their pocket money or other funds, then spend them safely on the high street or online.

Smartcash is a secure and convenient way for your child to learn financial independence and to understand the importance of responsible money management in an increasingly cashless world.

The account comes with a contactless Visa debit card, online account and a mobile app that allows your child to check balances, transactions and even send money to their credit union savings account. It also allows for parental supervision.

For full details and how to apply, just click here.
 

Banking returns to Walton on the Naze

A seafrontThe last bank in Walton on the Naze closed fifteen years ago. Now Essex Savers have opened a service point in the old bank building at 61 High Street, Walton on the Naze.

It was formally opened by Jack Robertson, Mayor of Frinton and Walton, and Alison Davies, Essex Savers’ President, last month. Initially it will be open on Thursdays between 1 pm and 4 pm. No money will be kept on the premises but new members will be able to join Essex Savers there and open accounts and existing members will be able to deposit savings and ask for withdrawals or loans.

This new service point has been made possible thanks to co-operation between Essex Savers and the Walton Forum, which now owns the building and operates a one-stop help and information centre there.

Want to start saving? Do it the SMART way!

We all save for different reasons. Some for a deposit for a new home. Some for a dream holiday. Some for our children’s future. And some, simply, for the peace of mind of having a rainy day (emergency) fund.

A pretty young woman shaking a pink piggy bankWhatever your reason, picking something that matters to you most is the best way to ensure that you stick to your savings goals. Using the “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) approach should give you the inspiration needed to keep you on track. And, added to this, the proven way of reaching your savings goal is to save regularly.

So, saying “I want to save £900 to take the kids to Disneyland Paris next summer” is a much better way to ensure you stick to your savings goal than saying “I want to save for a family holiday.”

Or saying, “In case I lose my job, I want to have 3 months’ salary in my Emergency Fund” is better than saying “I’m just saving for a Rainy Day.”

Also, setting up a regular payment, say straight from your salary or by Standing Order will help your savings fund grow – without you having to remember to make the payment every month. And, as you’ll see from the table below, saving even a small amount can quickly add up.

Savings
per week
Value after
1 year
Value after
2 years
Value after
3 years
Value after
4 years
Value after
5 years
£5£260£520£780£1,040£1,300
£10£520£1,040£1,560£2,080£2,600
£20£1,040£2,080£3,120£4,160£5,200
£50£2,600£5,200£7,800£10,400£13,000

If you are an existing Essex Savers member and would like to save “straight from your salary”, follow the link below to our Payroll Deduction Service page – where you can find all the information and forms needed to save this way. Alternatively, if you would prefer to save by Standing Order you can download the form by clicking the appropriate link below. Another option is to visit one of our Service Points and pay by cash.

If you are not yet a member with us, it is very easy to join. Our Individual Membership page will tell you all you need to know.

At Essex Savers we want to encourage people to save rather than borrow and we believe that saving SMART and regularly is a great way to do this. You can find details of all our savings accounts by clicking here.

Our Rent Direct account can help keep the roof over your head

As the old saying goes, “The only constant in life is change.” And, one of the biggest changes recently, has been the introduction of Universal Credit. The aim of Universal Credit is to support people who are on a low income or out of work, and helps ensure that they are better off in work than on benefits.

Over time Universal Credit will replace Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. It will also be paid monthly, in arrears – as one, single, payment.

Outline of family with outline of house behind themOne of the lesser-known changes under Universal Credit is that Housing Benefit will no longer be paid straight to the landlord. Under Universal Credit, Housing Benefit money will be paid direct to the tenant – who will then have personal responsibility for ensuring their rent is paid.

Whilst many tenants will cope perfectly fine with this change, a substantial number may, for various reasons, find this change challenging as well as inconvenient. Clearly, this loss of control will also be a concern for many landlords. Perhaps even making them think twice about accepting tenants on Benefits?

This is where our Rent Direct account could provide the answer.

By having your Universal Credit/Housing Benefit/Housing Allowance – and any other monies required - paid directly into your Essex Savers Rent Direct account, you and your landlord can relax in the knowledge that – provided there is enough money in the account - your rent will paid on time and in full.

To learn more about the Rent Direct account, and for the documents required to open one, just click here.

Essex Savers continues to welcome UNISON members

UNISON logoIn 2014, Unison the union set up a credit union service, which offers UNISON members access to low-interest loans and a range of savings products through their UK network of partner credit unions.

Essex Savers are pleased to be one of the original UNISON partners and invite UNISON members living or working in Essex to join the credit union, open a savings account and consider us if you need a loan.

To find out more about becoming a member plus the convenience of making your savings and loan payments via our Payroll deduction service - just click on the appropriate buttons to the left. To read the information from UNISON, click their logo.

Pupils at Gateway Primary Free School get into banking

Essex Savers logo            Gateway Learning Community logo

We are delighted that pupils from the Gateway Primary Free School, in partnership with Essex Savers, have started their very own bank scheme that acts as a savings club for children and young people up to the age of 16 years old.

This is a brilliant initiative that will give pupils a good grounding in economic, social and individual development. The experiences they gain from being part of this initiative will also help prepare them for the demands that every day adult life will place upon them.

To read the full story on the school’s own website, please click here. If your school would be interested in starting an Essex Savers Savings Club, please email us at manager@essexsavers.co.uk.

An easier way to make your savings and loan payments

A payroll folder, pen and calculatorDid you know that you can make your savings and / or loan payments straight from your salary? Well, you can. Not only is this a simple and convenient way to make your payments – it can also save us administration time and money. Which means we have more time to help people and, more money to help them with. A win-win situation. So, all you have to do is fill out one form, pass it to your Payroll Department and leave the rest to us. For more details and to download the authority form, just click here.