Spring clean your finances and take control

The number of people living with low financial resilience – whether due to too much debt, low savings and low or erratic earnings – is rising according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

More than five million adults have reported they are likely to cut back on essentials or use a food bank while 16 per cent expect to take on more debt to cope with hardship.

However, Gingerbread, the charity for single-parent families, and StepChange, the debt charity, have identified in a new report that the two million single parents in the UK are more likely than any other sector of society to be living with problem debt.

The research also shows that single parents were unable to work their way out of debt. In fact, those who worked full-time were more likely to be in problem debt, particularly for the short-term, with increased childcare costs being the main reason.

Financial resilience training sessions for residents

With spring ahead and some lockdown restrictions lifting, we thought this was a good opportunity to work with our partner London Plus Credit Union to deliver a range of free financial wellbeing sessions and services. Cheryl Gale, the chief executive officer of London Plus, says "We have successfully delivered these financial wellbeing sessions across other organisations by demystifying the world of finance and supporting people to understand how they can really take control of their finances."

We hope the sessions will help our residents build financial resilience and draw them away from problem debt.

Session 1 - Understanding your credit rating, 20 May
The session will delve into what information a lender can find out about you when you apply for a loan and how they make credit decisions based on many aspects of your life. The session will give you tips on improving your credit rating and highlight how you can take control of your credit score.

Session 2 - Responsible borrowing: good vs bad debt, 22 June
This session will offer tips on making the right choices when it comes to borrowing. It will highlight the difference between good vs bad debt and the potential consequences of the decisions you make.

Session 3 - Developing good savings habits, 14 July
This session will look at how to start building financial resilience through regular savings. It will concentrate on protecting you against unexpected financial shocks and help you meet the costs of kids’ holidays, school uniforms or Christmas.

The sessions will be online.

Register your interest for any (or all) sessions here.

Special bonus offer for our residents

We’re continuing to offer help to families by offering an alternative to high-cost lenders on those occasions when they need a short-term loan**. You might wish to apply for a loan to cover an unexpected cost such as household item breaking down, children’s clothing or to repay an overdraft or an unexpected bill.

If you are eligible**, you can borrow up to £500 over a 40-week term payable by using your child benefit as a direct form of repayment. An automatic £1 per week will be set aside to a savings account and on the basis you repay the loan set within the loan agreement, we will top up your savings by an additional £80. This is all administered through our partner London Plus Credit Union who are fully regulated and are responsible lenders.

NHG Family Loan

  • No credit check
  • £500 over 40 weeks at £14.35 per week with an additional £1 per week savings
  • Total cost of credit £573.76 (£500 + £73.76 Interest)
  • Repayments by child benefit only
  • NHG will pay an additional lump sum of £80***
  • Apply here

If you are feeling anxious about potentially overspending and have built up problem debts that you are struggling to repay, then it’s important to seek advice from a Government funded debt agency such as DebtFree.London or Stepchange.org for sound advice.

**Loans are subject to eligibility and affordability assessments. Terms and conditions apply, 42.6% APR.

***Savings bonus is only offered to tenants where they have met the repayment as set out in the loan agreement. This is a time limited offer and is subject to availability

A credit union is a financial institution authorised and by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm No 473340