14 April 2016
Sheffield Money has helped more than 1,500 people in its first seven months. Now the company has developed new products in response to the insight it’s gained into Sheffielders’ debt since opening.
Rob Shearing, Sheffield Money’s Chief Executive, said: “We’re seeing huge levels of debt in our city. Four out of five people applying for a loan have significant unsecured defaulted debt and for one in four, it’s more than £6,000.
“This is crippling. We’ve seen people who have spent all their money on repayments as they’re constantly being hounded by creditors, and they haven’t eaten in days because there’s no money left for food. What’s really shocking is it’s young people we’re seeing the most of, many of whom are in work with young families.
“Sheffield Money opened to do something about this and provide a cheaper and fairer alternative for the people of Sheffield. We’ve developed new products to respond to what we’re seeing and we are here to help.”
Sheffield Money has supported people to access loans worth more than £90,000 in its first seven months, with most people borrowing around £500. Taken over 11 months, a typical repayment is £12.50 per week compared to more than £21 if they’d gone one of the many high cost lenders charging much higher interest rates. The organisation has also provided people with money and debt advice and set up bank and savings accounts.
Now the company offers debt solutions which can put an immediate stop to constant calls from creditors. It also offers new loans which are cheaper than more expensive online payday lenders, but with the same convenience that people value. Customers are now able to apply online at Sheffield Money and have money in their bank accounts within approximately 20 minutes.
Rob added: “People are using short-term loans to bridge the gap until payday so we developed a cheaper online alternative. The loans have higher interest rates than our other products but they’re still significantly less than many money-lending companies.
Jonathon Booth, aged 31 from Woodhouse, used Sheffield Money to get a loan. He’d just started a new job so stopped receiving benefits but was waiting to get paid and needed money for food. He got this through a loan from Sheffield Money which he also used to pay off a County Court Judgment debt.
Jonathon said: “Without Sheffield Money it would have been a real struggle to carry on. I would have probably gone somewhere else to borrow money but would have paid a lot more. I’ve used these places before and missed a payment and they go into your bank and take all of your money in one go. Sheffield Money isn’t like that and they offered me a better rate. It was better than any of the other pawnbrokers or money shops – more affordable.
“I don’t think I would have paid off the CCJ without Sheffield Money but it shows you can achieve things if people are willing to help you. They actually understand and don’t judge you. You can feel wary of going into these places but I never felt that with them. I just felt welcome and they’re so friendly and helpful. That’s what it’s about – being able to trust the people who you need to help you.”
Sheffield Money was set up by a city partnership led by the Sheffield Partnership Board and supported by Sheffield City Council.
For more information visit www.sheffieldmoney.co.uk, call 0114 399 5555 or pop into the city centre branch at 70 Cambridge Street.
About Sheffield Money:
Sheffield Money is a not for profit business which operates as a broker service bringing together a range of responsible companies. Its business model is different to any other affordable credit solution and Sheffield is the first city to pioneer this approach.
People can apply for Sheffield Money products online, by phone or in person at the shop on Cambridge Street.
Sheffield Money has been set up by partners including: Sheffield City Council*, Sheffield Executive Board*, Sheffield Cathedral*, South Yorkshire Housing Association*, Sheffield Credit Union, TransaveUk, Ffrees, Five Lamps, Money Advice Service, Yorkshire and the Humber TUC
* = Sheffield Money Board members
Loan comparison provided in release:
• Sheffield Money £500 loan total repayable £587.47 Representative APR 42.6%
• Satsuma £500 loan total repayable £994.99 Representative APR 1575%
Sheffield Money is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Registration number FRN656338.