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Exciting times - Money Matters partners with Luton Council and Luton Rising to support our community!

New low cost loans to help Luton residents cope with cost of living crisis

People in Luton can now get low-cost credit from a Luton based community bank and avoid the extortionate interest rates charged by payday and doorstep lenders.

Lutonians can now save on loans against future child benefit receipts. Monthly payments come out automatically, and they can also choose to put a small amount monthly into a savings account to build a cushion for the future.

The loans are provided by Money Matters Community Bank, a member-owned bank, accountable to the community and not for profit. Money Matters offers a range of affordable and competitive loans, savings accounts and more.

Over 12,000 people in Luton have had to take out loans valued at over £20m from high-cost credit providers at a repayment cost of £33m while an estimated 3,700 people are in debt to loan sharks, according to an independent review of Affordable Credit in Luton commissioned by Luton Council.

The same research found that financial vulnerability, a measure of people’s ability to manage daily finances and resist economic shocks, has been getting much worse for people in Luton, with 25 per cent more adults with defaulted debt and 29 per cent more holding a high cost loan.

Cllr Hazel Simmons MBE, Leader of Luton Council, said:

"The cost of living crisis has seen many Luton families finding it harder to make ends meet and when they face an emergency, such as replacing the washing machine when it breaks down, they find they can’t get credit from mainstream lenders. Too often people find the only way to get a loan is from payday or doorstep lenders who charge extortionate rates of interest. Money Matters Community Bank offers our residents lower cost credit from a not for-profit lender"

Dennis O’Connor, Interim Chair of Money Matters Community Bank, said:

“Our mission at Money Matters Community Bank is to provide fair, affordable and accessible financial products and services to all members of our community. Everyone deserves the right to low-cost loans and savings accounts, regardless of their financial background or income level. Our work with Luton Council and Luton Rising will help to ensure that the greatest number of people in Luton will be aware of the competitive products and useful financial services we offer.”

Cllr Javeria Hussain, Chair of Luton Rising, said:

“Luton Rising, as the owner of London Luton Airport, has since 1998 provided almost £500 million for the local community, supporting public services and community investment projects that have transformed the lives of tens of thousands of vulnerable people. We are delighted to be supporting local residents by helping them access financial services from Money Matters Community Bank. Providing financial empowerment to local residents is vital to building a strong and thriving community.”

Money Matters Community Bank offers Luton residents the opportunity to apply for a Family Loan of up to £700 repayable over 3-12 months. Repayments for this loan are taken from the family Child Benefit with the balance being deposited into their Money Matters account. The loans are at competitive interest rate with no set-up fees and no early repayment fees. Customers can also choose to have a small amount of money pulled from their Child Benefit and deposited into a savings account, giving them the opportunity to easily build their savings and improve their credit.

About Money Matters Community Bank

Money Matters Community Bank was launched in 1995, and over the years has merged with other like-minded organisations to offer banking services to the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire areas. The aim was to benefit our community by creating an organisation which could offer a sustainable source of lending for individuals and businesses together with a safe home for savings. As a financial co-operative, we have over 3,800 customers who are members. By generating deposits from those members, a fund is created allowing us to lend to local people, including those vulnerable to high interest lenders such as payday or doorstop lenders and loan sharks.

Notes to editors

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