Leeds Credit Union says it has saved members a combined £1.7m in interest charges over Christmas.
As well as easing the burden on members – with a third of Britons borrowing to pay for presents – the credit union hopes the savings will boost the local economy by leaving more cash in circulation.
It also ran a Christmas Club which saw members save £720,000 – an average of £400 each.
Between October and December the credit union welcomed 2,131 new members and gave out 2,694 loans.
For a £500 loan a member would pay a total of £602.82 over the course of 12 months. The same loan would cost around £979.70 if taken from a door step lender and £1,549 if taken from a high interest lender.
Leeds Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in the UK, with 37,000 member-owners. Membership is open anyone who lives or works in Leeds, Wakefield, Harrogate and Craven, along with residents of certain housing associations and those who work for selected employers.
Chris Smyth, chief executive of Leeds Credit Union, said: “I am delighted that the credit union has been able to help the local area save £1.7m in interest charges. This is particularly significant following the Christmas period where families can often feel the purse strings tightening.
“In regards to saving, the level of Christmas club savings by our members has increased every year for the past 10 years, and it’s fantastic that we were able to help our members better plan for their Christmases with this account”.
The Credit Union has recently been shortlisted for both ‘Savings Provider’ and ‘Lender’ of the Year at the Yorkshire Finance awards.