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Helping servicemen tackle debt

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04 Aug 16

Plane Saver Credit Union is helping Armed Forces personnel manage debts and save money.

Plane Saver is one of three credit unions serving Armed Forces personnel and their families via payroll deduction through a partnership with the Ministry of Defence. Since the launch of this service last October, more than 250 servicemen and women have joined Plane Saver and are able to save regularly and repay affordable loans direct from their salary.

The service was launched because Military personnel sometimes have limited access to financial services generally, and particular difficulty accessing affordable credit because of the circumstances of their job. This can leave them vulnerable to high cost credit providers such as payday lenders and loan sharks.

Plane Saver was recently approached by a serviceman who found himself in a spiral of debt, with a series of high interest credit card debts and payday loans with monthly repayments in excess of £555 at an average interest rate of 244% APR.

The credit union was able to consolidate his existing debt into one manageable monthly repayment taken straight from his pay.

Plane Saver paid off all his existing debt, leaving the member with a new monthly repayment of £301 to the credit union at a more favourable interest rate, meaning he could get back on track with his finances.

The serviceman (who asked not to be named) said: “Plane Saver guided me into making better financial decisions. This has made me more aware of how expensive some loans can be. Seeking help from the credit union helped me nearly halve my outgoings on debt. Thank you Plane Saver!”

Founded in 1993 to provide affordable financial services to British Airways staff, Plane Saver Credit Union is now one of the largest credit unions in Britain, with around 10,000 members from an expanded common bond that serves employees in the wider airline and air transport industry, as well as the Armed Forces.

In 9 months, Plane Saver has made loans worth over £300,000 to Armed Forces personnel, representing significant savings on the interest they would have been charged by many other lenders. Plane Saver has received a Bronze Award for its contribution towards the Armed Forces Covenant, recognising the credit union’s commitment to support the Armed Forces community.

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