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"CLEVR Money is my only preference"

CLEVR Money is my only preference

Credit unions are not-for-profit and they charge only the operational costs via collecting interest on loans. CLEVR Money is one of the credit unions that do not charge fees on loans other than the interest rate. There are no admin fees, no early repayment penalties and no set up costs at all. So why is it not your first destination when you want to borrow money?

Natalie (34), our member for 7 years, were using lots of credit since her early adulthood. By age 25, she was in over £12k debts. "I used to spend money without thinking much of it, convincing myself I can pay it when I get paid, when I was working part time waitress!"

However, she couldn't keep up with the repayments, and interests went up very quickly. She needed help but was ashamed of opening up about it. in 2017, she got a first full-time job at one of our payroll partner's companies. They introduced her to CLEVR Money as part of the induction. She said: "When I was introduced to CLEVR Money, my instant thought was; am I getting myself into more debts?"

Natalie contacted us and we had a long conversation about her debts. We couldn't approve a bigger loan to her due to the fact that she had many missed payments and her credit score was very low to legally be able to approve a higher loan. However, we started with a smaller loan to clear out one debt at a time. The difference it made was that Natalie paid much less interest on each loan she replaced with ours, eventually, lower monthly payments. But she decided to pay off faster by keeping same amounts she used to pay. Three years later, her debts went down by £4.5k partially was for cutting out interests each time she replaced a debt with ours which was always lower interest.

"Seeing my debts going down, month after month, was very satisfying and encouraging. But I had to stop using my credit cards and focus on budgeting my expenses on monthly basis. I also sold things I bought but never used which made me more money to spend on things I needed. My stress levels started to go down gradually. I started focusing on my stability and career growth." Natalie said.

Natalie was saving while paying back her loan to CLEVR Money. She used her savings to cover special occasions and Christmas while continued paying off her debts. One of the smartest favours you do yourself is save while paying back your debts which all credit unions makes it look easy!

Her journey was tough, "I had to change lots of shopping habits; from food to clothing to household expenses; Tough changes I made; I quitted smoking, I drunk much less, I didn't go to pubs like I used to, I started going out in the nature when I could. It wasn't an easy journey at all. Now looking back, I don't know how I did it!! I had frustrating days where I pulled back into old habits, but day after, I kicked myself! The patience I had to force myself into was worth it. We live only once, why waste our lives?"

Pay off your debts

Natalie's advise, "I think the support and patience CLEVR Money showed me was encouraging me to be patient and consistent. while I also had my friends and family helping me to stay strong. I think my job stability gave me the courage to keep going. The fact that I know how much I am earning each month, made it easier to budget."

"Today, if I need to borrow for any reason, CLEVR Money is my only preference!"

Natalie's debts will be fully paid soon, she has savings to use when needed. It is a win-win situation. She has already plans where to use the monthly extra money after she makes her last repayment.

PS: Natalie is a fictional character, thus the story is inspired by several stories of people talking about their experiences with local credit unions.

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