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Better lending leads to better lives says new report for Fair for You

A new Report published today by the Centre for Responsible Credit for Fair for You shows the social impact on lower income households of having access to reasonable and ethical credit is huge.

The report, coming the week after the Joseph Rowntree Foundation call to solve poverty, shows that fairer credit for lower income households can have a significantly beneficial impact on people’s lives.

The independent research on behalf of the not-for-profit high cost credit challenger, Fair for You showed that as a direct result of taking a loan from Fair for You:

  • More than half (58%) of people said that they were better able to run their home – this increased to two-thirds (67%) for lone parents.
  • 45% of all respondents said they felt less anxious, stressed or depressed
  • Over half (56%) of customers with a health condition or disability said they felt less anxious, stressed or depressed
  • 61% of people with a health condition or disability said they were better able to save money as a result of a loan from Fair for You, compared with high-cost alternatives.
  • Half of all respondents (50%) said they were better able to budget and manage their money.
  • More than one-third (37%) said they were better able to pay rent or a mortgage or other household bills including rent, council tax, gas and electricity and television licence.

Report author, Damon Gibbons, said: “Our research shows that Fair for You is making a real difference to its customers’ lives. These are people who would otherwise have to use high cost credit, and they are making considerable savings by choosing Fair for You instead.  Those savings mean that they are better able to pay their rent and household bills, eat more healthily, set aside money for a rainy day, and in many cases increase their spending on their children.

The report’s authors call for local authorities, utility companies, social housing providers, and a wide range of voluntary and community agencies to support Fair for You’s challenge to the high cost lenders and to actively promote it to their service users to offer a positive, national, alternative to the high cost credit rip off that has existed in this country for far too long.”

Fair for You founder and CEO of the charity, Angela Clements said: “This report is the first social impact report to clearly show the positive impact on lower income households when we design credit products that meet their modern borrowing requirements. In essence, by creating structured credit solutions with the flexibility, visibility and support needed for customers that juggle fluctuating income, you can help lift them out of poverty.

“The fact that a £300 loan for a washing machine can do that, as well as help relieve the symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression, rather than trap them with penal debt, where they have to make choices about whether to spend on their heating or groceries because of the amount taken out of their home by the high cost credit provider, is something I find quite difficult to understand in modern Britain”.