DODGING THAT FINANCIAL CURVEBALL
An unforeseen bill or an emergency car repair can sometimes throw even the most carefully planned budget into disarray. “Payday loans seem to offer a quick and easy solution to those in urgent need of cash,” said Cecilia Zerr, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager at Affinity Credit Union.
The Restart Loan provides individuals with an affordable alternative - so they can avoid using a payday loan in the first place or as an exit strategy to get out of an existing payday loan.
Restart Loan applicants can borrow between $200- $2,000 at an interest rate of 17.99% (lower than most credit card’s cash advance rates). There are no additional fees and repayment is flexible with repayment periods between two to 24 months.
HELPING TO BUILD A STRONG FINANCIAL FUTURE
Unlike traditional loans, credit history and credit scores are not the most important criteria when applying for a Restart Loan. The process is straightforward and applicants get the money the same day. Payback schedules are manageable and can help individuals build a solid credit history.
Additionally, the application process allows Affinity advisors to work with you on improving your financial health and literacy. Staff frequently take a loan applicant through budgeting exercises or explain what a healthy credit history is.
ASSISTING THE “UNDERBANKED”
The Restart Loan is an affordable, flexible, convenient and less stressful borrowing option than payday loans. And it’s available for everyone. Extensive training was developed and delivered to Affinity’s staff to ensure members felt comfortable asking questions or discussing their finances without judgement.
More than 2,860 people have been served with Restart Loans totalling $4.58 million since the program’s pilot phase, which launched in November 2017. While Affinity has done advertising, much of the success of the Restart Loan program comes from referrals.
Creating the Restart Loan and providing services to the “underbanked” is directly aligned with Affinity’s values and the co-operative principles.
“Our motivation is not to make a profit on this product. Instead, we want to meet people where they are at in their financial journey and support them in achieving their goals,” Zerr says. “The Restart Loan program attempts to bring social benefits, such as reducing stress, providing education, developing new relationships and contributing towards an overall healthy local economy.”
PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS
Affinity’s Restart Loan is helping break the cycle of payday loans. The Restart Loan is a clear demonstration of “people before profits” and is what makes financial co-operatives, like Affinity, different.
Visit the Affinity Credit Union website to learn more.
The information provided through the Saskatchewan Co-operative Association blog and website is for general informational purposes only. This blog/website should not be used as a substitute for professional or legal advice. All information provided on the website and blog is provided in good faith, however, we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the site. Under no circumstance shall we have any liability to you for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of the site or blog or reliance on any information provided on the site or blog. Your use of the site or blog and your reliance on any information on the site or blog is solely at your own risk.
EXTERNAL LINKS DISCLAIMER
This site may contain links to other websites or content belonging to or originating from third parties. Such external links are not investigated, monitored, or checked for accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness by us. We do not warrant, endorse, guarantee, or assume responsibility for the accuracy or reliability of any information offered by third party websites linked through the site or blog.