Jonathan's story - South Manchester Credit Union

Jonathan’s story

‘The credit union allowed me to actually graduate’ – This is one of a thousand ways a credit union can help and this, in particular, was how we helped Jonathan.

Jonathan, a Masters’ student, was working part-time whilst attending university. He was a hard-working student and his graft was rewarded with a conditional job offer relating to his course. He needed to graduate to take up the job offer.

Jonathan was relying on his part-time job to cover his tuition fees, and unfortunately, he had to leave this job due to breaking his hand. Although Jonathan received a student loan it was not enough to cover all of his expenses. He fell into arrears on his tuition fees.

The university threatened to terminate Jonathan’s studies due to missed payments and piled on additional late payment fees. Without financial help, all the time and effort he had put into university could have been for nothing as he would not have been allowed to graduate.

At first, Jonathan looked towards friends and family but the sum was deemed too much to borrow. His second thought was the bank; though he did not receive a loan they did give him invaluable information, they told him about credit unions.

Credit unions were unfamiliar to Jonathan; he knew nothing about our mission to provide ethical finance. With a little research, he understood the benefits of a credit union and Jonathan joined his local credit union, South Manchester Credit Union. He applied for a loan to cover his outstanding fees and a reliable car for his work commute. He had a personal interview and his personal circumstances were taken into account. He found the loan process straightforward and repayments were agreed at an affordable level. He was delighted to be able to move forward with his life.

We took his financial strain, providing Jonathan with an opportunity that he would have missed out on. He did not know if he if he was going to finish his Masters and fortunately, his credit union was there to provide the support he needed.

Credit unions have a lot to offer and we want to spread this message. Credit unions are more well known in other parts of the world – for example in countries like Canada, Mexico and Ireland. With increased awareness we can make a real difference here in South Manchester, spreading the word about how we offer relationship – based lending that treats people fairly and with respect.

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