‘My income wasn’t enough to cover the cost of everything’ – this is the case for so many people and sometimes a helping hand from a credit union can be the opportunity to give you financial freedom.
This story comes from our member Taofeek who came over to the UK from Nigeria in 2010.
Back in 2015, Taofeek invested money in Nigeria which seemed like a promising deal but things took a turn for the worse. His investments didn’t pay off and instead, he had large loan repayments to make.
It was in 2017 that Taofeek started to struggle financially. At this time, he had found a job at Manchester Airport and was earning good money. Although he had a well-paid job, Taofeek was still struggling to make ends meet.
Due to financial struggles, Taofeek had maxed out his overdrafts and was heavily reliant on credit cards. Taofeek still needed a small amount of money to breakeven after payday and because of his debt, it had a serious effect on his credit file. So, when it came to borrowing small amounts of money to tide him by, he faced rejection from lenders.
This was up until he learned about South Manchester Credit Union.
One of his friends at Manchester Airport told Taofeek that a credit union could look beyond his credit file and consider the person to give a balanced lending decision. Taofeek applied and our credit union was able to make a human decision to support our loan assessment. Taofeek’s loan application was accepted. From there, things only got better.
The Oil Rig
Taofeek knew the financial position he was in and was determined to find balance.
Fortunately, he previously worked off-shore on oil rigs so was able to pick up extra work to increase his income and pay off more of his debts. However, working off-shore doesn’t come cheap. It requires travel, living expenses and up to date medical certificates.
When some off-shore work became available, Taofeek knew he needed to seize the opportunity. He was able to get almost all the money together to earn the extra income he needed. One expense that he just couldn’t pay for was money for his MIST (Minimum Industry Safety Training). This expense was crucial to get the work because it ensures that all offshore workers have the same baseline level of safety knowledge.
After trying his best to raise funds for his MIST, he came short. Thankfully, Taofeek already had a credit union account that he knows he could turn to for support.
When he applied for a loan to cover the cost, he needed the loan that day. Without it, he would have missed his chance to work on the rig. Given the situation and importance of the loan for Taofeek, South Manchester Credit Union was able to provide the loan to him that day.
Taofeek describe how impressed he was that we handled his application in a kind and caring way and that, without it, he would have defaulted on his other loan repayments.
Taofeek moved from a borrower to a saver
As a credit union, our goal is to help people to transition from borrower to a saver.
Taofeek is a fine example of this as he has come a long way on his credit union journey. He started from a Welcome Loan, moved to a Saver Loan and has now paid off his loan in full and has his savings as a nest egg.
In our interview, Taofeek had always planned to move to using his credit union account just for saving. It took a couple of years but he’s done a fantastic job.
Since his time on the oil rig, Taofeek’s finances have been improving. He’s been able to pay off the bulk of what he owed in Nigeria to reduce the interest to a manageable amount.
Taofeek has shown that financial planning is important. Things don’t necessarily pan out as we expect but it’s what you do after that makes the difference. His belief in stabilising his finances was demonstrated by his hard work and grind, taking on extra work to correct a previous decision. After a short amount of time, he has a healthier bank account and an even healthier credit union account.