Rival to high-cost lenders

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Leeds Rhinos are backing a bunch of new schemes to help people in the city who are struggling financially.

Leeds City Credit Union, Leeds Council and high street retailers have teamed up to compete with high-cost lenders - offering more affordable borrowing options.

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds Council’s executive member for communities, said: “This is a triple whammy for the high- cost lending sector. We see these initiatives as a way of putting money back into the household budgets of Leeds families who are struggling as a result of low wages, zero hours contracts and reductions in welfare benefits. Previously many families felt they had no option but to turn to high-cost lenders. Now they have a genuine alternative.”

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Representatives from Leeds Rhinos and Leeds Rugby Foundation, including player Liam Sutcliffe, will be at the launch today (Sept 11) at Compton Centre Community Hub in Harehills.

Three new services will help people who may have previously turned to pay day lenders to obtain credit.

They include a franchise of Your Loan Shop - a credit union facility set up a year ago in Harehills to challenge the presence of other high street cash lenders in the area - opening at the council-run Compton Centre Community Hub. A Credit Union scheme with high street retailers will use Credit Union loan or savings to enable members to buy goods at competitive prices and pay for them in small weekly instalments. The Credit Union will also soon launch a web-based pay day loan product offering significantly reduced interest rates.

Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “We are proud at Leeds rugby to declare ourselves a high-cost lender free zone and refuse advertising from these companies.”

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