Androulla Surrey knows everyone in her local London Mutual Credit Union branch, from the staff to all the other members.
“I’ve known most of them for a long time, but they’re very good. Most of the customers here are neighbours of mine where I used to live before. I come in here with a smile, I get a smile back. I have a joke, they give me a joke, so I like the staff there.”
It’s a very different story compared to Androulla’s life 18 years ago. Unable to get credit from high street banks and struggling for money, she was forced to resort to loan sharks in moments of desperation. “I only got about £10, £20, £30, and I had to end up paying £400 by the time I paid it off. They got debt collectors onto me every week to pay them. So I thought no, I don’t want to do that anymore.”
Then she found out about London Mutual Credit Union. who told her she wouldn’t have to worry about the debt collectors anymore. Plus, she could set it up so that loan repayments would come straight out of her account.
“I’ve used loans for Christmas, for my grandchildren, to repair my house, or go on holiday. I borrowed once for a holiday, and I borrowed a couple of times for refurnishing my house,” she says.
Each time, she was able to pay it back in a way that she could manage, without the interest piling up.
When Androulla wanted to travel to Cyprus to see her sister, she was able to, thanks to LMCU. When her parents died, she was also able to get a loan to help with the funeral costs.
“I can do a lot of things with them that I can’t do with anyone else,” she says. “I feel like they’re a godsend to me. They help me out, especially now I’m a pensioner. I don’t struggle… I’ve learned to control my worrying.”
London Mutual Credit Union is like a bank, but different – we’re owned by our members and understand the reality of their lives. Our loans and savings are practical and affordable. They can help provide the confidence and security to do things that might not be otherwise possible. And because we’re rooted in the community, we’ll always have your back.