The SNP Government has teamed up with the Carnegie Trust to give low income families across Scotland greater access to affordable credit through a new £2 million fund.
As part of the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, the SNP Government allocated £1 million to the Carnegie Trust’s Affordable Credit Loan Fund, doubling the size of the fund.
The fund was launched in January and provides new financial support to not-for-profit providers of affordable credit, helping these organisations extend their services to many more people.
In addition to affordable loans, not-for-profit finance providers offer a range of financial inclusion services, including debt advice, savings schemes and income maximisation support.
Equalities Secretary Angela Constance MSP said:
“Insecurity of income is one of the biggest challenges faced by those in poverty. By investing £1 million in the Carnegie Trust’s Affordable Credit Loan Fund, we are doubling the amount available for social lenders to offer affordable loans.
“Scotland is leading the way on tackling the problem of access to affordable credit. We want to provide a clear alternative to payday lenders, that can often charge extortionate interest rates and can leave people trapped in a cycle of debt.
“We will continue to work with the Carnegie UK Trust and the community lending sector to ensure that everyone who needs it has access to the financial products they need to help them get on in life.”
Kenneth Gibson added:
“When you are unable to make ends meet, it has an enormous impact on mental as well as physical wellbeing - payday lenders and loan sharks have benefited from this for too long.
“In order to help lift children out of poverty, we must ensure that families who have no option but to borrow money, are not being exploited, with affordable and fair borrowing made accessible to those who are most vulnerable. The support given by this fund could help grow the social lending sector, opening up more options for those who require it across North Ayrshire and beyond to access financial products and services that meet their needs in a responsible way.”