Money Management- Tips and contacts

Salford Credit Union is here to help you achieve your financial goals

  • We focus on people not profits
  • We offer a savings account to help you build up your own fund for planned purchases and emergencies
  • We offer lower interest, affordable loans
  • We treat you as an individual and with respect, regardless of personal circumstances
  • We provide a return on your savings when we make a surplus and all savings protected by FSCS
  • Accessible membership and loan products for all potential members, with online 24/7 services and decisions for some loans made same day
  • We provide the Engage Pre Paid debit card which can be used as a budgeting account

We know it’s not always easy to manage our money and much harder when the unexpected happens.

Being a Salford Credit Union member can help- saving for that rainy day and being there if you need a loan.

People often turn to loan companies they see advertised because they think a short term high-interest loan is the only option available. In many cases Salford Credit Union is a fairer and safer option- with our lower cost loans and built in savings plans.

Once you become a member we can work with you to achieve your long and short term financial goals.

We have been established for over 30 years- we are committed to improving the financial wellbeing of our community.

We’re here to help our members so get in touch and join us today.

If you have major debt worries

Check out the organisations listed in the section below…


Take a proper look at your bank statement. Then use the Salford Credit Union Budget planner to work out your income and expenditure for a month- be realistic and don’t underestimate! – download it here

Citizens Advice Service and Money Helper (previously Money Advice service) have online budgeting tools to help you get on top of your finances:

Want help to get Better Off?

Check out the BetterOff Salford website– it is about helping everyone in the city become better off. It’s part of Salford Council’s plan to create a better and fairer Salford by tackling poverty and inequality.

BetterOff Salford is here to help residents and businesses, providing both face to face and online support. You can talk to a trusted face in a local place at one of the Salford Council Gateways or book a one to one video chat. For 24/7 support, check out the Better Off website which is an easy way to find out if you’re entitled to benefits and help you apply for them online.

For information about Debt Advice and budgeting check out this link: BetterOff Salford

Check out the latest information on the Household Support Fund. This can provide support with the cost of living and other essentials. It is being managed by Salford Council’s Salford Assist team. You do not need to be in receipt of benefits to apply but will need to provide evidence that you do not have the funds to purchase the items requested.

Whether you’re worried about benefits, debt, financial assistance, housing, health or wellbeing, there are advisors that you can chat in confidence to. Don’t suffer in silence, just get in touch. You can also call the Spirit of Salford helpline on 0800 952 1000 or complete an online form.

Want to make your money work harder?

Check out our Five useful tips and four questions to ask before you spend below…

MAJOR DEBT WORRIES? Organisations who can help:

If you are struggling with debt then there are independent sources of help.

Salford Credit Union works with LOCAL organisations who you could contact:




There are also NATIONAL organisations set up to help:

  • The  Money helper Service  the government backed site which offers unbiased information on managing your money and pensions.
  • National Debtline can offer free independent advice on how best to deal with your debts.


Five useful tips…

  • Budget: Estimate your income and expenditure for a set period and budget accordingly. Be realistic and don’t underestimate!
  • Track: Keep track of your spending. Keep your receipts or take note of what you spend your money on. It will help you understand where your money is going and it might just be an eye-opener.
  • Be Thrifty: Shop around and get the best deals. Cost comparison websites can identify where savings can be made. Paying off your credit card in full each month will avoid you paying additional interest.
  • Save: Get into the habit of saving. If you can, try to save at least 5% of your regular income for emergencies.
  • Borrowing: There are times when we run short of funds. If you have to take out a loan, aim to only borrow what you can comfortably afford to repay and match the repayment term to the purpose of the loan (for instance, don’t make the mistake of paying off Christmas over a number of years). Our loan calculator can help you work out the cost of loans- a longer repayment term gets the regular payment down but makes the total cost of credit higher.

1 Regular Budgeting can make a BIG difference

  • Make a budget- your personal plan of how much money you expect to receive and how you expect to spend it.
  • You can use the Salford Credit Union Budget planner to estimate your income and expenditure for a month- be realistic and don’t underestimate! – download it here
  • Making a budget can help show
    • How much money is coming into your household
    • How much money is going out
    • How you can plan your spending in the future- to put you in charge of your money
  • Consider setting up a budget account for your bills. This will help to ensure that all bills are being paid on time, which in turn will help you to improve your credit rating. Importantly, it will help keep your loan and credit card repayments up to date, which will show on your credit file.
  • Salford Credit Union offers the Engage account and Visa debit card. It works like an account from a high street bank but is only available from your Engage accredited credit union. You can use your Engage card to shop, pay bills and save money with our cashback rewards program.
  • Citizens Advice Service and Money Advice service have online budgeting tools. Take 20 minutes out of your day to help you take more control of your 2020 finances!

2 Keep track of your spending

  • Find out how you actually spend your money
    • keep receipts or make a note of where you money is going
    • Check your bank statement at least once a month
    • Do you have any returned Direct Debits or bank charges?
    • Keep aware of your balance close to payday to avoid unnecessary charges
    • Aim to get a better picture of your actual spending to help plan next month’s budget

3 Save pounds and help the planet by being thrifty!

Money Advice Service (MAS) has some useful tips for helping you save money- check them out here:

  • Get what you need- for cheaper
  • Things like electricity and broadband are the same whoever your provider is but you might be able to get it cheaper; train and car travel can also be cheaper if you follow the tips
  • Change your spending habits
  • Spending money on the go- on sandwiches, coffees and water and the rest all add up
  • Using credit and store cards might seem convenient but they could be expensive
  • Socialising can be very expensive- but there are ways of cutting the costs- see the MAS tips for ideas
  • Don’t be tempted by the brand
  • Try making a change from an expensive brand- see if you can tell the difference and what the savings can add up to…
  • Lots of us at Salford Credit Union love to watch Shop Well for Less to pick up great ideas about being a smarter shopper!
  • Cut down on waste
  • The MAS tips could help you cut down the cost of cooking- and reduce food waste- use less energy and use less water. All good for your purse and good for our planet
  • Sell the stuff you don’t use
  • If your home has stuff you’ve been meaning to get rid of then aim to sell it in 2020 or pass it on to a charity or someone who can make good use of it. The MAS site has tips on how to sell old stuff on eBay.

4 Get into the Savings habit

We want everyone to be saving regularly- so you have your own funds and be able to make your own choices.

  • We can set up a regular savings plan for you – so you can save by Standing Order, from your benefits or wages. Putting even a small amount aside each month helps get ready for the big spends.
  • We have a Christmas Savings Account- the earlier in the year you start saving the better.
  • And unlike many other Christmas clubs, all our Savings Accounts are protected up to £85,000 per person by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
  • When the Credit Union makes sufficient surplus on the year our savers are rewarded with a dividend- so being part of your local credit union helps other local people too.

Every single member gets a Savings Account when they join- so why not go online and join today, or call at the office or one of our local service points to find out more.

5 Borrow responsibly

  • Salford Credit Union will try to help if you need a loan. We are a responsible lender and will look at what is affordable for you.
  • There may be things you can do to improve your credit score. It might help to:
    • Get on the electoral roll
    • Check your credit file
  • Once you know what’s on your credit file you can start to deal with what’s there. Mistakes can be removed and negative feedback can be put right.
  • Your credit rating will show all of your borrowings over the past six years and whether they are up to date. It shows you exactly what lenders can see when making decisions about whether to lend to you.
  • Also be aware that there are three different credit reference agencies which might hold different information about you. These are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion (formerly Call Credit.)
  • At Salford Credit Union, we would always say that you don’t need to pay money to access your credit file. Useful information about free tools is available on the Money Saving Exert and Money Advice Service websites.
  • Make sure you close old credit cards which you’re not using as these will show as an amount of money you have access to and may also be off-putting for lenders, who may not want to lend you any more money.
  • Pay all debts on time
    • Including mobiles- Mobile companies are not slow to seek County Court Judgements
    • If you are having difficulties talk to your lender, even if you have to negotiate reduced payments, as an arrangement looks better than a default on your credit file. Defaults and CCJs will stay on your credit file for six years so talking to your lender can help to stop this before it happens.
  • When you’re looking to borrow:
    • Don’t borrow more than can afford to pay back so check the regular repayment amounts
    • Check the total interest charged
    • Check the actual APR (Annual Percentage rate) of any loan offered- a lower figure means lower interest but some lenders offer a loan at a different rate to the one advertised- credit union rates are generally transparent
    • Look at other lenders charges for comparison
    • Don’t apply for lots of credit at once
    • If you’ve been turned down for a loan because of a poor credit history, it can be tempting to keep applying until you find one that will accept you – which is unlikely as too many credit applications over a short period of time will damage your credit score.
  • And don’t forget to check out how Salford Credit Union loans might be able to help you!

WANT TO CUT DOWN YOUR SPENDING?- Four questions to ask...

Four questions to ask yourself before you buy…

Want to stop spending? Ask yourself these Money Mantras questions from the Money Saving Expert website


Ask: 1 Do I need it?

         2  Can I afford it?


Ask: 3 Will I use it?

         4  Is it worth it?