The Owl Effect
It’s hard to believe that it has been three months since the effects of lockdown started to bite.
Here at Hoot we are still busy supporting members and welcoming new members with both savings accounts and loans.
Many members have moved to online services and manage their account via the member area or the App, but we have managed to keep our branch open throughout the crisis. We have been putting into place new options for the small number of members who struggle to access us online and you should be hearing about some of those soon.
We still have some staff working from home, but that does not mean we have reduced our customer service options and we continue to take membership and loan applications. We are also looking at what our service options will look like post-Covid and exploring new ways that our members can reap the benefits of Hoot membership.
What about the next three months?
We don’t anticipate that our services will change in the immediate future and we will continue to support members with particular access needs as much as we can.
Time to start saving
Dare I say it, but only six months to Christmas so, now is the time to think about building up your savings pot. Whether it’s school uniforms, Christmas or the long awaited holiday next year, it’s think about the big ticket items in the next twelve months and work out what you can afford to save to help meet the costs.
Contact us via the App or at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how much you want to save and we will help you to achieve your goal.
30 years of credit unions in Bolton
July marks a huge milestone as credit unions will have been around in Bolton since 1990. Starting in Johnson Fold, then opening other credit unions in places like Breightmet, Hoot Credit Union has 5,500 members with savings of almost £1.8m.
Our plans for celebration have been curtailed because of the pandemic, but we will still mark the occasion in July with online activities and social media. Keep an eye out for this on Facebook www.facebook.com/hootcu , Instagram hootcreditunion or Twitter @hootcreditunion.
If you want to know how credit unions are about people helping people take a look at our FAQs
We will continue to support our members and hope you will continue to support us in providing affordable and ethical financial services.
Well we’re into week four of lock-down now, I hope you are all keeping safe and well.
I wanted to remind you, as a member-owner of Hoot, that we’re always here to serve you as best we can. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support of the credit union, in what is a challenging and rapidly changing situation.
At Hoot we’re working with you, our members, to talk about what support we can offer at this difficult time.
You may have heard about a government scheme that offers three-month loan repayment holidays; however you should be aware that this does not apply to credit unions.
Hoot does not have access to any government funding.
Despite this we remain committed to helping our members where we can, but we need your support to achieve it.
How you can help us
Before contacting us please check out what other help is available; you can get some ideas here.
After you have looked at other options for assistance, if you still find yourself struggling because of a drop in your household income then do talk to us.
Please do not ask for payment breaks ‘just in case’. Only ask for assistance when you actually need it, and for no longer than needed.
How we will help you
At Hoot we’re committed to working with you, our members.
We might need you to answer a few questions online first, to allow us to assess your situation and figure out how we might best help. Once you’ve answered those questions we will contact you to discuss your options.
Please be aware that we can only agree to a repayment holiday if you can prove financial hardship, and you agree to keep a conversation going with us.
Please do not assume that you will automatically get a payment holiday. We need to assess your situation first.
We’re there for you
You know that at Hoot we’ve been there for you when you’ve needed an affordable loan, or when you’ve wanted to save for your future. We are still there for you; providing loans to those that need them, and supporting the most vulnerable members of our community.
Your money is always safe with us.
And for Hoot to be here in the future we need your ongoing support; we need as many of you to continue to save and to repay your loans.
I’d like to thank you once again for your support and understanding during this difficult time; we’ll get through it together. Please keep yourself and others safe.