BRADFORD District Credit Union - which covers Craven - is to create a special £2m fund to offer a new ‘unlocking loan’ to both new and existing members.

It is specifically aimed at helping people get back on their feet financially as the country comes out of lockdown.

With the Government’s roadmap for easing restrictions now in place, the credit union says it is launching the loan to coincide with the proposed partial reopening of retail and hospitality businesses.

It will feature a low interest rate and will aim to provide affordable financial support for members who have struggled during the difficult and challenging times.

Applicants will need to be payroll scheme employees, employed members or self-employed members and the loans will have interest rates of one per cent per month, 12 per cent per year and 12.7 APR per cent for any new applications between £2,000 and £5,000.

Applications can only be made online, but the credit union promises loans will be processed as quickly as possible with decisions made within three working days. Payment terms will also be between six months and five years, but early repayments can be made without incurring any penalties.

As well as providing a means of extra financial support post-lockdown, it’s hoped the loan will stop people turning to loan sharks.

Andrew Bowker, CEO at Bradford District Credit Union said: “BDCU is here to help new and existing members as best we can through this difficult and challenging time allowing for current and future plans to be fulfilled.”

The ‘unlocking loan’ will be available until the end of September subject to successful applications and demand.

All new loan amounts over £2000 to a maximum £5000 will be subject to its normal affordability checks along with credit checks.