Borrowers looking to rein in debt
Debt consolidation is a highly requested option by members of the Barbados Workers’ Union Co-operative Credit Union Ltd.
Development and communications manager Peter Blackman made this observation Monday during the reopening of the credit union’s Fairchild Street/nelson Street, Bridgetown offices.
As the holiday season approaches, he said they expected a steady flow of people to request loans but he acknowledged that some people may hold back.
“We also recognise that persons are being cautious in terms of their spending and loan requirements. More persons are looking to consolidate and bring their debt under control because of the unsure economic times.
“And we’ve been inviting those persons into the credit union to ensure we have that conversation with them. If they think they are going to be among the retrenched, then we start to look at how we can restructure their loans,” he told the Weekend Nation.
Debt consolidation is a form of refinancing through which people take a loan to pay off other responsibilities such as credit cards or other loans.
“We try to look at the total amount. You may be paying something like $1 500 in payments. So what we would do is consolidate that debt into one loan and then you only have one payment. It may extend your payment period, but you pay less,” Blackman said.
Meanwhile, in light of private sector layoffs and Government’s austerity measures, which include debt restructuring and an extensive retrenchment exercise, general manager of the credit union, Corinne Clarke, said they were anticipating the effects.
These measures are features of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation programme.
“We are cognisant of all the restructuring that is going on and we know we will be impacted. We’ve already had some persons coming to us already who brought their packages. They told us what is happening,” Clarke added.
This branch of the credit union reopened after a year of renovations to allow for expansion work to take place. Chefette Restaurants was previously renting the bottom floor.
The credit union has just under 25 000 members.
General manager of the BWU Cooperative Credit Union, Corinne Clarke.