Bor­row­ers look­ing to rein in debt

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - News -

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.

Con­ver­sa­tion

“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.

Lay­offs

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.

(Pic­tures by Tre Greaves.)

Gen­eral man­ager of the BWU Co­op­er­a­tive Credit Union, Corinne Clarke.

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