Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Credit union to the rescue

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BARBADOS’ LARGEST CREDIT union will be putting special measures in place to ensure that members who study at the University of the West Indies have access to education financing.
The Barbados Public Workers’ Co-operative Credit Union Ltd (BPWCCUL) intends to “creatively revamp” some of its loan products to address any challenges faced by members who are midway in their studies, according to treasurer on the board of directors, Paula Byer.
This move comes in response to Government’s announcement that students will pay tuition fees from the 2014 academic year.
Addressing BPWCCUL’s annual Thrift Club awards ceremony recently, Byer said the credit union was also exploring “innovative investment products that will grow with our children as we now face the prospect of saving for university education”.
“We consider this an opportunity to engage our children in the shared responsibility of what is in fact a significant investment and perhaps their first interaction with debt,” she said.
The treasurer noted that the credit union would be educating members on debt management, qualifying for loans and maintaining a healthy and attractive credit rating and profile.
“It is fortunate for us to draw from the experiences of our international credit union community with respect to best practices for structure, terms and benefits for education-related products.  
“We also believe the saving for education can be a joint responsibility as our children can assist and contribute over the years of saving,” she said.
Byer highlighted the success of the Thrifty Teen School Savers’ Programme, which was piloted at Princess Margaret Secondary School, and expressed the hope that it would be implemented at other secondary schools in the near future.
The programme is aimed at fostering the habit of saving and learning about financial matters. (NB)

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