We’re based around the customer
Fair for You has been developed following considerable in-depth research among lower income families.
We heard first-hand how it feels to have your credit collected every week by someone who waits on your drive for you to get home from the school run, or to have to go into the shop to pay your weekly instalment.
We heard how it feels to worry about the knock at the door if you missed a payment, and how letting the electric meter run out or having beans on toast for tea affected the whole family in the effort of trying to keep up with payments.
Initially when we started out, Fair for You was planning to look much more like a rent to own company, and through listening to customers we found that it was making people ill.
So we are not surprised in all the recent media activity about anxiety and how more people live with arrears and indeed how more people are struggling with unstructured credit such as catalogues.
Fair for You was developed based on what we learned from the younger mums typically 24-44 who took time to tell us what they needed in terms of modern borrowing needs.
… and we all want to sleep well at night.
So a loan from Fair for You is designed to help our customers sleep better at night.
- High visibility – Our customers do not need to worry about when the payment is due – with monthly updates and quarterly written statements; & even a text if its wanted;
- Our customers choose their repayments, like Sara that wanted to pay £10 a week so she chose to make her payments over 65 weeks – it suited her budget;
- Our customers choose the frequency of their loans – lots of customers have more than one source of income – so perhaps paying every fortnight out of child benefit works better than weekly or monthly out of a salary.
- No penal behaviour if our customers fall off their plan – no painful fees racking up, or knocks at the door, men sitting on driveways, ‘peering through the blinds’ or taking back the goods. Our payments manager offers help in revising the payment plan, and if you catch back up you can always borrow again in the future. Of course that is just traditional relationship management and knowing your customers. (We also think its good sense, too!)
- Affordable – our interest is calculated at 3% per month with interest charged daily. So lots of our customers are using us instead of payday lenders and credit cards because it’s much cheaper and more flexible.
- In fact many of our customers are setting their payment at a level they can afford in their loan agreement and then overpaying it as and when they can – that means they sleep easier at night and clear their credit when they can, knowing they are meeting the repayments.
What does it feel like?
We consider that we brought together the best features of structured credit like a personal loan with all of the benefits of unstructured credit like mail order which provides instant and flexible credit to buy goods when they are needed.
We also think this week we are helping our customers sleep easier at night as we have just added beds, cots, bunk beds and bedroom furniture and the initial take up has been amazing.
We think it’s time that credit in the UK started to work for the people that need to use credit. We believe that when we lend well and right, we lift people out of poverty not keep them trapped within it.
This week we release our first social impact report, and we will keep reporting openly and transparently on all aspects of our work.
& with hundreds of customers joining us every month, maybe we can show the bigger boys there are better ways of treating your customers.