As a non- profit, service focused organisation, the credit union can take a long term approach to helping our members. We are there to assist our members in the good times as well as the bad. We understand that individual members, and families, can experience financial pressure from time to time. We are also aware that early intervention is important, before problems become too serious, and that many members don’t know how to address these issues themselves, or where to get help.
With all of the above in mind, St. Dominic Credit Union Ltd has established the role of a Budget & Money Planner
What is this role and how will it benefit the member?
The Budget & Money Planner will work in partnership with members who are experiencing financial pressure. The member will avail of the financial knowledge and experience of our qualified financial and credit union advisor, while retaining, and ultimately regaining, control over their own financial affairs. This service is offered free of charge, to all members who feel they may benefit from a review of their current financial position.
The credit union approach has three distinct aspects:
- Work with the member to review their current financial position and identify any factors contributing to the pressure that the member may be currently experiencing.
- Assist the member in developing a plan of action to address the problem.
- Provide on-going support in implementing the agreed plan, including regular progress reviews.
To be effective, the procedure will require the member to understand the extent and nature of their present financial situation, and to commit to taking the measures required to address the issues arising from the review. In many instances, this will require a commitment to reduce spending in line with income, in accordance with an agreed budget plan.
As a member seeking the service of the Budget & Money Planner, what should I do?
STEP 1: The member should contact the credit union to arrange an interview with the Budget & Money Planner
You will be required to complete as far as possible, an Income and Expenditure document, in order that an accurate assessment of the overall position is available. This document will be posted to you or alternatively will be available in our offices at Summerhill and Mooncoin.
When an appointment time has been agreed, the member will attend with the Income and Expenditure document accompanied by the following:
- Confirmation of current income (up to date payslips / Social Welfare receipts)
- Bank Statement showing Mortgage repayments, Direct Debits / Standing Orders (last 6 months)
- Statement for all outstanding loan liabilities (last 6 months)
- Statements for all Credit Cards held (last 6 months.
The objective of this meeting will be to fully apprise all parties of the exact financial position. The above information is required to ensure that any assistance we can give is effective.
STEP 2: Having discussed the information supplied by the member at the initial interview, the Budget & Money Planner will spend some time reviewing all possible options and develop a draft plan (or plans) of action for discussion with the member. A second meeting will be arranged within 1 week of the initial interview, to discuss the options with the member. The plan may involve a combination of measures, including spending cuts and / or a restructuring of committed expenditure. The final plan will be agreed with the member at this meeting.
The objective of this meeting will be to agree a final plan which is both realistic and achievable. The benefits of adhering to this plan to the member will be outlined; however the member will be responsible for its implementation.
The Budget & Money Planner will review the members’ progress within 3- 4 months, but will remain available to the member to assist with difficulties as they arise. These reviews will include examining progress on the implementation of the plan and, depending on the progress made, the credit union may assist in consolidation or restructuring of debt, thus alleviating the level of debt repayment required on a weekly or monthly basis. Further reviews will be arranged quarterly or at the request of the member.