Penny Post signs up to the Debt Code

Penny Post Credit Union is proud to be the first credit union to sign up to the Code of Best Practice for Debt Collection and Recovery. Our members matter and committing to fair debt collection practices is important for the wellbeing and financial resilience of members.

What is the Code of Best Practice for Debt Collection and Recovery?

The Debt Code, developed by the Inclusive Economic Partnership, is a set of high-level principles around fair and consistent customer treatment in Collections & Recoveries practices. Nationwide Building Society led on the Debt Code in partnership with other pathfinder organisations including Anglian Water, BT for Hammersmith & Fulham Council. The Debt Code includes affordability, short-term support, communications and enforcement action, and sets out a consistent and responsible approach to collecting and recovering debt. Find out more here.

Why is the Debt Code important?

When collections and recovery practices are poor and inconsistent, people in debt can find it harder to repay what they owe. This can impact their mental and physical wellbeing and increase their vulnerability, which can in turn contribute to further financial hardship.

How we make our loan assessments

As a responsible lender, it’s important we only lend what a member can afford. Remember, we are lending money that is members’ savings, and it would be irresponsible to lend to those who are unable to repay.

We consider each loan application carefully. As part of the loan assessment, we use a licensed Credit Reference Agency, Equifax, and follow current credit union policies regarding your income, expenditure, spending habits and lending history.

Using Open Banking, we look at a member’s income and expenditure to see how much disposable income they have available (what’s left over after they’ve paid their essential living expenses) and can therefore afford to repay each week/month.

Short-term Support

Occasionally, members face unexpected circumstances which can lead to financial difficulties. In such cases, we deal sensitively and responsibly, helping members wherever possible.

If your circumstances change, or you have difficulties in meeting your loan repayments, contact us immediately and explain the situation. We will treat the matter sympathetically and in total confidence. Depending on circumstances, we will work with you and renegotiate the loan if possible. Talk to us, we are here to help if we can.

However, it is vital that members engage with us, provide supporting documents when required and keep in touch by their preferred method – telephone, email or Nivo. Enforcement action is a last resort, and wherever possible we work with members to support them and help improve their financial wellbeing.

Worried about your finances?

For members worried about their finances but not yet in arrears, support is available. Whilst the Penny Post team cannot give financial advice, we will signpost members to providers of free advice where appropriate. For example, the impartial Money Navigator Tool can give you guidance based on your situation, whilst the Money Helper (formerly the Money Advice Service) can help you access free, confidential and independent debt advice.