The Handy, Budget and Premier Loans from Hoot Credit Union have been awarded five stars by the Fairbanking Foundation. This makes Hoot the first credit union in Greater Manchester and only the fifth personal loan provider in the UK to achieve this level.

The Fairbanking Mark is awarded for the way in which these loan products from Hoot act fairly when dealing with members at all stages of the loan process including application, repayment and when members are in difficulty. The credit union also had to evidence that members have experienced a tangible positive impact on their financial wellbeing from using its personal loan features. A great deal of positive feedback from the consultation with member borrowers helped Hoot to achieve this accolade. Hoot Credit Union’s Handy, Budget and Premier Loans have been awarded the highest rating for giving customers a fair deal.

Steve Bottrill, Chair of Hoot, said: “This quality mark is a significant step in helping members to identify that our loans have been rigorously tested for the financial well-being they can deliver.”

“We want to recognise the work of staff and support of members in this achievement. As a community led co-operative, we strive to put members at the centre of everything we do and we work hard at providing the community with a fair and responsible alternative for financial services.”

Antony Elliot, Chief Executive of the Fairbanking Foundation commented: “The five star Fairbanking Mark for the Handy, Budget and Premier Loans from Hoot are a well-deserved reward for their contribution to the financial wellbeing of Hoot’s customers. The award for the Handy Loan product is a reassuring sign that there are personal loans serving the financial wellbeing of customers with lower credit ratings for whom many less reputable alternatives exist.”

Hoot offers savings accounts and affordable loans to people resident, working or in education in Bolton, Bury, and parts adjoining parts of Salford, Wigan, and Blackburn. For more information, visit www.wisewithmoney.org.uk