Check out what everyone is saying about Fair for You, featured in major news sources such as BBC News, the Independent and the Guardian.
Not-for-profit set to take a bite out of food poverty
The school holidays should be a fun time for families, but what should be a welcome break throws half a million children in the UK into food poverty. Not-for-profit lender ‘Fair for You’ has been awarded Nesta Challenges funding of £150 000 to test ways of tackling this growing problem, which is reported to be on the rise.*
Options for affected families are often limited, with many resorting to food banks or high cost lenders to make ends meet. For some time ‘Fair for You’ has been considering on how it can provide small amounts of credit to alleviate food poverty experienced by lower income families during school holidays. It is delighted that Nesta shares its passion for solving this issue and will be supporting vital work to overcome the barriers that make it difficult for affordable credit organisations to provide practical solutions that low income families so desperately need.
As a direct result of Nesta Challenges funding, Fair for You will be developing smaller loans for those with thin credit files. This will provide small amounts of credit for a weekly food shop with flexible weekly payments, mirroring Fair for You’s existing award winning approach to providing vital household items.
Key to the success of this pilot is the utilisation of card technology which will enable struggling families to access and spend these vital funds without stigma. The pilot will be launched in partnership with a leading supermarket, targeting areas with the highest use of food banks and high cost credit.
Angela Clements, CEO of Fair for you, commented:
“While our political leaders continue to slug it out about whether the UK should be in or out, half a million children are going hungry. This is an urgent and growing problem, which cannot be put on the back burner.
“For low income families, when school dinners are not available and childcare costs rise, these already vulnerable households turn to food banks or high cost credit to make ends meet. They simply do not have the budget for a weekly shop.
“This situation is hugely stressful for impacted families. If we are to alleviate holiday hunger, we as a lender need to find effective ways of providing small amounts of credit for a weekly food shop with flexible weekly payments, mirroring the solution we have developed over the last four years for other vital household goods.
“We will be working with a like-minded supermarket partner who shares our passion for supporting struggling families to access high quality, nourishing, low-cost food.
“Having partnerships with EML on the payment solution and Lending Metrics on the expansion to our lending assessment will allow us to create an innovative, and sustainable solution that aims to be transformational for marginal family households faced with extraordinarily difficult decisions every school holiday.”
“Six partnerships between fintechs and community lenders have been awarded £150,000 each in funding to develop new innovative solutions to bridge the gap left by the collapse of the payday lending industry.”
Fair for You and EML & Lending Metrics – “A revolving loan facility to provide buffer credit specifically for an additional frozen food shop in school holidays, when low income households often using high cost short term credit to cover spikes in grocery costs when children do not have school dinners provided.”
Ethical lender addresses customer mobility needs
Ethical pay weekly lender Fair for You responds to one third of its customer base who have a long term health condition or disability* with the introduction of Middletons mobility product range. The partnership marks the eighth national retailer to join Fair for You’s online offering.
Fair for You, also a social enterprise with a mission to remove material poverty from all homes across the UK, recently reached a 16 million pound milestone in loan deliveries. The lender doesn’t offer cash loans and every penny of the 16 million loaned has gone towards essential household items for low-income families.
Angela Clements founder and CEO commented:
‘I’m absolutely delighted that Middletons joins other household brands such as Carpetright, Dunelm, and Hotpoint as suppliers of our services. Our customers value a credit provider that respects their situation and doesn’t seek to maximise income at the toughest of times.’
‘We know that 33% of our customers have a long term limiting health condition or disability, and that 28% of our customers are caring for someone else with a health problem or disability. As a supplier Middletons will provide essential household items for these customners.*’
‘Flexible and supportive credit solutions are now essential for a generation that have fluctuating incomes – often with low visibility of income and expenditure making them vulnerable. We don’t charge late fees, and we welcome customers back at any time, on any payment plan that works for them whilst paying the loan.’
‘Almost half (45%) of our customers with health problems or disabilities felt that using Fair for You meant they are better able to cope with these. They were also more likely than other customers to report improvements in budgeting and saving*.’
‘Furthermore, 56% of our customers with health problems and/or disabilities also reported reductions in feelings of stress, anxiety and depression compared to 39% of customers without health problems or disabilities.*’
“Middletons has become the eighth national retailer to be listed on Fair for You, a not-for-profit credit lender that helps people access household items they would usually be unable to afford.
Fair for You provides finance to people who do not have access to mainstream credit so that they can purchase goods for their home directly from retailers and manufacturers.”
“Alongside its rapid expansion of bricks and mortar stores across the UK, Middletons has partnered with credit provider Fair for You to offer a weekly pay loan option on its range of mobility scooters, chairs and beds.
A social enterprise, weekly pay lender Fair for You describes itself as an ethical alternative to high-cost weekly payment stores, offering payment terms and options tailored for those with low incomes.”
“The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has released draft guidance to the financial services sectors on treating vulnerable consumers fairly.In the consultation, the regulator set out practical standards for firms to follow to ensure staff understand the needs if vulnerable people and are trained to accommodate them.”
In the past Big Issue Invest has backed not-for-profit lenders like Fair For You to help stop people falling into the hands of unscrupulous lenders.
‘Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “The Affordable Credit Loan Fund ensures there is a clear alternative for people to access credit and not need to turn to pay day lenders, which can often charge extortionate interest rates and leave people trapped in a cycle of debt.
“I’m pleased that the fund is supporting not-for-profit organisations like Fair For You to expand their services in Scotland.”‘
“Not-for-profit lender Fair For You, which provides loans for essential items, is to expand its services in Scotland thanks to a £500,000 investment from a Carnegie UK Trust fund. […] Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell welcomed the development as a “clear alternative” to payday lenders.”
Sir John stated: “Our Affordable Credit Loan Fund and national action group are seeking to bring new solutions to the affordable credit debate, with a focus on identifying sustainable, not-for-profit alternatives to the commercial high cost credit market.
“We are delighted that our first investment has been made to Fair for You to help Scottish customers better manage the affordable credit options available to them.”
“Collapsed lender Wonga was reviled for its high charges, but will it be missed by those in need of quick cash? Gemma Evans, 32, from Holyhead is on benefits and could not join because of her credit rating and her husband’s bankruptcy. Now, she uses Fair For You, a community interest company owned by a charity that sells household items on credit.”
Fair for You is once again a double award winner the the 2nd year running! We’ve been voted ‘Best Alternative Finance Provider’ and ‘Firm of the Year’
“Examples of ventures tackling the Poverty Premium, some of which have been invested in by the Fair By Design Venture Fund: Fair For You is a new alternative
to high-cost weekly payment stores like Brighthouse”
Well according to our Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis, 400,000 families in the UK risk paying that for a bog standard fridge that costs everyone else £300 because they buy through rent-to-own. […] There’s also other non-profit firms like Fair for You,which may be a more competitive form of rent-to-own
Responsible Finance’s latest and final report in a series designed to advance the supply of affordable credit to UK consumers looks at how existing affordable lenders have scaled, offering insight into the potential for the sector’s growth. Responsible Finance’s latest report presents five case studies of responsible finance providers’ pathways, including Fair for You.
The Consumer Credit Awards have announced Fair for You as a Consumer Credit Awards 2018 Finalist for Best Alternative Finance Provider!
3 minutes in: “…there are companies out there that are alternatives to the likes of Brighthouse like Fair for You which is just online. These companies are better, but we have to be better at sign posting and pointing people towards them.”
“At Fair for You, we are path makers. We want to show it’s possible to deliver fairer solutions that can lift people out of the #povertypremium. To be pioneering you need brave investors, people who have the courage to sit behind you and help you knock down the barriers ahead.” – CEO Angela Clement in Big Issue Invents Social Impact Report 2018.
“Using a credit union and Fair for You is definitely the best way forward for people like me that are on low incomes and don’t have the best credit,” says Siobhan Taylor, a FFY customer.
“According to research, over ¼ of us Brits don’t have savings if we are hit by an emergency such as a broken washing machine.
Michael Sheen and others are leading a big campaign to end high cost credit in the UK […] We’ve found a rapidly growing not for profit personal credit company called Fair for You, that is affordable and really loved by its customers.
Fair for You is part of an alliance of organisations leading the challenge to high cost credit in the UK. The page was launched by Michael Sheen this year.
Those on the lowest incomes pay the most to borrow money even where they are borrowing for essentials. This is compared to those on higher incomes who can generally borrow at lower rates for luxuries like holidays and high-end consumer goods.
“There is a financial market there to help, with credit unions and providers such as Scotcash, Fair for You and Conduit Scotland among those offering an alternative to high-cost credit on a not-for-profit basis.” (March 2018)
“There are many lower income families in Scotland and across the UK that cannot overcome a financial emergency such as a washing machine or fridge freezer breaking. These families often end up trapped in debt which starts with a very basic need to buy an essential item, without access to mainstream or store credit. Fair For You (FFY) was set up to create an alternative, affordable source of credit that is supportive, highly visible and flexible. It is also tailored for the needs of those who have to turn to credit to overcome household emergencies, yet need financial household stability.” Read more on their website here.
“If you need to borrow money quickly or pay for something in instalments, there are much cheaper alternatives to big name rent-to-own and doorstep lenders. Here are five to consider…”
Huffington Post (March 2018): We Must End Exploitative Lending Practices And Make Credit Fair For Those Who Need it – Micheal Sheen launches The End High Cost Credit Alliance
“A fair finance provider is simply a business that is prioritising YOUR financial needs, health and wellbeing, over THEIR profit. You might not have heard of them because they don’t have the marketing budgets of Brighthouse, Wonga and other household names. But there are many social businesses across the UK providing a fairer deal for customers – Fair for You […]or your local credit union.” (March 2018)
The Guardian (Oct 2017) : At last, it’s payback time for BrightHouse – a £600 computer can cost £2,000. But now the rent-to-own retailer has to repay £14.8m to customers.
“Laura Hutchison, who lives with her daughter Ellie in Galston, Scotland, and is on benefits, was paying off an L-shaped sofa from BrightHouse over several years but, she says, only managed £1,800 out of £2,500, so never ended up owning it. She reckons it would have cost £500-600 on the high street. “I’d never buy anything from BrightHouse again,” she says.
She has since found Fair For You, a not-for-profit credit provider that funds household goods. Hutchison has bought a bunk bed, double bed and vacuum cleaner and says it took no more than six months to pay off an item.”
Another mention of Fair for You as a good alternative to high cost credit & rent to own stores like Brighthouse in The Guardian:
‘Yvonne Fovargue MP, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on debt and personal finance, which conducted an inquiry into the rent-to-own sector two years ago, called on the government “to do more to promote safer forms of credit for the most financially excluded”. She welcomed social enterprise initiatives such as not-for-profit credit provider Fair for You “which are giving families access to essential household goods at prices they can truly afford”.’
“The Big Issue is championing fair access to credit for the poorest in society. Angela Clements from not-for-profit lender Fair for You says lower-income households should get a lot more help. Read more here.”
Fair for You is hosted on the Social Enterprise Social Saturday Market Place.
Once a year Social Enterprise UK, the leading global expert on social enterprises, hosts a campaign to raise awareness of the difference companies like Fair for You are making to their communities, and encourage people to support these businesses.
Check us out on their website as the only social enterprise that provides items for the home on finance: https://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/homeware
Many of us are aware that this is an expensive way to buy household items, but if you are hard-up and urgently need a bed for your child, or a cooker or new washing machine, you may feel you have no choice but to turn to a company such as BrightHouse. But the good news is that things are changing. A new breed of socially responsible companies is emerging that aim to break the stranglehold of the major pay-weekly retailers by helping poorer families to buy the things they need without having to pay a “poverty premium”.
This new wave is being spearheaded by Fair for You…”
Read more in this Guardian article
We’ve done it!
We’re delighted to have been the only firm to pick-up two awards at the Consumer Credit Awards 2017, and it’s all down to our customers.
We picked up the “Consumer Credit Champion” and “Best Newcomer” awards. The awards are run by Smart Money People, and decided by customer voting, so we’re particularly delighted to be recognised as a leading consumer credit business that puts customers at its heart.
Plymouth was announced as one of two social enterprise cities in the UK in September 2013. Since then, the City Council has been keen to encourage innovative social enterprises into the city.
As a social enterprise, wholly-owned by a charity of the same name, Fair for You CIC was given a grant in May 2016 to deliver an awareness-raising campaign of our offering throughout the city, and present it as an alternative to high cost lenders and rent-to-own stores.
Informed by the outcomes of our early trading experience (evaluating the results of an early pilot we ran with LB of Islington), our approach was to go direct to where we see our core demographic. Read more….
Peter Holbrook, CEO of SEUK said, ‘Fair for You are taking on the often predatory actions of high cost weekly payment stores. They’re a fantastic example of a social enterprise entering a dysfunctional market, causing disruption and transformation that works for low income communities.
“In the run-up to Christmas, local people who want to be able to spread the cost of household items, and pay back in the New Year, without paying high interest can take advantage of a social enterprise which has already saved its Plymouth customers £28,000.”
Read the blog by CEO & Founder Angela Clements introducing Fair for You, the brand & our goals.
Just Finance Foundation
CEO, Angela Clements, writes about her thoughts on setting up Fair for You: “I realised then that there was nobody offering people without what is considered to be a ‘perfect credit profile’, a small loan (£250-350), other than payday lenders, and the really high-cost credit shops on the high street…”
Business Comparison: Social Saturday
“Fair for You shows how a social enterprise can disrupt what is a dysfunctional market, transforming it to have a positive impact on people’s lives.” – On 15th October Social Enterprise UK will launch Social Saturday to raise awareness of socially motivated businesses. Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, Peter Holbrook CBE gave us a mention on Business Comparison.
2nd Social Impact Report from CfRC (September 2016)
A big thank you to everyone who filled out our survey and the 44 customers who took part in our research to create this Social Impact Report. We’re taking your feedback and we’re using it to make sure more people & MPs understand your experiences of using credit. Download this report here.
City Housing Trust
Fair for You is a not-for-profit organisation that provides loans to people to buy household items, with options to repay weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
The London Economic
Why We Need A Better Debt Solution For Millions
AdviceUK is pleased to announce the extension of its categories of affiliation and welcomes Fair for You as the first AdviceUK Associate organisation.
NEA July Newsletter
NEA (National Energy Action) is the national charity working to end fuel poverty in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Listen to Stacey on Plymouth’s 96.3 Cross Rhythms Radio:
CEO Angela Clement’s Interview on Plymouth Radio:
Exploitation of consumers in the rent-to-own sector prompts calls for greater regulation – Financial Health Exchange
A recent investigation for the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme saw Labour leader Ed Miliband call for better and clearer regulation of the rent-to-own sector.
Download the Fair for You Autumn/ Winter Newsletter:
“Social enterprise and ethical lender, Fair for You has launched a Pay Now facility on its website. This will allow social landlords who wish to support its work to buy direct from it at market comparable prices in the knowledge that this will support Fair for You’s work, and enable it to continue to offer services to more customers.”
“If you don’t have a good enough credit score to qualify for 0% and low interest credit, Fair For You is a good alternative to high-interest lenders and retailers.”
“Tired of high interest lenders and high cost retailers targeting low income consumers on the High Street, some authorities, social enterprises and credit unions are fighting back”
“Social enterprise lender Fair for You, which has been welcomed by Plymouth City Council, is offering transparent and affordable credit to Plymouth families who find it difficult to access to mainstream finance.”
Social Stock Exchange
“Fair for You has saved its customers over half a million pounds during its first six months of trading, with savings equating to more than £750 per family.”
Social Enterprise UK
“Customer service feedback from Q1 trading shows that new social enterprise challenger to high cost credit sector is garnering market-leading feedback from its customers.”
or download this here: Fair for You Press Release April 2016
“Fair for You: Better lending to lower paid households. A new social enterprise is taking on the rent-to-own sector…”
“…not-for-profit online lender Fair for You launched last month. It offers much more affordable finance for home essentials.”
Pioneers Post Quarterly
“New social enterprise to provide low income households a lifeline”
Church Action on Poverty
“Fairforyou: An affordable alternative to Brighthouse”
“Charities back alternative to rent-to-own retailer”
Good With Money.com
“Can short-term lenders ever be ethical? New launch Fair For You thinks so “
Financial Health Exchange
“A real challenge to high impact high cost credit?”
“Social Investment Scotland and The Robertson Trust have invested £500,000 into ethical lender Fair for You.
The combined funds will give 3,000 Scottish households the chance to help themselves out of poverty by increasing the availability and affordability of credit on essential household items, generating an annual saving of around £1.7m for those customers.”
Be Money Ready
“If you’re looking to borrow money to buy an essential household item such as a washing machine or cooker, it might be worth checking out Fair for You.”