Fair For You Enterprise
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. FFY provides loans to purchase a variety of goods, from fridges to bedroom furniture, with fair repayment options tailored to each individual. The organisation has thus far saved customers an average of £500 per loan, compared to other rent-to-own companies. Alongside other funding, FFY received a £250,000 loan from the Social Growth Fund to further develop its infrastructure.
Fair For You has a rapidly growing base of about 5,000 customers, including 750 customers across Scotland, who have collectively saved over £400,000 (about £580 per household) through the avoidance of high cost credit, additional hidden charges for warranties, insurance and installation and unaffordable penalties for late payments. That’s money that stays in the household to meet their rent or other bills, start to build up savings or spend on other essentials, often for their children; helping address the issues of poverty.
Many customers have previously had no alternative but to buy through rent-to-own stores and unscrupulous lenders because they have few savings and few options. According to the Financial Conduct Authority, around half of the people who have used rent-to-own companies have experienced some degree of late payment fees, with more than one in 10 thought to end up having their goods repossessed.
There is a large section of the UK population who are only one white good breakdown away from financial hardship. These families often cannot afford to take on debt with high street banks. Social Investment Scotland’s funding comes from the £16M Social Growth Fund, managed by SIS, to provide loans to social enterprises and the third sector. To date, the fund has lent more than £6M to help 12 organisations increase their social impacts.
“Fair for You has already made significant strides in helping low income families in England through our low cost credit products, so we’re confident that we’ll see similar levels of demand in Scotland. The investment from SIS will help us to meet that demand through the affordability and availability of finance, helping us to create a real and long-lasting contribution to alleviating poverty in Scotland.”
Angela Clements, CEO, Fair For You
Fair For You (FFY) offers an alternative, affordable source of credit for those who want to buy household items. It provides loans to purchase a variety of goods, from fridges to bedroom furniture, with fair repayment options tailored to each individual. Customers are treated with dignity and respect by FFY and save an average of £500 per loan, compared to other rent-to-own companies. Alongside other funding, FFY received a £250,000 loan from the Social Growth Fund to further develop its infrastructure.
Alastair Davis, Chief executive, Social Investment Scotland
“Affordable credit has been a growing social problem in recent years. Families on low incomes have had little alternative but to use high cost lenders for renting or buying white goods, which all too often results in payment defaults and further financial hardship. Fair for You is helping to break this stranglehold by offering transparent and affordable credit solutions which benefits society’s poorest families and individuals in the UK. We’re delighted to be working with Angela and her team to help support the growth of this business in many of Scotland’s poorest communities, where access to low cost credit is so desperately needed.”