A CREDIT union will be set up for residents in Tendring to help them steer clear of loan sharks and payday loan companies.

Tendring Council’s cabinet agreed to support the expansion of the successful Colchester Credit Union into the district.

The union launched in 2002 and has 500 members – it will now be opened up to anyone who lives, works or studies in the Tendring district.

“This is a real asset for residents of Tendring,” said Paul Honeywood, cabinet member for housing.

“It provides people not just a facility to borrow money at reasonable rates, but an opportunity to get advice on financial management, if they need it."

The district council will pay the £3 joining fee for new savers from Tendring. The council will also offer up to £5,000 for loans to council house tenants and provide office space in Clacton Town Hall.

It is hoped that the scheme will help to keep those who are struggling to makes ends meet away from loan sharks and encourage them to save.