While the joy of the Christmas season can be seen on the faces of children opening gifts and the welcoming lights and decorations on people’s lawns, the stress can be seen on the hefty price tags and seemingly endless receipts. Fortunately, the expenses that invariably come with the season do not have to ruin the fun. With Allegius Credit Union’s Christmas Club Savings and Santa’s Helper Loan, you can get ahead of your holiday expenses.
“It was brought up to our staff through our members saying, ‘Hey, do you guys have a loan for the holidays that I can look into? Do you have a Christmas loan I could get instead of a credit card?’ It kind of evolved from there,” said Gary Fossey, Vice President of Member Development. “We kept getting the questions so we finally said, ‘Let’s do it and see what happens.’”
The interest from Allegius members in an alternative to credit cards to help them get through holiday expenses led to the creation of the Santa’s Helper Loan in 2019. In only one year, this option has since grown in popularity with the number of applications doubling as of this article’s posting date.
Not only does Allegius have a Santa’s Helper Loan, but on the savings side, a Christmas Club is available all year and helps members maximize small deposit capability to gain one large amount by setting aside deposits each week, every other week, or monthly for holiday costs. With this special account, members can make deposits whenever they choose, and many choose to make consistent deposits through automatic deduction from their work pay to reach their financial goal amount. With gifts and other items increasing in price over time, Fossey believes setting aside money in advance is more important than in years past.
“Years ago, you could probably get away with less money at Christmas time because gifts were more affordable. Everything has just increased in price now. If you’re able to consistently save any amount through Christmas Club Savings, by the time the holidays roll around, you have a good stockpile of money to cover expenses, and most importantly, you’re not increasing your credit or depleting your savings account. If you simply save $50 every two weeks for one year, you will have a nice $1,300 nest egg,” Fossey said. “As people sometimes joke, there is a hangover after the holidays when you realize what you spent in November and December, and it’s a horrible, overwhelming feeling. With Christmas Club Savings, you can take all of that away and compensate for it.”
For members who are not looking to set money aside but would rather receive financial aid for the holidays, there is Santa’s Helper Loan. Allegius offers a competitive rate for this loan product that Fossey said especially attracts younger members and makes it a more popular option. Members can apply for the loan online, and if approved, the funds can be put toward any expense. Typically, members take out anywhere from $500 to $2000 and pay back the loan over a 12 to 15-month period.
“This loan is nice because unlike a credit card that you have to wait to get in the mail and then activate, the Santa’s Helper Loan funds can be available to you in just one day, in most cases,” Fossey said. “Once the funds are in a member’s account, they can come in to withdraw or use their debit card for purchases. It’s a very nice option because you have almost instantaneous access to the money, and future payments are affordable.”
To learn more about the Santa’s Helper Loan and Christmas Club Savings account, visit https://www.allegius.org/.