Renfrewshire Council

Valuable insights for colleagues on payroll savings, credit unions and debt advice

Key info from the recent RenTalk session with Advice Works and Scotwest Credit Union.

RenTalks - Learning for Life As the long month of January drew to a close, Lynne Kerr, a senior service delivery officer in our Advice Works team, partnered with Scott Craig, from Scotwest Credit Union, to deliver a RenTalk session reminding colleagues about the tools and help available to support your financial wellbeing.

The presentations were well received with one staff member commenting:

"It was a very good session. Both presenters explained what people could get help with and also what their organisation and service did to find and help those people. I was glad they talked about the emotional/mental impact of and stigma around debt and financial worries, as this can be as damaging as the financial concerns themselves."

Here we cover the key info they shared in case you missed it...

Advice Works

Our Advice Works service supports local people with thousands of queries around money and debt issues every month. Their free, confidential, and independent advice can be a lifeline for those looking to gain more control of their finances.

As well as offering different types of practical help like benefit checks, budgeting, negotiating with creditors, and support handling mortgage and rent arrears, Advice Works advisors are compassionate and understanding.

Getting out of debt

If you are struggling with debt, Lynne recommends you:

  • make a list of creditors and what you owe them
  • list your income and your expenses
  • get a credit report
  • seek advice.

Anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire, including Renfrewshire Council colleagues, can get help from Advice Works.  All discussions and records are confidential, and the database isn't linked to any other Council systems.

To get in touch, email or call the helpline on 0300 300 1238.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are community-based non-profit cooperatives, that are owned by and provide benefits to their members only. Members usually have a common bond like where they live or work and through their credit union, they can access a variety of ways to save and borrow money safely.

Scott Craig,from Scotwest Credit Union, explained how it all works and the types of services credit unions can offer. While the different credit unions have varying products and benefits, they all have a similar ethos and offer a personalised approach to each member.

Products available at Scotwest include loans for a variety of purposes such as buying a car or consolidating debt, savings options for special purchases and junior accounts to help teach kids about money.

Payroll savings

Our arrangement with Scotwest means you can sign up to a payroll deduction scheme and put aside a set amount of money, straight from your pay, to build a savings pot or repay a loan. As a member, all you need to do is agree your payment plan with Scotwest and they will make the arrangement through payroll for you.

Christmas savings

With the Scotwest Christmas Savings Account, you can prepare for the festive season throughout the year by regularly saving through a payroll deduction scheme or Direct Debit arrangement. The money saved is paid out in November in time for Christmas shopping and festive activities.

Your savings are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and you may also receive a dividend as a member-owner of the credit union, prior to the automatic November payout.

Joining a credit union

To join a credit union, all you need is proof of address and identification. Scotwest has an online membership application form.

You can find your nearest credit unions online and if you live in Renfrewshire, you can visit the Renfrewshire Affordable Credit Alliance for information on fair and affordable credit locally including credit unions.

RenTalk session on budgeting skills, Thursday 22 February

Join advisors from our Multiply team and Renfrewshire Citizens Advice Bureau on Microsoft Teams, from 2pm-3pm on Thursday 22 February. In this session you'll learn useful tips and techniques to help you stay in control of your money. We'll talk about the cost of living, setting financial goals and budgeting, we'll discuss real-life examples and offer access to recourses to help you better understand your own spending habits.  

How to join a session

RenTalks take place on Microsoft Teams and if you have a council email address, invitations sessions will be sent directly to you.

If you don't have a council email address, don't worry, we can send invites to your personal email account too. Just send an email to and let us know which session you are interested in.

Published on Thursday 8 February 2024