A NEW credit union aimed at helping struggling residents steer clear of loan sharks and payday loans has opened.

The new access points are at the housing reception area in Clacton Town Hall and at Jobcentre Plus in Dovercourt.

A third access point is set to open in Manningtree in the near future.

The union will give people the chance to borrow money at reasonable rates, receive advice on financial matters and will encourage them to save.

Credit unions are owned by their members and the council will pay the £3 joining fee for new savers in Tendring and is also putting £5,000 forward to be ring-fenced for loans to council housing tenants.

The union will be open to anyone who lives, works or studies in Tendring.