It is considered to be the worst day of the new year, when finances take a hit from festive spending and woes are compounded by the cost of living. 

Known as Blue Monday, it is when credit card bills drop in and payments are due on Christmas purchases. 
It’s why one of the UK’s largest credit unions is preparing itself to help existing and new members, with the organisation ready to adapt to the ever-changing financial market.
This year Glasgow Credit 

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Union (GCU) is predicting debt consolidation and loans to pay off car payments will be among the key priorities. 
With more than 60,000 members, the Union has helped savers and borrowers weather previous financial storms and this year will be no different.
Paul Mcfarlane, chief technology officer with GCU, says while the outlook may seem bleak there is help at hand.
Mr Mcfarlane said: “People think credit union and they think about a small voluntary-run thing out of a shop front, but that is not us. We 
are a virtual digital first business and are competitive with our savings and loans.”
Initially established as the Glasgow District Council Employees Credit Union in 1989 for its employees, it expanded in the Glasgow postcode area and last year enlarged to surrounding postcodes in the west of Scotland

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While it is not a bank, members can keep up to date with their accounts through an app and also borrow online. For first time buyers, the credit union could be a way help them.
Mr Mcfarlane added: “Our mortgage product has usually been first-time-buyer-friendly and post 2008, when major lenders walked away from first-time buyers if they didn’t have a large deposit, we have stayed in that market and have still offered 100 per cent mortgages off and on.”
However, he says at times that is still not enough to get someone on the property ladder.
He added: “We offer 95 per cent mortgages, which are difficult to come by without a large premium elsewhere, but that is not what we are about. We are about covering our costs to lend to members. As we don’t borrow money on the markets the way banks do, we get money from our savers, which we then lend back out. As long as we cover our costs we can get the most affordable rate for our borrowers. 
“We are very competitive with first-time buyers, but the issues for some first-time buyers is not the mortgage, it is the lump sum they may need for the offers over situation we are seeing just now. That is why they are missing out the chance of a property.
“The £100,000 to £200,000 is the market we are in and that is doable, but they just can’t get the offers accepted.”
In its 34-year history, GCU has lent more than £700 million in unsecured loans and mortgages and has a loyal membership, with 87% of the current membership having been members for more than five years. 
A total of 53% of new members 
– that is those who have joined within the last two years –  are aged between 16 to 34, a rise within this age bracket on previous years. The largest increase in their products lately has been in consolidation loans.
“Around 10 years ago we introduced a debt consolidation product that was popular,” Mr Mcfarlane said. “The idea is we pay your debt off for you and then spread repayments over seven years with a fixed interest rate.
“Promotional rates on credit cards have gone now and rolled from one to another, but the market closed to that so if people come to us with a loan of 14% it can be cheaper than the credit card interest rates.
“We see there being a lot of demand for this because people’s discretionary spending dried up. There are two opportunities for us to grow as a s business with new members. One from debt consolidation but also car PCP [personal contract purchase]payments. It might be more affordable to keep the car and borrow from someone like us to make the balloon payment. I think that market I going to shift. With a combination of Covid and a demand for new cars and new car inflation, it has changed the market place and manufacturers aren’t incentivising as much as they were”