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One of the members of the Singapore Police Co-operative (Police Co-op) shares his story of how his co-op had helped him weather his financial difficulties by providing an affordable financial solution.

 

Credit Co-operatives

 

Family Composition

Sam joined the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in 2010 and has been a member of Police Co-op since. He is presently living with his spouse in their own flat for a period of almost 2 years.

 

Sam stays close to his parents’ home. He has an elder brother who is staying with his parents.

 

Why Sole Breadwinner

Sam’s father used to work as a taxi driver but is currently unemployed due to his poor eyesight. His father was asked to quit his job because he was involved in several car accidents.

 

His mother is a housewife. She is physically unfit to work due to her health conditions which require long term medications. Sam’s spouse is also a housewife who helps to take care of his parents as they cannot afford to hire a domestic helper.

 

Sam’s elder brother is unemployed, resulting in Sam solely shouldering all the financial burdens of the family.

 

Being the sole breadwinner of the family, Sam is financially supporting his spouse, his parents and his elder brother.

 

Liabilities Snowballed

Sam’s father tried to lessen the financial burdens of the family by looking for other jobs. However, he was either retrenched or replaced within a short period of time after employment. Till now, he is still searching for a job to earn an income but to no avail. With no income, and faced with medical bills and other domestic expenses, his parents’ mortgage loan snowballed to an outstanding amount of $10,000.

 

In order to help ease the financial issues of his family, Sam applied for a credit card to try to pay off the existing bills and debts incurred by his family. He did this by withdrawing cash advances from the card. As time passed, he realised that he was unable to withdraw any further cash from the ATM using the said credit card.

 

 Credit Co-operatives

 

Licensed Money Lender

As his liabilities started to increase, Sam realised that his monthly salary was not enough to meet the needs and expenses of his family. At his wit’s end, he turned to a licensed money lender and took up a loan of $15,000 with a monthly instalment plan of 6 months. Subsequently, he was unable to meet his monthly repayments.

 

Declared Financial Embarrassment

Knowing that his outstanding liabilities exceeded 3 times his monthly gross salary as he struggled to make ends meet for his family, Sam declared his financial embarrassment status to his superior.

 

Getting Superior’s Support

Upon understanding his situation, his superior referred him to Police Co-op for a loan to clear off his debts.

 

As Sam’s case was a complex one, a Commander’s Letter of Support was required to support his loan application. Sam met his Commander who agreed to support his loan application.

 

Sam’s loan was approved with the necessary supporting documents. The loan to him was structured to ensure that he had the means to pay. With the loan, he managed to clear his liabilities.

 

Resolution to Seek Solution to Financial Liabilities

Sam shared that if he had not approached Police Co-op for a financial solution, he might have lost his job. He would have broken down emotionally. With the financial assistance Police Co-op provided, he could focus better at work and look after his family better too. He also resolved to help his elder brother seek employment, so that he could help ease the tremendous pressures on the family’s finances.

 

Singapore Police Co-op

 

 

*Based on a true story. Name of the officer has been changed to protect his identity.

 


 

This article was first published in the Police Co-operator newsletter (April – September 2019). For more information, please visit https://policecoop.org.sg/publications/.

 

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Singapore National Co-operative Federation
510 Thomson Road #12-02
SLF Building, Singapore 298135
Email: [email protected]
Tel (65) 6602 0747, Fax (65) 6259 9577

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