A recently launched fintech social enterprise is set to combat consumer debt in the UK.
Tully is free for consumers and created to improve financial education and make it easier for people to manage their money and repay debts faster.
The current average debt of a UK household has reached a record £15,400, amounting to a combined total of £482bn across the UK. Hundreds of thousands of people struggle with debt every year and it is estimated that the health impacts resulting from debt stress cost UK employers as much as £51bn per annum.
Tully uses new Open Banking technology to give people a holistic picture of their financial position in minutes – all done online and completely free. Every user receives a personalised financial plan, tailored advice and for those in more severe difficulty, the option to choose a flexible debt repayment plan that adjusts to the user’s financial situation every month.
These flexible repayments adjust to the reality of modern life, which increasingly involves variable income and shock expenses. By factoring in variable incomes, Tully helps users to pay back only what they can afford each month as a percentage of disposable income, avoiding the situation where people are left choosing between making payments to lenders or paying for life’s essentials like heating or food.
Tully’s use of Open Banking is being supported by Nationwide as part of their ‘Open Banking for Good’ initiative. Nationwide, in partnership with UK debt charities, civil society and government departments through the Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) will look to create and scale new Open Banking solutions that will improve financial capability.
Nationwide Chief Executive Joe Garner said: “While others may be looking at Open Banking through a commercial lens, Open Banking for Good is driven by our social purpose. The programme will see us partner with some of the UK’s smartest fintechs, debt charities and academics to use this revolutionary new technology to support people facing financial challenges.
“Our seven chosen fintech applicants will have access to vital insights, funding, and data to help them really make a difference. This is a great example of working across businesses, charities and government to make a positive difference in society.”
Stuart Bungay, CEO & Co-founder of Tully, commented: “Our focus at Tully is to help people, regain control of their money and move towards a more stable financial future.
“For many people who find themselves struggling from payday to payday, the fear of talking to lenders stops them from looking for help until their situation becomes severe. Unfortunately, the circumstances that create these severe situations are often triggered by unexpected and traumatic life events, such as bereavement, job-loss or divorce.
“With Tully we can help people navigate out of these situations, but critically we want to help people before things get unmanageable. We believe digital channels have a key role to play in helping improve access to support. By providing an easy to use, free, online tool we can help more people get a better understanding of their money, reduce their stress and help build financial resilience. It means if the worst does happen, they are better able to deal with it.”