A CREDIT union is on its way to Carmarthen as tough times continue to bite.
After months of talks and planning, Ceredigion-based Credcer will extend its coverage into Carmarthenshire and change its name to West Wales Credit.
It is hoped the union's expansion will help families across the county avoid becoming victims of loan sharks and payday loan firms.
Also backing the scheme is Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services (Cavs).
Vanessa Owens, who is operations manager at the union, said: "We will be expanding into Carmarthenshire and also into north Pembrokeshire, but not as far as Llanelli."
The credit union will work as a co-operative.
"As well as individuals and families we want to attract charities to come to us as well."
Savings will be safeguarded up to £85,000 and as a community bank, credit unions can only lend money out of funds invested by local people. Members and community groups may borrow up to £7,500.
Mrs Owens added: "We are also in the process at looking at setting up an office in Carmarthen so people can come to see us.
"There is also our website which is being updated. That will be available for people to apply for loans online and check their accounts."
The West Carmarthen Association of Independent Churches has backed the idea since it was raised earlier this year. Carmarthen Town Council has also welcomed the scheme.