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Supporting your credit union

As well as basic financial services such as savings, loans and in some cases current accounts, many credit unions now offer Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), insurance products as well as budgeting and debt management advice.

Whether or not you have access to high street banking and financial services, it’s worthwhile being a member of your local credit union. You can put a little aside to help you finance a project, a holiday or perhaps just saving towards those times in the year that can prove expensive – like Christmas, uniforms for children starting school and so on.  

Becoming a member and saving with a credit union couldn’t be easier: you can save by making deposits to the credit union in person; by standing order; at a local collection point or in some cases by payroll deduction or by other schemes such as the housing benefit scheme. Check out with your local union a way that’s convenient for you. Visit the Credit Unions of Wales website (external link).

You can do all this knowing that you are helping to support your local community, and that your money is in a safe place that is backed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

As a member, your credit union can grant you a loan for that unexpected purchase. Conditions will vary between each credit union. Some will allow people to borrow as soon as membership has been agreed, while others will require a period of saving regularly before borrowing is allowed.

But credit unions cannot legally charge more than 2% interest a month on the reducing balance of the loan (equivalent to an APR of 26.8%). Many will charge less than this (Typically 12.68% APR).

Volunteering

Volunteering with your local credit union is a great way to develop new skills and to brush up on existing skills. It gives you a chance to take an active role in a vital community service.

Because credit unions are financial co-operatives owned and managed by the members who use them, they rely on volunteers to be able to act as board members, provide information and advice to the public, help with marketing and publicity, and carry out administrative tasks and help at collection points.

If you are interested in volunteering and believe that you have something to offer your local credit union – check out your local credit union website to find out if there are any vacancies in your area.