Credit unions are not for profit and offer services similar to banks and building societies.

What they offer includes:

  • school and junior savings
  • individual savings accounts (ISAs)
  • insurance products
  • loans
  • rent, budgeting and debt management advice
  • pre payment debit cards
  • payroll deduction scheme with money taken from employees salaries

They are member-owned, community savings and loans providers.

Credit unions are a good alternative to pay-day loan companies or loan sharks as they cannot legally charge more than 26.8% APR and many will charge less (typically 12.68% APR).

Similar to banks savings they are also protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.