Got a question about Credit Unions of Wales? Our most frequently asked questions are below, but if you can’t find what you are looking for then contact us.
What is Credit Unions of Wales?
Credit Unions of Wales is an association of the 18 credit unions across the country. Each credit union is independent but has the same structure in that it is a member-owned, financial co-operative offering savings and loans within the communities they serve.
How do I contact Credit Unions of Wales?
You can drop us a line through the contact us page. Media and marketing enquiries should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I become a member of a credit union?
Becoming a member of a credit union is easy. The first stage is to find your nearest credit union then follow their application process. This will normally include filling in a form and providing identification, but each credit union will have its own application process. To become a member of a credit union you will need to live or work within its Common Bond area.
What is a Common Bond?
One of the requirements of a credit union is that members have something in common with one another. This is known as a Common Bond and is defined by the credit union when deciding who is eligible to join. Membership can also be restricted to people living or working in a certain area, a profession or affiliation. Credit Unions in Wales tend to have a Common Bond that involves a geographical area.
How do I start saving with a Credit Union?
Once you become a member of a credit union you can start saving straight away. You can make deposits by direct debit, through a bank transfer or in person at your credit union office. If your employer is a Payroll Partner, then you can into your savings (or repay a loan) direct from your salary.
Will my savings be safe in a credit union?
Yes, all credit unions are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Your savings up to a value of £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, in the same way as savings with banks and building societies are protected. Credit unions are also fully insured against fraud.
Can my child save with a credit union?
Yes, most credit unions offer junior savings. A number of credit unions also offer School Savings schemes, where savings are processed at school, which can be a great aid to financial literacy.
How much interest will I get on my savings?
As member-owned, financial co-operatives, credit unions do not pay interest, but have dividends. The level of dividend awarded to members will depend on the amount of surplus profit made at the end of the financial year and this will vary by credit union and from year to year.
How do I become a Payroll Partner?
There are more than 140 employers in Wales signed up to Payroll Partnership schemes from SMEs through to large multi-nationals. These schemes are a free perk of employment for your staff and enable them to save (or borrow) direct from their salary. To register your interest in becoming a Payroll Partner contact us, or your nearest credit union, who will be able to guide you further.
How do I apply for a loan?
You will need to apply to an individual credit union, many are now able to process this online. The first step is to find your nearest credit union.
Do I need to save before I apply for a loan?
In most cases you will not need to save before you apply for a loan with a Credit Union in Wales. You will need to become a member of the credit union. Please check with your chosen credit union for full details of how to apply for a loan.
Can anyone apply for a credit union loan?
Loan applicants must be aged 18 or over and are assessed on an individual basis, subject to ability to repay. This includes people in work and those receiving benefits. Loan applications should be made through a credit union.
What happens if I don’t pay my credit union loan?
If you are struggling in any way to repay your loan, please speak to your credit union as soon as possible.
How much will it cost to borrow?
Members can use our loans calculator in the Members’ Area of our website to find out how much it will cost to borrow a loan with us. Please note that this calculator is based on our standard loan rates. Rates for loyalty, promotional or credit consolidation loans are charged at specific rates, subject to eligibility. If this is the case for the loan you are applying for, we will advise you of the details if your loan is approved.
How does my school set up a credit union savings scheme?
School savings schemes can be set up with a coordinator from your local credit union. Once the club is up and running, it is usually organised by the pupils themselves as junior cashiers under the supervision of a teacher, member of school staff or parent. There’s no charge to the school for setting up a savings club and pupils can save as little as they want because every penny soon adds up. To find out if your school could set up a savings scheme, contact your local credit union.