1. They are non-profit making ‘community banks’ and the money saved stays in the area. Membership is restricted to those who live or work (including doing voluntary work) in the county.
2. They encourage people to save small amounts regularly and are an ideal way to put money aside for a special occasion such as Christmas or for an expensive item.
3. They offer an alternative to high street banks for people with a poor credit rating who may have problems opening a conventional bank account
4. Deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, so if the Credit Union fails your money will be safeguarded.
5. Accumulated savings provide a pool of money which can be used to provide low-cost loans (from 12.68% APR) to members, so they do not have to borrow from pay-day lenders such as Wonga who charge an eye-watering APR of 5,000%.
You pay a membership fee of £5.00 and agree to save a regular weekly/monthly amount. This can be done by Standing Order, where the minimum amount is £5.00. You can take your money out at any time.
We now have 15 people who have joined Fairshares Credit Union, 5 who have joined Just Credit Union (both in Shropshire) and one person who is a member of Moneybox Credit Union in Herefordshire.