What are Credit Unions?

Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned, community savings and loans providers.

Unlike high street banks, credit unions are run as cooperatives by the members for the members. It means that when you become a saver, or borrower, with your local credit union, you also become a member and have a say in how it’s run.

Each member has one vote and volunteer directors are elected from the membership.

There are no external shareholders or investors with credit unions, so any surplus profit is returned to members via an annual dividend.

That means the emphasis is always on providing the best service to members – putting you ahead of profits.

Credit Unions have a proven track record across the world with 217 million members in 105 different countries.

Here in Wales we have 18 credit unions, offering savings and loans through our offices, online, with Payroll Partners and School Saver schemes.

Credit Unions are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority which means that as a member, your savings are protected up to £85,000, just like they are with a bank.

Credit Unions also offer loans at fair and reasonable interest rates, taking into account what people can afford to repay.

Owned and run for the benefit of our members, credit unions are financially sympathetic, lending is judged on your specific circumstances and not just a credit score.

There are no hidden charges or fees on any transactions, loans are offered at the rates advertised, there are no early settlement fees and loan protection Insurance is usually offered free of charge.

Interested in joining your local credit union? You will find their details on the Find My Nearest Credit Union Office page.

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