10 things you didn’t know about

Rutherglen Reformer - - International Credit Union Day - 20th October -

If you’re look­ing for an al­ter­na­tive to the hum­drum of high street banks that of­fer great sav­ings ac­counts and even loans at fan­tas­tic rates, a credit union might be right up your street (lit­er­ally).

Credit unions are of­ten over­looked when it comes to look­ing to for a way to save or bor­row, of­ten be­cause a lot of peo­ple still don’t quite know what they are.

Here are 10 things you might not know about credit unions and why you should con­sider them for your fu­ture fi­nan­cial needs. 1. What ex­actly are credit unions?

Credit unions are sim­i­lar to banks, they’re a place for you to save and to bor­row money but where they dif­fer is in their own­er­ship, man­age­ment and ethics.

They’re lo­cal non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions that tra­di­tion­ally cater to a com­mu­nity, area or trade which is of­ten re­ferred to as their com­mon bond. La­nark­shire Credit Union serves all those who live, work or vol­un­teer in North and South La­nark­shire. 2. They’re owned by their mem­bers

Each per­son who saves with them is a share­holder each with an equal say in how it’s op­er­ated re­gard­less of how much money they have saved.

Mem­bers also elect oth­ers from their ranks to sit on a board of di­rec­tors and rep­re­sent their in­ter­ests. They do this com­pletely vol­un­tar­ily un­like the some­times ex­or­bi­tantly paid bank­ing CEO’s that we of­ten hear about. 3. It’s a world­wide move­ment

In 2014 the World Coun­cil of Credit Unions statis­tics showed that there were over 57,000 credit unions world­wide with over 217 mil­lion mem­bers and it’s been grow­ing ever since.

In the UK there are over 350 op­er­at­ing with a col­lec­tive mem­ber­ship of over 1.1 mil­lion mem­bers. 4. They’re just as safe as the big banks

All staff and vol­un­teers who hold key po­si­tions within their credit union are ap­proved by the Fi­nan­cial Con­duct Author­ity, the same peo­ple who reg­u­late high street banks.

Your money is also cov­ered by the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Com­pen­sa­tion Scheme, if any­thing hap­pens to your Credit Union, the FSCS au­to­mat­i­cally re­funds sav­ings up to £75,000. You won’t have to do any­thing. 5. They’re non-profit, mean­ing their mem­bers ben­e­fit

Credit unions don’t horde their prof­its or pay out big bonuses to their di­rec­tors, in­stead any profit that’s made is paid back to their mem­bers.

This is known as div­i­dends, at the end of each fi­nan­cial year the credit union works out what profit is left af­ter its run­ning costs are worked out. What’s left over is paid back to its mem­bers as div­i­dends. 6. They of­fer a con­ve­nient way to save

Credit unions let you save in a way that suits you, whether that’s at a branch, a lo­cal col­lec­tions point or even by Di­rect Debit or Stand­ing Or­der there are lots of ways for you to get sav­ings.

They also of­fer lots of dif­fer­ent types of ac­counts from stan­dard sav­ings ac­counts to Christ­mas savers ac­counts giv­ing you flex­i­bil­ity in reach­ing your sav­ings goal. 7. They do loans as well

When peo­ple save with a credit union they’re help­ing cre­ate a pool of money from which other mem­bers can bor­row.

Credit unions of­fer a wide va­ri­ety of loans rang­ing from small loans that com­pete with pay day lenders crazy rates to larger loans at rates that are some­times bet­ter than those of­fered by other tra­di­tional lenders. 8. Some even of­fer Life Sav­ings and Loan Pro­tec­tion in­sur­ance

Life Sav­ings Pro­tec­tion pro­vides your fam­ily with a sin­gle lump sum pay­ment to cover end of life ex­pense in the event of your death. The value of this pay­ment is di­rectly linked to your sav­ings. Gen­er­ally, the more you save, the higher the ben­e­fit pay­ment.

Loan Pro­tec­tion is built into your loan when you bor­row from your credit union. It of­fers you the se­cu­rity of know­ing that in the event of your death, your loan will be cleared. 9. Peo­ple of all ages are wel­come

Credit unions of­fer mem­ber­ship from birth mean­ing you can get a head start on sav­ings and help your young ones get Savvy with their money.

One of the largest and most suc­cess­ful ju­nior sav­ings schemes amongst the UK Credit Union move­ment is run by La­nark­shire Credit Union.

They have over 7500 ju­nior savers that have saved a whop­ping £726,000 to date.

They also run a project called Savvy Savers that works with over 80 schools to teach kids about fi­nance and get them in­volved by run­ning their own mini credit unions. 10. Some even work with em­ploy­ers to bring their em­ploy­ees free ben­e­fits

Credit unions have a long his­tory of work­ing with em­ploy­ers to give their em­ploy­ees ac­cess to an easy means of sav­ings and af­ford­able credit.

They be­lieve that fi­nan­cial well­be­ing has an im­pact on phys­i­cal and men­tal well­be­ing and by pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ees with ac­cess to these ba­sic things that they will reap the ben­e­fit.

With sav­ings and loan re­pay­ments be­ing de­ducted straight from your salary you won’t ever have to worry about try­ing to get over to a branch or miss­ing a loan re­pay­ment again.

La­nark­shire Credit Union pro­vides ser­vices to peo­ple from all over La­nark­shire, serv­ing a mem­ber­ship of over 19,000 peo­ple.

Visit www.la­nark­shire­cred­i­tu­nion.co.uk to find out more.

Savvy savers There were over 57,0

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.