Not-for-profit community cooperatives that enable members to access affordable financial services
Also a potential solution for people who can’t get help from the usual institutions
A credit union is a form of financial cooperative, set up by people with a common interest, such as members of a local community, or within the same profession, industry or organisation e.g. club, trade union, church etc.
Originating in the 19th century, these cooperatives were based on the principle that individuals within a community could attain a better standard of living by pooling their savings, and assisting or lending the money to members of their community.
Credit Unions are ‘not-for-profit’ organisations, managed by the members for the members; funds are used to run their services and to benefit members (rather than reward 3rd party shareholders). They provide a range of financial services including competitive loans, savings and current accounts, and offer financial help and advice. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and therefore offer the same protection as regular savings and bank accounts.
In recent years, Credit Unions have gained in popularity amongst savers and borrowers. They can also sometimes assist people struggling with debt, or who are unable to borrow from other institutions, and may for example, offer a better alternative to a payday loan.
Find out more:
How Credit Unions work, their financial products, & how to find an organisation you could join
Credit Unions – Money Saving Expert
Borrowing from a Credit Union – Money Advice Service
The Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL)
Find a credit union you could join: