Credit unions

What are Credit unions?

Credit unions help you take control of your money by encouraging you to save what you can and only borrow what you can afford to pay back.

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, owned by their members and usually run by volunteers to benefit the community. They offer low-interest loans, savings accounts and other financial services offered by banks.

Unlike most banks, credit unions are more willing to make small loans of £50 to £3,000, and are a much cheaper alternative to payday loans.

They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which means they have to abide by certain rules and your money is protected.

A credit union might be for you if:

  • You can only afford to put a small amount of money away each week or you can only save now and then.
  • You want something you can use just like a bank account but with the convenience of local pay-in points (such as libraries or community centres).
  • You need a low-interest loan of £50 to £3,000 (some credit unions require you to already be a reliable saver before you can borrow from them).