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FAQs

1) Why is a credit union loan better for me?

There are many reasons why our loans are better for you than a bank loan.

For example:

  • A credit union won’t exclude you just because a computer says so
  • We won’t offer loans you can’t afford
  • We can offer lower amounts of loans that the banks just don’t offer
  • Loans usually come with free life insurance
  • There are no arrangement fees or early repayment penalties and the maximum interest rates are set by law
  • If you have been using doorstep lenders, then a credit union loan will be less expensive by a large amount

This all means that you will only get affordable loans from us.

2) Who can get a loan?

You do not need to be a saving member to be considered for a loan. Take a look at our loan types and see which applies to your circumstances.

It is worthwhile to note that our Low Income Loans are guaranteed against a benefit.  This benefit should be more that the minimum loan and share payments and all benefits are considered. If you are working and receive Child Benefit or Tax Credits we can consider you for this loan product.

Loans are only granted to members of the credit union. All members must save whilst repaying their loan.

3) How much can I borrow?

The minimum loan is currently £400, the maximum loan is £15,000.

How much you can personally borrow depends on various things like how long you have been a saving member, your payment history, whether you can afford to pay it back and how much money for loans the credit union has available when you apply.

The credit union aims to support you and at the same time protect its members’ money and we do that by assessing each application individually. It is not in our interests or yours to lend you money you can’t repay.

4) What are your interest rates?

Interest on credit union loans is limited by law, so you will never pay more than 3% per month (42.6% APR) and many loans are much lower than this.

Take at look at our loan products to see our rates. It is worthwhile to note that unlike other lenders credit union loans are not on a fixed APR. Interest is calculated daily on the outstanding balance. This means that the more you pay or the more often you pay the less interest is on your loan. This puts you the member in control of the loan length and cost.

5) I think I have seen lower rates on the high street, why?

You may see lower APRs advertised but we recommend that you check whether the advertised rate applies to the loan amount you actually need. Often, the lowest advertised rates from major financial institutions only apply to the higher value loans and are quoted as a “representative” rate, which means that may not be the rate that you are offered. Many of our customers have reported to us that bank's offered them a loan at a much higher rate than advertised. With us, what you see is what you get.

You might find that they won’t even provide the loan amount that you need at any rate.

Also, check what you will actually pay monthly and what is included. We charge interest on the reducing balance only, whereas they might apply interest up-front on the total loan.

In addition, you build up savings so that you can pay off your loan early or, if your loan runs its full term, you have a savings balance to keep.

As we are a regulated credit union, you know that you are not paying for outside shareholders or profits. Surpluses, after operating costs and allocation to reserves, are used to pay dividends to savers.

6) How do I repay my loan?

In the same way you make payments to your savings account. This might be by cash, debit card, direct payroll deduction, standing order or through benefit payments directly to your credit union account.

7) Can I pay off my loan early?

Yes. If you wish to repay your total outstanding loan early you can do so in one payment. Just contact us to check the final payment required. There are no early repayment charges for this.

8) Can I pay extra amounts off my loan if and when I have the money?

Yes, we welcome extra payments at any time. You can do this by cash/debit card in the office or by making a telephone payment. Making extra payments reduces the length and overall interest on your loan.

9) If I leave my current employer - can I still be a member?

If you leave your employer, you can still retain membership of the Credit Union; however it is your responsibility to contact us to keep us updated and to make alternative arrangements for paying into your account or repaying your loan.

10) How do I apply for a loan, and how long will it take?

Call us on 01294 557123, visit us at: 147 Main Street, Kilwinning, KA13 6EQ or apply online.

How long does it take to get my loan?

This depends on the loan product you are applying for:

  • Guaranteed Loan: As these loans are always granted we can arrange the loan on the day of application.
  • Share based Loans: Subject to checks these loans can be arranged for the next working day.
  • Low Income Loans: As these loans require a benefit to come directly into the credit union the loans are granted on the day we receive the benefit.
  • Payroll Loan: Subject to checks these loans can be arranged for the next working day.

If you are unable to attend the office to sign your paperwork was can post or scan the documents to you. This will lengthen the processing time of your loan.

Our aim is to approve and grant your loan as quickly as possible.  If you have an emergency situation please be assured we will process your loan as soon as possible.

We also aim to have your funds transferred into your nominated bank account within two hours after your signed paperwork has been received.

11) What do I need to send to you?

Please call us on 01294 557 123 to double check what information we require.

12) Why do you want to see all this information?

A credit union is a local co-operative. The money it loans out belongs to your friends and colleagues and fellow members with our common bond, and therefore we must loan it out responsibly. For this reason, we need to check that you are able to repay any amount we lend to you and this is why we ask for all this information. Please note that all information provided to us remains strictly confidential.

Please see our Privacy Policy and our Terms & Conditions pages for more information.

13) If my loan application is approved, when do I get my money?

The majority of loans, excluding Low Income, are approved over the phone. Members can either have an appointment to sign for their loan or the paperwork can be posted/scanned. Loans are processed for payments into the nominated bank account within two hours of completion.

14) Do you perform a credit check?

Yes, we carry out a credit check on all loan applications. This is to help ensure we are lending sensibly and protecting the interests of all members who save with us.

The credit check will in part be used to verify the information that you provide when you apply for your loan. It is therefore vital that you accurately enter your information correctly in your application, including any other outstanding credit you may have.

Please note that the credit check is only part of our decision process.

15) What about insurance?

We provide you with FREE life insurance for the amount of your outstanding loan. As with most insurance some exemptions apply; for example you may not be covered if you die of a pre-existing medical condition within 6 months of taking out the loan.

We do not provide sickness, accident and unemployment insurance.

16) What if I have difficulty repaying?

We understand that life can be difficult and sometimes things happen that result in more month than money. We are here to help.

If you find that you cannot make your repayments please speak to us straightaway. We will work with you to come to a payment plan that fits. When your situation improves you are free to return to your original payment.

We can also signpost members to other agencies for assistance with benefits, energy or budgeting.