Last updated February 2016
- What is a credit union?
- Are you a bank?
- Is my money safe?
- What rate of interest do you charge on loans?
- Does CroydonPlus pay interest on savings?
- What identification do I need to become a member?
- How do I join?
- Does it cost money to join?
- Do I have to give notice to withdraw money?
- Can I withdraw cash from the Credit Union?
- How do I pay into the Credit Union?
- Can I set up the bank payments myself?
- What is my share account?
- How much can I borrow?
- When can I borrow?
- Do you use credit scoring?
- Do you use credit reference agencies?
- What if I can’t repay my loan?
- Who runs the Credit Union?
- Can I take my savings out of the Credit Union?
- How secure is my account?
- Can I have an account with a friend or relative?
- How can I check my account balance?
- Can my family join the Credit Union?
- How can I help support the Credit Union?
What is a credit union?
CroydonPlus is a savings and loans co-operative. We are authorised to take saving deposits and to administer loans.
Are you a bank?
No. We are a regulated financial co-operative.
Is my money safe?
Yes. We are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA – Firm Reference Number 213603) and regulated by the PRA and the Financial Conduct Authority. We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), meaning savings of up to £85,000 are protected, just like any other bank. Our staff and board of directors are approved as ‘authorised persons’, which means that they undergo a range of checks to protect you and your shares in the Credit Union.
What rate of interest do you charge on loans?
Interest charged varies from between 5% to 26.82% Annual Percentage Rate (APR), depending on the type of loan. There are no hidden fees and we do not penalise you for repaying a loan early. Please see our Our Loans for more information.
Does CroydonPlus pay interest on savings?
As co-operatives, credit unions do not pay interest on savings. CroydonPlus can make a dividend payment to members once the annual accounts are approved and if there is sufficient profit after setting aside the required reserves.
What identification do I need to become a member?
Like any financial institution we require proof of who you are (identity) and proof of where you live (residency). You need to live or work in Croydon, Merton or Sutton.
How do I join?
Joining is simple. Download the application form and send it to the office with photocopies of identification – see FAQ on identification. Once we have processed the form, we will arrange an appointment so we can see the original identification documents.
Very soon, we will be introducing Online Joining and Loan applications.
Does it cost money to join?
Yes, there is a one-off charge of £5 to cover our administration costs. You then need to make an minimum deposit of £5 or as much as £7,500.
Do I have to give notice to withdraw money?
No. The Credit Union account is a no-notice savings account, but we do need time to process any withdrawal request within our usual opening hours. You can request withdrawals online, by phone, in person or by email – see Contact Us. There will be a processing time for the transaction to be authorised and transferred to you.
Can I withdraw cash from the Credit Union?
No. For security reasons this is not possible. We can transfer funds to a nominated account or issue cheques. Cheques can be paid to you, a third party or for if less than £500 can be made payable for cash to be used at a specified Post Office.
How do I pay into the Credit Union?
You can pay in by bank card (credit card or visa debit card), standing order or bank transfer. If you are working for a local employer that is enrolled with our Payroll Deduction scheme, you can save directly from your pay packet.
Can I set up the bank payments myself?
Yes. Soon you will be able to do this online. But for now, continue using our Standing Order form. All you need are our account details from the standing order form and your membership reference number. The reference number is ESSENTIAL and is formed by your account number and name, followed by the share account you would like your money paid into. For example 1234: J: Smith: S1
What is my share account?
A share account is just like a savings account. Each share is £1. You can have up to four savings accounts. By default your payments are posted to your Share Account 1. You can open separate accounts to help you designate your savings. For example you could use Share Account 2 to save for Christmas or Share Account 3 to save for a holiday.
How much can I borrow?
We can borrow as little as £100 or up to £7,500 above your current savings balance at the time but this depends on your individual circumstances, how long you have been a member and your ability to repay. We don’t want to lend you more than you can afford to repay.
When can I borrow?
There is a minimum period of saving for most of our loans. This varies on each loan and on the repayment method. Our most common (Saver) loan requires 3 monthly or 8 weekly deposits before an application.
Do you use credit scoring?
Yes. We need to loan only what you can afford and we owe it to our members to do our best to ensure that their savings are repaid in full. We have our own loan assessment process when considering loans. This takes account of the member’s savings and repayment history, disclosed and undisclosed loans and debts with other lenders.
Do you use credit reference agencies?
Yes but a past difficulty repaying a loan or credit card will not necessarily prevent you from borrowing from us. We use a credit reference agency to verify your identification and exposure to other debts. We also report on repayments of our loans. If you repay according to the agreement this will help your credit rating in the long term.
What if I can’t repay my loan?
We understand that sometimes an individual’s circumstances can change unexpectedly and an agreed loan repayment plan may become unrealistic. We are sympathetic and encourage members to talk to us about their change in circumstances. We will consider ways to help and can often reschedule loan repayments. However we do operate a strict credit control policy; non-authorised default will be taken seriously and pursued. Members need to be aware that missed payments on a loan may be taken into account in the consideration of any future loan application and will be reported as part of our agreement with credit reference agencies. It is always best to speak to our Loan and Credit Control Officer.
Who runs the Credit Union?
The Credit Union is a member-led organisation. The Board of directors is accountable to the members. All the directors must be members as are many of the paid staff and volunteers.
Can I take my savings out of the Credit Union?
The savings in every member’s Credit Union account belong to them. Members can request to withdraw their savings at any time subject to not having an outstanding loan balance. Withdrawals can be made by cheque or electronic bank transfer (BACS), subject to a correct password. We can also provide cheques which are cashable at the Post Office; there is a small fee for this service.
How secure is my account?
We will always ask you to provide your unique membership number and other account information to verify your identity and we will only discuss the account information with the named account holder. You may be asked to provide identification when withdrawing money or receiving a loan payment.
Can I have an account with a friend or relative?
We do not currently operate joint accounts.
How can I check my account balance?
We are required to send all members a written statement once a year. You can also request a written statement at any time or ask for a current balance request by email, text or phone enquiry.
Can my family join the Credit Union?
Yes; if you are a member and they live at the same address as you do.
How can I help support the Credit Union?
Everyone who joins the Credit Union and sets up a monthly savings arrangement is helping it to grow and helping local people out of debt. You can also help the Credit Union as a volunteer. There are many opportunities to get involved in the organisation. Spread the word so that more people find out about our ethical savings and loans options and so we can help more families take control of their finances and keep more money in their pocket.