West Cheshire Credit Union
MUIR works in partnership with West Cheshire Credit Union which is available to help residents through difficult times.
Despite its Cheshire base, Muir struck an agreement with WCCU enabling all its residents to make use of it, no matter where they live.
West Cheshire Credit Union (WCCU) offers loan and savings options at an affordable interest rate – including to residents with poor credit history.
A credit union is a member-owned financial cooperative, democratically controlled by its members, and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to its members.
Credit unions are not-for-profit - and your money's safe...
Credit unions aim to help you take control of your money by encouraging you to save what you can, and borrow only what you can afford to repay. In essence, they're savings and loan co-operatives, where the members pool their savings to lend to one another and help to run the credit union.
This is done in a ‘not-for-profit’ way, so the cash is only used to run the services and reward the members, and NOT to pay outside shareholders, like most other financial institutions
Borrowing from a credit union
A key appeal of credit unions is a willingness to make small loans of £50 to £3,000, which most high-street banks won’t do. They're a much cheaper alternative to payday loans, and some credit unions can even get cash to you the same day.
In the old days, a credit union kept a strict rule that it would only lend to those who already had savings but this is changing; some will now lend to those who are new to the organisation.
|Amount Borrowed||Interest Payable|
|Typical APR 12.7%||Maximum APR 42.6%|
This is a bit of a “how long is a piece of string?” question. Sometimes loans can be under 6% a year, but the interest is often around 12.7% APR (1% a month) going up to a maximum 42.6% APR (3% a month). If you borrow £100 over a year, at most you’ll repay £143(ish).
These rates are higher than the cheapest credit cards or loans. But they're MASSIVELY cheaper than the products offered to those who are usually turned down for loans from high street banks, when rates can run into the hundreds or even thousands of percent.
What are the monthly repayments on a one-year loan?
These tend to be ultra-flexible, allowing you to save large or small amounts weekly, monthly or whenever you can.
Bigger credit unions may have online banking meaning you can pay in online, and have branches and collection points such as local post offices; some smaller unions will have just a couple of opening hours a week and likely be based in a community centre or church hall.
Credit union savings usually offer a dividend rate rather than an interest rate. This means that it depends how well the credit union does that year - so you don't know what you'll get until the end of the year. Typically, dividend rates are 1-3%