Credit unions

Simple savings, sensible loans

Our There for You credit union service offers UNISON members access to low-interest loans and a range of savings products through our UK network of partner credit unions. Whether you’re dissatisfied with current banking arrangements, are struggling with exorbitant interest rates charged by payday and other lenders or simply looking for an ethical alternative, credit unions may provide just the solution.

UNISON has established a network of credit unions covering the UK where members and their families can both save and take out low-interest loans – in many cases, through payroll deductions.

We already know just how many members are using payday loans and other high-interest loan products – often getting caught in a trap of spiralling debt. UNISON is promoting credit unions as financial and ethical co-operatives that will serve members in a safe and responsible way and promote financial wellbeing.

The benefits for UNISON members

1. Saving with a credit union

As little as £1 may be all you need to open a savings account. This could be a sensible option if you can only afford to save a small amount each week or every now and then. And your reward for saving will be that you receive a dividend each year – often in the region of 2-3% of the amount you have saved.

2. Borrowing from a credit union

Our credit union partners can offer loan products – including emergency loans – to members who do not necessarily meet the criteria to borrow from high street lenders such as banks and building societies, many of which have tightened their lending criteria as a consequence of the credit crunch. Loans come with no hidden charges and no penalties for early repayment.

Is a credit union right for me?

Joining a credit union could be for you if you are interested in being part of a democratically-led organisation that:

  • is for people and not for profit;
  • serves its members first and foremost;
  • appeals to anyone wanting to support their local community and economy;
  • is committed to helping its members improve their financial situation;
  • offers fairly-priced loans including to people with imperfect, limited or no credit history;
  • offers a broader range of savings and loan products than many other lenders;
  • understands the differing banking needs that reflect a wide range of income groups;
  • is appropriately regulated – so is a safe place to save.

How do I join a credit union?

Some credit unions are based on where you live or work and others, such as police credit unions, on the job you do.

About credit unions

UNISON has established a network of credit unions covering the UK where members and their families can both save and take out low interest loans, in many cases through payroll deductions

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Credit union enquiry form

Make an enquiry about credit unions using our online form

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In debt or financial difficulty?

If you’re finding it difficult to repay existing debt, contact UNISON Debtline for advice on managing it before taking on any additional debt.

Call UNISON Debtline
Freephone 0800 389 3302

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Read more about UNISON Debtline

If you’re experiencing hardship due to an unexpected change in your circumstances, such as a relationship breakdown or ill-health, you may be eligible for financial assistance.

Call There for You
020 7121 5620

Available between 9am – 5pm
Monday to Friday