Frequently Asked Questions

CREDIT UNIONS

The Common Bond is the factor that unites every Credit Union member. A ‘Common Bond’ is defined as:

  • An area where all the members live or work together in the same locality (AdvanceCU’s Common Bond )
  • Where all members are in the same profession or work for the same employer
  • Where all members are in the same club or association

We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) these are exactly the same organisation that regulates banks, building societies and other financial institutions. This means that all credit unions have to meet the FCA/PRA’s strict standards. Credit Unions are also members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so member’s savings are always protected, exactly the same way as they would be in a bank or building society.

Important information about compensation arrangements
We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS can pay compensation to depositors if a credit union is unable to meet its financial obligations. Most depositors – including most individuals and small businesses – are covered by the scheme.

In respect of deposits, an eligible depositor is entitled to claim up to £85,000. For joint accounts each account holder is treated as having a claim in respect of their share so, for a joint account held by two eligible depositors, the maximum amount that could be claimed would be £85,000 each (making a total of £170,000). The £85,000 limit relates to the combined amount in all the eligible depositor’s accounts with the credit union, including their share of any joint account, and not to each separate account.

For further information about the scheme (including the amounts covered and eligibility to claim) please ask at your local branch, refer to the FSCS website http://www.fscs.org.uk or call 0800 678 1100

AdvanceCU is run by a volunteer board of directors who bring their experience and skills to the operation of the business. They are elected by the Annual General Meeting of the credit union. The day-to-day operation is by a team of paid employees headed up by the CEO. Volunteers and partner organisations also operate the Community Collection Points.

All officers and volunteers sign a declaration of confidentiality, so all members’ information is kept totally confidential at all times. A qualified auditor prepares the Annual Audit Report that is submitted to the members at their Annual General Meeting.

All the Members of the Credit Union are owners of the Credit Union. If you save with us, then you ‘own’ AdvanceCU.

At present AdvanceCU has more than 4,000 members. Membership is increasing on average by 40 per month

Yes!
AdvanceCU is authorised and regulated by the Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority Registered number: 213228
Credit Union savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) should the credit union fail. Read more about the scheme.
We belong to the Financial Ombudsman Service together with banks and building societies should there be a dispute over a complaint.
Your savings are insured for fraud and theft at no cost to you.
A Supervisory Committee, who are Credit Union members, keep an eye on day-to-day management.
We are a member of the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL).
Annual audits are undertaken by an independent auditor, who reports to our Annual General Meeting for members.
Annual Report & Accounts are always available.

Annual General Meeting – where members of the credit union have the chance to vote for the Directors and officers who will control the credit union on behalf of the membership. This is an important chance for members to be actively involved in the direction of their credit union. It is also an opportunity for members to discuss the development, growth and services of their credit union.

The Association of British Credit Unions Ltd – the main trade association for credit unions in Britain. www.abcul.org

There are NO hidden fees or costs involved in transactions with the Credit Union. Find our more about our fees and charges.

There are 400 credit unions operating in the UK. Most have either a residential or employment (or both) common bond. Check findyourcreditunion.co.uk to find a credit union near you. If there is no credit union in your local area then we may be able to help, contact us for further details.

A complaint can be made in person, by letter, by telephone or email. Find out more about our Complaints Procedure, a paper copy can be supplied upon request.

If you have a complaint that you cannot resolve with us you may be able to take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service, but you must first have tried to resolve it with us first as set out in our Complaints Procedure. We can provide you with further information or you can obtain it direct from the Financial Ombudsman Service www.financial-ombudsman.org

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Credit Unions exist for the benefit of their members; therefore each individual saver has to become a member and we have to charge a joining and an annual membership fee. Most of this fee is passed on to our trade organisation the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL) which supplies us with support on policy and development. AdvanceCU aim to keep the membership fee as low as possible.

Credit Unions are registered for Data protection and are bound by the terms of the Data Protection Act. All transactions are confidential. Every officer and volunteer who works in the Credit Union sign a declaration of confidentiality, so all members’ information is kept totally confidential at all times.

SAVINGS

All members are part-owners of the credit union and share in its success. Instead of interest being paid, when the credit union is doing well a dividend is given at the end of each year. The more savings that you have, the more dividend you earn.

Advance Credit Union Dividend Payment History

2014/15 2015/16
Dividend paid 1% 1%

Yes! In fact we expect all borrowers to continue saving at least £3 weekly or £12 monthly while they pay off their loan.

LOANS

No, you can pay off your loan early at any time with no penalties.

Loan protection insurance is built into your loan when you borrow from Advance Credit Union. This offers you security of knowing that in the event of your death, your loan will be cleared. Subject to terms and conditions. Borrowers must be under the age of 70 and you will be asked to complete a declaration of health when taking out the loan (some exemptions to the insurance do apply, please ask for more information when applying for your loan)

Yes. Your savings are protected by insurance, which covers theft, fraud and misappropriation of funds in addition to cover for loans in the event of the demise of a member. All at no additional to you.

As with any other financial institution, if the Credit Union collapsed then funds from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme would ensure you would not lose any of your savings.

Yes you can. EasyPlan loans, your outstanding loan balance must be £200 or less. Select loans must be 50% or less of the loan value.

If paying by Child Benefit or other benefits then your first loan payment will be taken from the next benefit payment paid to the credit union.

Standing Order and Payroll Deduction payers will be taken from the next due payment. However, if your repayment date is within 9 days of us providing the loan to you, your first repayment will be due on that date in the following month. We charge interest from the date we provide the loan. You can opt for the earlier repayment date if preferred.

Loans are secured against savings – this helps keep our interest rates so low. Your savings in excess of your loan balance can be withdrawn.

JUNIOR SAVERS

Credit union members under the age of 18 cannot legally borrow money.

Withdrawals from junior accounts are similar to withdrawals from ordinary accounts. Under the age of 12 the share withdrawal must be signed for by a parent or guardian. Over the age of 12, the child must sign for themselves (this is the same guidance as for passport applications).

Withdrawals under £50 may be paid in cash by prior arrangement, withdrawals over £50 have to be paid into a bank account either the child’s bank account or a bank account nominated by their parent or guardian.  You will be asked on the withdrawal application to provide details of the account you wish the money to be paid into.

When you reach age 18 you become a full member of the credit union. You can then take advantage of all the services of credit union membership including our affordable loans.

THIS WEBSITE

All the forms and files are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will need the free reader program to be able to open it. This is available here .

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Try using the ‘search’ window at the top of this page.

Yes. If you are unsure about your online security and safety, visit the UK government sponsored site Get Safe Online http://www.getsafeonline.org/

Yes, we recommend all our members register for internet banking; the quick and easy way to manage your credit union savings and loans.

Click here to login, there is also a handy shortcut in the top bar of the AdvanceCU website.