Frequently Asked Questions

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19

During the coronavirus situation we will do what we can to help and if your attached savings are more than your loan balance then you will be able to withdraw those shares. Attached savings are a condition of our loans and enable our Members to build up savings easily, giving financial options and flexibility. 

You may be able to apply for a top-up loan. We are allowing one-off £200 emergency loans, subject to affordability and our usual loan criteria. Our usual rule is that your outstanding loan balance must be below £200, but we are approving loans of up to £200 during the coronavirus situation. 

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Contact Us and we will do what we can to help. We do understand that certain job sectors are unable to work at the moment. There some options available to us that can make things easier for you without damaging your credit score, but you must contact us to arrange this. Don’t forget to contact other creditors too; landlord or mortgage company, credit cards, other loans. There is financial help available, the Money Advice Service has guidance on this www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you

We are strongly encouraging all our Members to activate internet banking so they can continue to manage their money easily. We can help you set this up, just contact us

Loan applications can be signed electronically; we will email a link to you for this. 

We can also check ID, proof of address remotely and accept loan payments, we will contact you about this. 

Yes; Christmas Club savings can be withdrawn for emergencies. We do appreciate the extraordinary circumstances at the moment, with price increases and insecure incomes for some of us. Go to internet banking and select Christmas Club Withdrawal.

We know that some Members have been financially affected by the coronavirus situation and facing unexpected increased costs so we are allowing one-off £200 emergency loans, subject to affordability and our usual loan criteria. Our usual rule is that your outstanding loan balance must be below £200, but we are approving loans of up to £200 at this time. This is a one-off and further loan applications will not be accepted unless your loan balance is £200 or less.

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CREDIT UNIONS

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

At present AdvanceCU has more than 5,000 members. Approximately 100 people join Advance Credit Union every month.

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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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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Find out more about us

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.

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SAVINGS

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

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. The dividend is approved by the AGM each year and usually paid to members before the end of March.

Advance Credit Union Dividend Payment History

  2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
Dividend paid 1% 1% 1% 1%

You can pay money into your savings accounts and loan repayments in several ways:

Tags: loan, pay, saving

You can withdraw money from your Share Account at any time unless secured against a loan. Money is paid either direct into your bank account or Engage Account. Cash withdrawals are not available from office or our Collection Points.

Withdrawals can be requested from internet banking, just select your bank account or Engage Account sort code and account number from the list. For fraud prevention purposes we can only pay to an account in your name. If your preferred bank account is not shown please contact us to verify your account details. Please note that all share withdrawals made by internet banking are considered to be Express Payments and the £1 service fee will be charged.

Or you can complete and return to us a Share Withdrawal Form.

Withdrawals are made free of charge 7 days after the request is received, so it is best to plan ahead and decide when you will need your money and how much you would like to withdraw.

If you are in a hurry or need money in an emergency you can request an Express Payment. Express Payments are processed the same day if requested before 2pm at our counter, or 4pm if requested by internet banking. Withdrawals after these cut-off times are processed on the following day. The transfer to your account is usually complete before 4.30pm. There is a fee payable of £1.00 for this service, which is deducted from your withdrawal. Please note that all share withdrawals made by internet banking are considered to be Express Payments and the £1 service fee will be charged.

We are required by legislation to verify the identity and proof of address for all our members. The following are acceptable forms of identification:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
  • National Identity card
  • Firearms certificate or shotgun licence
  • Identity card issued by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland

If you do not hold the above then two documents from the list below are required as evidence of ID. The second document may be either government-issued, or issued by a judicial authority, a public sector body or authority, a regulated utility company, or another FSA-regulated firm in the UK financial services sector, or in an equivalent jurisdiction, which incorporates:

  • your full name,

and either:

  • your current residential address

or

  • your date of birth.

One document from each column:

Government-issued documents without a photograph include:

  • Valid (old style) full UK driving licence
  • Recent evidence of entitlement to a state or local authority-funded benefit (including housing benefit and council tax benefit), tax credit, pension, educational or other grant
Other documents include:

  • Current council tax demand letter, or statement
  • Current bank statements, or credit/debit card statements, issued by a regulated financial sector firm in the UK, EU or an equivalent jurisdiction (but not ones printed off the internet)
  • Utility bills (but not ones printed off the internet)
  • Instrument of a court appointment (such as liquidator, or grant of probate)

See Junior Savers for details of ID for under 18 year olds.

If you do not hold any of the above then please contact us to discuss your options.

Tags: ID, join

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LOANS

No, unlike some lenders you can pay off your credit union loan early at any time with no financial penalties.

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.

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

Yes you can. Apply for a loan with us and we’ll let you know as soon as we can. When you sign your loan agreement you become a Member of Advance Credit Union. There is no need to save before you apply for a loan. 

Tag: loan

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)

We do check credit history, but not on every loan. We understand that your ‘score’ doesn’t tell the full story. It is more important to us that the loan is affordable for you and improves your life rather than give you another burden to be worried about. A loan with credit union can help improve your credit score, find out how

Apply for a loan as usual, when asked how you would like to repay your loan, select ‘Child Benefit’. Find out more about our Child Benefit loans

Tags: CHB, loan

You can pay money into your savings accounts and loan repayments in several ways:

Tags: loan, pay, saving

Most loan decisions are within just two days provided that we have received all the bank statements and any other information required. However the decision can take up to 7 days when we are really busy or your application is more complex. The funds can usually be released to you the same day you formally agree to accept the loan.

Tag: loan

Our loans range from £300 to £8,000. Your loan offer is based on affordability; we will do what we can to make sure your loan is affordable for you. 

Tag: loan

Contact Us and we will do what we can to help. We do understand that certain job sectors are unable to work at the moment. There some options available to us that can make things easier for you without damaging your credit score, but you must contact us to arrange this. Don’t forget to contact other creditors too; landlord or mortgage company, credit cards, other loans. There is financial help available, the Money Advice Service has guidance on this www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you

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.

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.

If you’ve e-signed your loan agreement before 4pm, your loan will be paid to your bank account or Engage Account by 4.30pm. Paper loan agreements and agreements e-signed after 4pm will be paid the following day. 

Tag: loan

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ENGAGE ACCOUNT

If you contact Engage directly, they should be able to help if you’ve lost or damaged your card or have problems with your account. Their contact details are Email: info@engageaccount.com. Tel: 0333 202 3642

Tag: Engage

Your new Engage debit card will be posted to your address we have on file. Usually within 7 days. 

Tag: Engage

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INTERNET BANKING

If you’ve not activated your internet banking, or have used our old internet banking then you will need to first activate your account. See https://www.advancecu.org.uk/internet/#How-to-register

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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.

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THIS WEBSITE

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.

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

Yes. You should see the padlock in your address bar, this tells you this site is secure and any data shared between you and this website is encrypted.

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

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 .

This site uses cookies – small text files that are placed on your machine to help the site provide a better user experience. This includes anonymised tracking data to third party applications like Google Analytics. Read our Cookie policy.

You may also submit information about yourself to use e.g. Contact form, subscribing to our mailing list, contacting us via instant messaging. See our Privacy policy
Privacy Policy

You may have an old web browser, in which case you should upgrade to the latest version. Or we may have made a mistake in the site design. Please email us telling us the problem you have experienced so that we can correct this.

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PRIVACY AND DATA PROTECTION

This is some of the information we may collect and hold about you when applying for and using our products and services:

Personal Descriptors Financial Information
Full name/Signature
Home/Business Address
Email address
Phone number
Age
Gender
Marital status
Date of birth
Proof of identity and proof of address including; driving license, passport, utility bills, Bank statements etc.
National Insurance Number
Call recordings
IP Address
Profession/Job
CCTV images
Partner and dependants
Personal bank account details
Income and expenditure
Transactions, purchasing and spending activity
Payment instructions
Account positions and history
Credit records, worthiness, standing or capacity
Origin/source of funds
Purpose of your account

GDPR is the EU General Data Protection Regulation which comes into effect from 25 May 2018. It sets out a series of new EU laws concerning how data is processed and used. The objective of the regulation is to strengthen and standardise data protection laws for all EU citizens. These regulations will apply to any organisation that controls and/or processes data on behalf of an individual or group of individuals. Those responsible for adhering to these regulations include employees of the organisation, contractors, consultants, agents and third parties who have access to data either directly or indirectly.

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