NESCU Service point Keith: REAP, 177 Mid Street, Wednesday 12 – 1.30 pm
NESCU approved volunteers can give you information on saving and borrowing with the credit union, sign up new members and take payments for loans and savings, record transactions in customers’ membership books.
Credit Unions exist to offer savings and low cost loans to their members (people with accounts with the credit union). There is an international network of one hundred million people in credit unions, helping each other other by saving and borrowing together. They are financial co-operatives, owned and controlled by members, as a ‘not-for-profit’ social enterprise – this means any profit goes back to the community, not into bonuses or shares. There are 2 credit unions covering Moray – NESCU and Forres Area Credit Union (FACU) with service points throughout Moray and in some schools.
Credit unions also believe in financial inclusion, which means that they will often be able to help when others can’t or won’t. For example, beyond an identity check, no credit checks are carried out on members when they join. Credit Unions offer low costs loans – NESCU is 26.82% a year, or just 2% a month with no penalty for early re-payment.
NESCU has been in operation since 2004, when it was formed by amalgamation of several smaller credit unions. It currently has over 3500 members. See www.nescu.co.uk for more information or call the office on 01224 899688 or freephone 0300 66 63728 or e-mail email@example.com
How do I join NESCU?
You need to live or work in Grampian to become a member of NESCU, and fill in an application form and show some ID. Membership costs £2 a year and you can deposit savings of as little as £1. You’ll need 2 pieces of identification. one with a photograph (eg passport, driving license, student card/staff id) and the other with your current address (recent utility bill, notice of tax coding, benefits books, council tax notice)
How do I take out a loan with NESCU?
After becoming a member, you can borrow money at a rate that’s lower than many other loan companies. Loans are processed quickly, and you can borrow up to three times your savings (as a guideline). NESCU will work with you to make sure you borrow what is affordable. Rather than turning down a loan altogether, NESCU may instead offer you a smaller amount. As an ethical lender, they can also offer advice on budgeting, planning and saving.
The interest rate is 2% a month (26.82% APR), so for instance if you borrow £600 for 12 months you’d pay back a total of £681.36 over the year – the total Interest paid would be £81.36. This compares with repaying £1092 with a popular doorstep lender (£492 of interest). For a payday loan, the total repaid over 12 months would be £2328 – 1,728 of interest or £144/month.
Get in the savings habit
NESCU is a safe, convenient way to regularly put money aside – for Christmas, holidays, birthdays, that unexpected breakdown etc. Even if you only save a small amount this can build up a safety net. There is no interest paid on adult accounts. However if Nescu do make any profit for the year they will pay a dividend to all members which is decided at the AGM. Junior Accounts are paid interest which is 2% up to a maximum of £2000.
You can pay into your savings account in the following ways:
• Setting up a Standing Order from your bank or building society.
• Posting cheques to the NESCU office
• Having money taken from your wages (if your employer agrees).
• Paying in cash at a NESCU Service Point.
All the money our members save is pooled together and then used to give members low cost loans.
How safe is my money?
NESCU is supervised by the FCA and covered by Indemnity and Compensation schemes. This means if we ever get into financial difficulties, your money is protected. You will get all your savings back. (The most you can save with us is £15,000: well within the scheme’s limit of £75,000.)
You have easy access to your money. If you call the Nescu Head office before 2.30pm the money can be transferred into a bank account the same day. Alternatively fill in a withdrawal request form (available online or from our paypoint at REAP). NESCU will transfer the money into your bank account via BACS (or send you a cheque) as soon as Nescu receive the paperwork.
What other services do NESCU provide?
In response to members’ needs, NESCU have developed various other services.
1. Whites goods packages. If you are moving into a new tenancy and need a loan for a washing machine, cooker, fridge, bed etc, NESCU have savings and loan plans to help with these purchases they can also arrange delivery and installation of the goods.
2. Digital Inclusion package. With so many services (including benefit applications) now online, this is a popular package of a laptop, case and printer for £321.60 through NESCU.
3. NESCU also offer volunteer opportunities, financial training programmes, the Engage credit card and other services
For more info Telephone 01224 899688 or freephone 0300 66 63728 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
REAP are delighted to be able to work with NESCU to offer this service as part of their Comic Relief Funded project Energy Benefits Moray and to work with FACU to promote the benefits of credit unions. For more information on Forres Area Credit Union see www.forresareacreditunion.co.uk/ or phone 01309 676735 or email: email@example.com
Last updated 31/1/17