What is a Credit Union?

credit union

A Credit Union is a Financial community, kind of like a Bank but different. Credit Unions exist to provide savings and loans facilities for the members of the Credit Union. Members usually come from either a specific area e.g. Glasgow, or a specific workplace like the NHS. The members own the Credit Union and they are run on a not for profit basis, so all monies made are returned to the members in the form of a dividend, or are reinvested to improve the service it provides for the members.

Credit Unions have a level of flexibility that most high street banks won’t give you, so, you can borrow

  • The amount you want or need, so you only need a few hindered pounds then you can get it
  • But if you need it you can still borrow for bigger items like holidays and cars also
  • Credit Unions interest rates will also be cheaper than payday lending firms or doorstep lenders
  • Their interest rates are capped

Most Credit Unions now have facilities that are comparable to banks including

  • Instant access to your money
  • Current accounts
  • Bill paying
  • Debit cards

You should always find out about what services the Credit Union you are thinking about offers, as services do differ from Credit Union to Credit Union.

Is my money safe in a Credit Union?


Your Money is safe is safe in a Credit, it's governed by the same regulations as a Bank and you are protected up to the value of £75,000. (FSCS*)

What identification do I need to open an account?

Who you are

  • Current signed passport
  • Birth Certificate (under 16)
  • Young Scots Card (under 25)

Where you live

  • Council tax bill (valid for current year)
  • Current UK photo-card driving licence or full paper version
  • Bank or Building Society statement containing current address (3 months)

In addition to the formal forms of ID, you can also use things like your young Scot card, your provisional licence, or award letter from the job centre.

*Financial Services Compensation Scheme