titale says it all really. Just joined our local Credit union and i cannot believe i have never heard of them before. Its such a more ethical and sensible way of small scale saving.
Obviously if your earning a wedge and have investments then this si of no use at all but for me - a single mum who finds saving impossible at the moment due to being on such a tight budget - this is going to be a godsend.
I really am very impressed. if anyone has had any bad experiences then please tell me before i syart paying in money.
A credit union is a savings/loans co-operative run by volunteers and completely regulated by the fsa. Profits are shared between members each year and they're a great way of getting low interest loans, you can join regardless of credit history,ccj's etc as long as you save regularly however small the amount you can take out small loans (double your savings in first year of membership).
Our local one you can save as little as you like. its totally up to you. We are able to take our savings out whenever we want but they do ask you to give them as much notice as you can as they dont like to leave cash or cheque books on the premises.
If you have a local one you should defininitly go and have a chat with one of the people that organise it. i think they are fantastic, especially for those on a limited income.
I have once put 50p a week when really really skint it's just to show that you can save regularly. At ours you can take out less than £100 on the day IF they have the money on the premises which we sometimes don't. Over £100 you need to give a weeks notice.
Some workplaces have credit unions attached - its worth asking if there is a regular union office (e.g. TGWU) at your place of work. They will often know. Dh became a member of his credit union when working for the local bus company 7 years ago. We still use it regularly now.
They are very popular in Ireland. My Dad has been in the RTE one for years - even now he is retired he pays all his bills through their 'budget account' - you estimate your gas and electricity for the year, divide it up and pay in that amount every week or fortnight or month or whatever. Dad always upped the estimate and left the extra in for lean times. My sisters all saved in credit unions at one time or another.
Bit harsh LGJ. Me and DH both control the finances. We have 2 joint accounts we both have access to.
Not sure if DH would be keen because at the moment we are struggling to keep ourselves in the black.... so would need to be discussed. Not just going to set something up without his input and agreement.
I dont think you earn interest on your savings as such. teh way it was explained to me is that when teh interest comes in at the end of the year it is divided equally between all the members.
If you have saed £350 yur first loan can be of £700. you can continue to pay in £5 a week. £4 will go towards paying your loan back and the £1 will add to your savngs. Your savings are never taken away unless you ask to take them out.
Its a fantastic idea and if you join now you will be just about able to get a loan in time for Christmas i think. Jarm you should definitly contact your local CU. they are particularly good for people who are struggling. you no doubt spend a couple of pounds each week on something that you could live without...spend that money on saving and soon enough you have a fair bit put away.