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Tag Archive: Credit union

  1. The Benefits of Credit Unions

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    The Benefits of Credit Unions

    As most of us know, stress is a common experience for many people. Luckily, when it comes to financial stress, credit unions can help alleviate some of the most common worries. As a result, we’re taking a look at why becoming a member of Leeds Credit Union (LCU) could help you manage your stress.

    Lower interest rates

    One of the biggest sources of financial stress is debt, particularly high-interest debt. Because credit unions typically offer lower interest rates on loans than traditional banks and high-cost credit providers, many people find using them enables them to save money more easily, reducing their stress levels by making it easier to pay off debt.

    Personalised service

    Credit unions are member-owned, meaning they prioritise the needs of their members over the profits of shareholders. This allows them to offer a much more personalised service, with credit union staff more likely to work with you to find solutions to your financial challenges. This, in turn, helps reduce the stress of dealing with financial issues alone.

    Money help

    Many credit unions enable their members to better understand their money, helping them learn about budgeting, saving and other important financial issues. By increasing your financial literacy, you may feel more confident and less stressed about managing your money.

    Community focus

    Credit unions are often focused on serving their local communities. This helps create a sense of belonging and connection among members and in areas in which the credit unions operate, helping reduce stress.

    Accessible services

    Credit unions often offer more accessible financial services than traditional banks. For example, they may offer lower minimum balance requirements, lower (or no) fees or more flexible loan requirements. These benefits can help reduce stress by making it easier to access the financial services you need.

    Join Leeds Credit Union today!

    How Leeds Credit Union can help reduce financial stress

    If you are concerned about financial stress – whether it’s Stress Awareness Month or not – our range of loans and savings accounts could help. For more information and to find out how to join our credit union, click here.

  2. Why Credit Unions are Better than Payday Lenders

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    Why Credit Unions are Better than Payday Lenders

    Credit unions and payday lenders offer similar services, but their approach to lending is vastly different. Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that are owned and operated by their members. In contrast, payday lenders are for-profit businesses that charge exorbitant fees and interest rates for short-term loans.

    Here are several reasons why credit unions are a better alternative to payday lenders:

    • Lower Interest Rates

    As not-for-profit organisations, credit unions they can offer loans at lower interest rates. According to the National Credit Union Administration, the average interest rate for a personal loan from a credit union is 9.37%, compared to the 400% or more charged by payday lenders.

    • No Hidden Fees

    Payday lenders often charge hidden fees that can quickly add up, such as processing fees, origination fees and prepayment penalties. Credit unions are transparent about their fees and don’t charge unnecessary expenses.

    • Personalised Service

    Credit unions prioritise the financial well-being of their members, not profits. They take the time to get to know their members and offer personalised financial advice and support. Payday lenders, on the other hand, prioritise profits over their customers’ financial well-being.

    • Community-Oriented

    Credit unions are community-oriented organisations that reinvest their profits back into the communities in which they operate. They offer financial education programs, support local businesses and give back to their members, in the form of dividends.

    • Better Loan Options

    Credit unions offer a wide range of loan options, whereas payday lenders only offer short-term loans with high-interest rates and no long-term solutions.

    In conclusion, credit unions are a better alternative to payday lenders. They offer lower interest rates, no hidden fees, personalised service, community-oriented programs and a wider range of better loan options. 

    Leeds Credit Union – your community credit union

    If you’re in need of access to a range of savings accounts or an affordable loan, joining a credit union is a much smarter option than turning to a payday lender.

    To find out more about the products and services we provide, or to become our newest member, click here.

  3. Why You Should Join A Credit Union

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    Why You Should Join A Credit Union

    As the cost of living crisis continues, people are increasingly looking for ways to improve their financial wellbeing, with credit unions proving a popular alternative to high street banks and other financial institutions among people struggling to make ends meet.

    Indeed, the Bank of England’s Credit Union Quarterly Statistics estimate there were approximately 250 credit unions in England, Scotland and Wales with more than 1.4 million members at the end of June 2022.

    So if you’ve been wondering “should I join a credit union?”, why not come with us as we take a look at the main advantages on offer and why so many people find them so valuable.

    They put people before profit

    When you open an account with a credit union, you become one of its members. 

    Whereas banks are for-profit businesses with shareholders to answer to, credit unions are not-for-profit businesses that are only responsible for their members’ financial wellbeing. This means they can focus on creating the best possible customer service experience for their members, instead of trying to generate profits at every opportunity, and it is this ‘customer-friendly’ approach which many people love about their credit union.

    Credit unions are also often more willing than banks to help you if you have a low credit score or are temporarily out of work. At Leeds Credit Union, our credit scoring system is not the same as other banks or building societies, so we may be more likely to accept a person’s application even if they have no credit history.

    They work with their members

    Because credit unions are owned by their members, they listen and react promptly to their questions and concerns. They also take their members’ feedback and use it to make positive changes to the way they work, enabling them to introduce new loans, savings accounts and policies specifically tailored to their members’ needs.

    Their affordable loans are centred around their members’ needs

    Unfortunately, some lenders still offer loans to people who are unlikely to be able to afford the repayments in order to make money. Unlike these lenders, credit unions always have the best interests of their members at heart and this is especially true when it comes to loans.

    Whatever people need the money for, regardless of the amount, credit union loans are built around their members, with them typically offering a range of flexible and affordable loans that have fair and competitive interest rates which are capped by credit union legislation. 

    This ensures nobody is encouraged to take out a loan with unaffordable repayment rates and everybody who needs support can access it.

    They look after more than just people’s financial wellbeing

    If you’re a member of a credit union, in addition to financial products, you’ll also have access to advice, such as how to borrow responsibly or how to develop an effective savings habit.

    It is common knowledge that financial health impacts mental health, with this report from database company Statista revealing that monetary stress is the second biggest cause of stress in the UK. However, having access to financial information and advice helps people manage their finances better and can stop them developing stress-related mental illnesses that prevent them from acting to improve their financial situation.

    Your money is safe with them

    There is a misconception among some people that banks are inherently safer than credit unions. While this is an understandable concern, the truth is that credit unions are every bit as safe as high street banks.

    Credit unions are authorised and regulated by both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), which protects their members by ensuring they are run to strict regulatory standards.

    Furthermore, members’ savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), meaning that if anything DID happen to your credit union, your money would be safe and your finances would remain intact.

    What could Leeds Credit Union do for you?

    At Leeds Credit Union, looking after our members is second nature. To find out more about how to join and the loan products and services we provide, click here.