Watford Credit Union
Credit Unions are non-profit making financial co-operatives who provide a viable alternative for saving and borrowing. You have to be a member to use their service but the current joining fee is only £1 plus an initial £1 minimum for a share (savings). The share balance must be brought up to at least £5 within 6 months and must be maintained at no less than this amount.
The cost of borrowing is competitive at a max interest of 1% per month (12.7% APR).
Who is eligible to join Watford Credit Union?
Anyone - as long as they live, work (paid or unpaid), or study within the WD postcode area and are 16 or over (although members must be 18 or over to apply for a loan). Under 16's can join as junior savers.
To obtain a loan a member must save regularly for at least thirteen weeks before a loan application is considered (although this can possibly be waived in an emergency).
The excess of loan balance over share balance for any member will not exceed 5% of the Credit Union's total assets.
Members are expected to save while repaying a loan.
The maximum repayment time for any loan is 3 years, but usually it is less, as agreed with the Credit Committee.
All loans are subject to availability of funds and at the discretion of the Credit Committee.
The current limits are: Loans - Up to 3x share balance, with an absolute maximum £5,000 loan.
We have a Credit Committee that interviews applicants to assess their credit worthiness and their ability to repay. In line with our community service mandate, small emergency loans are also available, but they too must follow the "trustability" and repayment rules.
Given that we are running essentially a members' co¬operative, WCU can give a better deal than bank loans, Provident cheques and loan sharks. It is important to note that credit unions are not able to offer instant relief from poverty, more to encourage financial well being over a period of time.
The WCU Registered Office and collection point is at 59 Clarendon Road, Watford WD17 1LA