I do a few hours a week at our local city credit union. A few points that I would like to mention. The way we operate is very transparent. We don`t try to force loans on people and if a loan is required we are very clear about how it works. Most loans are likely to be around £250. A detailed soa is often required. All loan repayments need to be affordable.

We also encourage saving. Remember that people using the CU are often not on high incomes. One thing that springs to mind is that either myself or co workers get to know our customers. We are far more friendly than your city centre bank lol.

I like the fact that we are responsible lenders and I accept, lenders of last resort for many that don`t get into the clutches of the door step lenders. Shame the mainstream banks didn`t adhere to some responsible form of lending.

I would like to point out that ABCUL aren't the only body that recognises and supports Credit Unions. ACE (Access to Credit Unions for Everyone) also offers information on other CU's not listed on the ABCUL website.

Their website is: http://www.acecus.org/.

I am not linked to them, but my local CU comes under them not ABCUL.

You can save with a credit union for whatever reason you want and take out the savings when you need them (unless they're securing a loan). Some credit unions also do special savings accounts for Christmas or other occasions so you can save in a separate 'pot' for different things you need.

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