If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us and we will be happy to help
We are the biggest Credit Union in the East of England. We have over 3,800 members in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire.
Eastern Savings & Loans Credit Union was established in 2001, when the Registry of Friendly Societies gave permission for Ipswich Credit Union to operate across the town. In 2005 this extended to the whole county and in 2014 Ipswich & Suffolk Credit Union merged with Norfolk Credit Union and Cambridge City Credit Union, becoming Eastern Savings & Loans Credit Union.
We serve our members on a not-for-profit basis. Being owners, our members have a big say in the way we operate, and can vote to choose the directors who govern the organisation and make other important decisions. Each member’s ideas and opinions are valued equally no matter how much or how little they have in savings.
Credit Unions are regulated financial cooperatives. The profits are shared with their customers. Credit Unions have been operating in the UK since 1964. There are Credit Union based on profession like BAE systems, Royal Mail, Police or NHS, or based on geography like ours. You can find your local Credit Unions at Find Your Credit Union website, which lists all the Credit Unions in the UK.
Credit union members’ savings provide a large pool of funds to lend to those members who wish to borrow. Interest on the members’ loans (which – unlike many other lenders - is capped at an affordable rate, by law) pays the credit union’s running costs and allows funds to be re-invested in further development. Any surplus funds are then paid back to the members as a dividend on their savings.
In a credit union, lending decisions are normally made by people, not computers. By carefully assessing each applicant’s personal circumstances we focus on affordability and tailor the repayments to each member’s situation.
Credit Unions provide safe savings, affordable loans and other financial products to over 1.2 million members in Great Britain. Across the world there are now 68,800 credit unions in 109 countries with over 235 million members. Find out more on the WOCCU website.
Your savings are protected by the FSCS, and our processes our approved by the Charted Institute of Payroll. We are also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and regulated and authorised the Prudential Regulatory Authority for all of our loans.
We also have a trade body called ABCUL, more information about Credit Unions in the UK can be found here.
Our loan interest rates have been designed to offer an ethical alternative to Banks, Credit Cards and Payday or Doorstep lenders. Part of the way we give back our profit to our members is by offering reduced interest rates on loans. As a Credit Union, the maximum interest rate we can charge is set at 3% per month by the Credit Union Act 2012. Giving you the security that we will not hike up the rates in the future, it is enshrined in law.
To join our 3,800 strong members, you just need to live in Suffolk, Norfolk or Cambridgeshire. If you live or work outside that area, you just need to work for one of our Payroll Partners. The full list can be found here. If your employer is not currently signed up, let us know, and we will get in touch with them.
To offer you one of our loans, you will need to meet the following criteria.
• Aged 18 or over
• You have not been discharged bankrupt or completed a Debt Relief Order in the last 3 years.
• You have not completed an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) / or a debt management plan within the last 2 years.
• You are borrowing for their personal needs and not for business or towards buying property.
If you do have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) you will need to provide evidence you are addressing this debt.
No, as a Credit Union, we are ethical and more human-centric than other financial institutions. We’re focused on achieving more to together. As you are able to save while repaying your loan, we actively support you in breaking the cycle of debt. For many debt consolidation loans we are able to reduce your monthly debt repayments. All our loans have to pass an affordability check, which ensure any loan we offer is in your best interest.
As an ethical financial institution, we will never use debt chasing company, and do NOT charge late repayment fees. Our whole process, is about supporting our members. We do this by adapting repayment amounts and frequency to suit the member and freezing interest.
To become a member you will need to complete a membership form and loan application form if you wish to borrow from us. These forms are very straight forward and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. You will need to fill in a Payroll deduction form if you would like to start savings and making loan repayments direct from your salary. You employer will not know what the deductions are for, and can be changed when you have finished repaying your loan.