FAQs

 

Your questions answered

General FAQs

What is a credit union?

A credit union is a financial co-operative that is owned and controlled by its members, who share a common bond.

 

Unlike banks, each member of the credit union has an equal say in the running of the credit union, regardless of how much they have saved.

 

Credit unions are concerned about the financial welfare of their members, rather than purely making a profit.

Who are the NHS Credit Union?

Like all credit unions, the NHS Credit Union is a financial co-operative, owned and controlled by its members.

 

We help care for the financial health of members across Scotland and the North of England and our membership is growing at record rates.

 

Almost 20,000 NHS workers are currently enjoying the benefits of being an NHS Credit Union member.

Why a credit union and not a bank or other lender?

A credit union is a community of its members, whose aims are to promote their financial wellbeing through savings, affordable and appropriate lending opportunities, and through the promotion of greater financial awareness.

 

Members are the owners of the credit union and the pressure to generate profit for shareholder dividends is therefore greatly reduced. Any surpluses generated by the credit union are redistributed among the members, or retained to develop the business.

 

The structure and nature of a credit union frequently enables it to help those who are currently excluded from access to ordinary bank products. It can become a lifeline for people who may otherwise have to resort to payday loans or doorstep lending which often carry incredibly high interest rates. However, credit unions can benefit savers and borrowers at all ends of the income ladder, with dividend rates often greater than interest rates offered by High Street banks to their savers.

What do I do if I forget my member number or password?

If you have forgotten your member number or password – simply go to either your online member’s area login page or your mobile banking app.

 

Online Member’s Area – click ‘Login Help’, from here you will be given instructions on how to get your member number and reset your password.

 

Mobile Banking App – click either ‘Forgotten Member Number’ or ‘Forgotten Password’, from here you will be given instructions on how to get your member number and reset your password.

 

If you do not have online access please either message us on our Nivo app or call the office on 0141 445 0022.

How do I update my email or mobile number?

Login to your members area and select ‘my profile’.

 

Alternatively, login to your mobile banking app and select ‘My info’.

 

If you have not registered for our online facilities you can HERE. 

 

If you are unable to register for online banking please contact us to keep your details up to date.

Who regulates the NHS Credit Union and is my money safe?

Like all credit unions, the NHS Credit Union is Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

 

The credit union is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which applies to all UK financial institutions.

 

The scheme protects deposits of individuals up to £85,000 in the event of any bank or credit union failure. Savers will usually get their money back within 7 days.

How secure is the credit union website?

The Members Area utilises several layers of technology to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of its transactions across the internet.

 

SSL Protocol (Secure Sockets Layer) ensures that data cannot be read by other computers as it travels between your browser and our server.

 

Digital Certificates allow you to verify that your browser is communicating with our server and not another server posing as our server.

 

Member numbers, PINs (personal identification numbers), your date of birth and other personal details are also used to verify your identity. In order to provide a banking service on the internet, it is necessary for information to securely pass between your computer and our server.

Joining us FAQs

 

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Who can join the NHS Credit Union?

The Common Bond of the NHS Credit Union determines who can become a member of the organisation.

 

Membership of the NHS Credit Union is open to NHS employees in Scotland, North England (North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humberside) and their families living at the same address. It is also available to contractors working wholly for the NHS in those areas, as well as members of their families living at the same address.

 

More information can be found HERE. 

How do I join?

You can join us by completing an application using our secure messaging Nivo app – this is the quickest method of joining as it will allow you to take screenshots of relevant paperwork. Find out more HERE.

 

Alternatively, you can join us using our online application HERE.

Can I remain a member if I retire or leave the NHS?

Yes – our Common Bond allows those who retire from or leave the service to continue in membership if they so wish.

 

You will have to inform our team of these changes and they will amend your savings from Payroll Deduction to Direct Debit if applicable.

Savings FAQs

 

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What different types of savings accounts are available?

Regular Savings Account: Regular Savings Account: Your Regular Savings Account (formerly known as share 1 account) is your main credit union savings account. It is the default account all members open when joining. This is where you must always maintain at least £5 in savings to keep your credit union account open.

 

Instant Access Account: This is an easy access savings account, with all savings available to withdraw on request. You can request that a proportion of your savings be put into this account if you wish by filling out an amendment to deduction form.

 

Junior Savers Account: Our junior accounts let you save money for the younger members of your family, allowing you to start planning for their future. Please note you can only open a junior savings account for children who live under the same address.

 

Christmas Club Savings: An easy, safe and reliable way to save for Christmas. Choose to have a proportion of your savings transferred to a dedicated account just for Christmas spending. Your savings are locked away, taking the temptation away from dipping into them. They are available to withdraw from October to the end of February without penalty, but withdrawals out with these times incur a small charge of £5 for every transaction.

Can I deposit a lump sum?

As part of our compliance requirements with the Bank of England we are required to maintain a capital to assets ratio. This means that we have to allocate part of our annual profit to a general reserve to maintain this ratio. As our asset level increases, so does our capital requirement. The more lump sum deposits we take, the higher our bank balance rises which increases our asset base and therefore our capital requirement. This means we have to put more of our profit into general reserve to meet this requirement rather than pay it as a dividend to our members.

 

We have therefore taken the decision to temporarily suspend the depositing of any lump sums to savings products, including junior accounts with immediate effect.

 

This will not impact your Payroll Deduction or Direct Debit savings with us.

What is a lump sum?

A lump sum deposit is any contribution to your credit union account(s), regardless of the amount, in addition to your regular weekly or monthly deduction, by payroll or direct debit.

 

We will continue to accept deposits where you are looking to pay off an existing loan balance or to settle arrears with the credit union.

What are the interest rates on savings?

Rather than receive a fixed interest rate on their savings, credit union members share in a dividend payment which is based on the surplus earned by the credit union over the course of the financial year.

 

The level of dividend is recommended by the board of directors and then agreed at the Annual General Meeting of the credit union, which every member can attend.

 

The level of dividend will usually vary from year to year, depending on how successful the credit union has been.

 

Please note your dividend is based on the balance of your savings over the whole year and is not guaranteed.

How can I withdraw my savings?

You can withdraw your savings by either logging onto your online account or on the app and pressing the ‘withdraw’ button. From here you can select your nominated account to send your money to.

How do I pay into the credit union?

You can pay into your credit union either using our Payroll Deduction Scheme or Direct Debit.

How can I change my Payroll Deduction amount?

To change this please either contact us by phone or by messaging us on Nivo HERE. 

How can I change my Direct Debit amount?

To change this please either contact us by phone or by messaging us on Nivo HERE. 

Loans FAQs

 

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How much can I borrow?

You can apply to borrow between £500 and £25,000 provided you have either deposited £10 into your membership account or made at least 1 payment by payroll deduction or direct debit.

When can I apply for a loan with the the credit union?

To be eligible to apply for a loan, new members who have not made their first contribution yet must deposit at least £10 before any loan application can be completed.

What kind of loans does the credit union offer?

Unsecured Loans – You can apply for an Unsecured Loan for pretty much any purpose, be it a summer holiday, a new washing machine or even a new car. Unsecured Loans, are for members who are looking to borrow more than what they have in savings.

 

Secured Loans – Many members have worked hard to build up their savings, so instead of withdrawing from here, a Shared Secured Loan uses your savings as security for your full loan balance. With a Secured Loan you can easily borrow any amount up to the value of your current savings at an attractive interest rate of 3% APR. The maximum loan available is £25,000, regardless of whether it’s Secured or Unsecured.

 

Debt Consolidation Loan – Our Debt Consolidation Loans offer members the chance to combine all their debts into one easy to manage payment – and save hundreds of pounds in interest charges. Borrow up to £25,000 at 19.6% APR.

 

Ten Month Loan – The Ten Month Loan is for members who need support for making payments for annual costs such as: car insurance, nursing fees, season tickets, car service/MOT, professional fees, home insurance, caravan site fees or other uses that would be considered as an annual cost. You can borrow between £500 to £2,500 at 5.1% APR. This product cannot be topped up and must be paid back over 10 months.

To see more of our loan products and terms & conditions please visit our website.

Can I pay a lump sum to my loan?

No – we will continue to accept deposits where you are looking to pay off an existing loan balance or to settle arrears with the credit union.

Why do I need to supply income and expenditure information a loan?

All our loans are based on affordability, so as a responsible lender, it is important that we ask you to confirm your income and expenditure.

 

For this reason some applicants will be required to send in copies of wage slips and bank statements to show these incomings and outgoings. This ensures that we do not take unnecessary risks with the credit union’s funds and do not give out loans where we feel it will result in the member getting into financial difficulty.

 

It also means that we can look beyond a member’s credit report to try to help them in every way we can.

Why have you asked for information about my partner's income?

A key factor in deciding to approve any unsecured borrowing is that the member can afford the repayments.

 

That decision is based on the HOUSEHOLD income and expenditure, which is why we may ask for information about a partner’s income.

Is my partner liable for loan repayments?

Any loan with the NHS Credit Union is the responsibility of the individual member. Although we may ask for information about a partner’s income, that is solely to help ensure that the household income can afford the repayments. A member’s partner is NOT liable for loan repayments.

Who can witness a loan agreement?

When members are sent out paperwork for a loan agreement, there is a section in the documentation for the agreement to be witnessed. Any adult over the age of 18 – including, but not necessarily, a family member –  can sign to witness the agreement. The witness is NOT liable in any way for the loan.

Should I supply original documents or copies?

If we ask you to provide payslips, bank statements, or any other documentary evidence for a loan request, you should always suppply us with COPIES as we can’t return the documents to the member.

 

When you are making copies of, for example, bank statements, please ensure all the information is legible and that it covers the dates required.

 

If you fail to supply the required information, or details are not clearly visible, it could well delay your application.

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