How It Works
Who can be a member of Barrow & District Credit Union?
You can become a member providing you live or work in Barrow, Dalton, Askam, Lindal, Ulverston, Grange and Cartmel and their surrounding areas. You must be 18 years or over to become a member we also offer Young Saver accounts for young people up to the age of 18 years.
Visit our Becoming a Member page to find out more about membership.
Who owns the Credit Union?
If you are a member, you do – along with the other members.
Who runs the Credit Union?
The members elect Directors at each Annual General Meeting and the Directors are responsible for the Credit Union’s statutory, legal and moral obligations. We have three paid staff at the Credit Union, including our General Manager and our Finance Officer as well as a team of fully trained volunteers who run the office and provide a professional service to our members.
We are always on the lookout for new volunteers. Please visit our Volunteering page to find our more.
What am I committing to by joining?
You commit to save with us and make every loan payment by its due date.
How can I use the Credit Union’s services?
You can open savings accounts, deposit and withdraw money and repay and apply for a loan at our office in 1–3 The Mall, Barrow-in-Furness. As we grow bigger, we also hope to open offices in other towns within our operating area. We can also answer enquiries over the telephone and by email. Visit our Contact Us page to find out how you can get in touch.
We have recently also developed an online facility where members can check their balance and ask about a loan. Read more on the Your Member Area page.
Is there a maximum amount I can save?
You can save up to a maximum of £15,000 in our Credit Union. As we grow much bigger, you could actually save as much as 1.5% of our total member savings. So, for example, if our member savings totalled £2m, you could save as much as £30,000 with us – but we do have a long way to go before that happens.
What happens to the money I save?
We use your savings to offer loans at a preferential rate of interest to other members who want to borrow some money. The interest we charge on these loans helps us to pay our running costs and build up our reserves. We may also be able to pay you an annual dividend on the amount you have saved. By saving with us, you also have the opportunity to borrow at lower rates should you ever need a loan.
We do not however lend out all our members’ savings and we invest a proportion of these in safe investments which earn us some interest.
Is my money 100% secure?
Yes. We are not only regulated by both the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority, but we are also a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Your savings with us are protected in the same way as they are at banks and building societies. This scheme ensures that if anything happens to a financial institution, savings of up to £75,000 will be refunded to savers after just a few days. As the maximum you can save with us is £15,000, this means that all your savings will be totally protected. You can find out more and download a leaflet from the FSCS on the How Safe is My Money? page.
We also have a Supervisory Committee as well as an External Auditor and both check that your savings are not at risk in any way.
How many days’ notice will be required to withdraw my savings?
You can withdraw part or all your savings by completing a share withdrawal form and giving the appropriate period of notice:
|Up to £500||On the day|
|£501 - £1,000||3 days' notice|
|£1,001 - £5,000||7 days' notice|
|£5,001 - £10,000||2 weeks' notice|
|Over £10,000||1 months' notice|
If however you have a loan with us, we require you to maintain savings with us until your loan is repaid.
How do I apply for a loan?
By making an appointment to visit one of our loan officers at 1–3 The Mall. You can make an appointment at our office or over the phone. You can also Ask About a Loan online. If you are not able to visit our offices, Contact Us as we might be able to arrange a home visit. We have a Loans Policy which will determine how much you can borrow from us and at what rate of interest. Learn more about our different loans on our Loans Explained page.
How much could I borrow?
Your loan application will be assessed on how much we think you can comfortably afford to repay each week or each month. As you build up a relationship with us, we may be able to lend you even more.
Can I take out a loan if I’m not a member?
No. You must become a member first before applying for a loan and, if you have saved regularly with us for three months, we will charge you a lower rate of interest on your loan.
Who decides how much dividend is paid on my savings?
The Board of Directors recommend whether a dividend should be paid and how much this should be at each Annual General Meeting and the members attending then vote on this. Every member can attend our AGM. Any dividend will then be added to your savings account and we will send you an Annual Statement so you know how much this is.
How much will my dividend be?
As a relatively new credit union, our dividends have been relatively modest. However, established credit unions can make dividend payments of between 2% and 5% so we hope the longer you save with us, the bigger your dividend will become.
Is tax deducted from my dividend?
No, but we have to report any dividend of over £250 to HMRC so whether you will be taxed on this depends on your individual tax status.
If I currently have a loan, can I withdraw my savings?
If you have a loan, we would want you to keep your savings balance with us. However, if your savings are in excess of the outstanding balance on your loan, we would be happy for you to withdraw the difference.
Are there any hidden charges or early repayment penalties?
We have no hidden charges and there are no penalties if you repay your loan early.
Is my loan covered by Loan Protection?
Yes and this is provided for free. Age limits and terms and conditions apply. You can find out more on our Free Loan Protection page.
What happens if I want to leave the Credit Union?
If you are a saver all you need to do is give us written notice of your intention to leave and your savings will be available at the end of the appropriate notice period. If you have a loan with us, we would only allow you to leave once this loan was fully repaid.
Where is my nearest credit union?
If you live or work in South West Cumbria, it’s us! There are also credit unions covering other parts of Cumbria and the UK. You can find your nearest credit union using the Find Your Credit Union website.