Your Money Matters 
 Information and advice for Tameside residents 
 Welfare Reform in 
 Tameside 

 Information and advice for 
 Tameside residents 
 Welfare 
 Reform in 
 Tameside 

Credit Unions

A credit union is a sort of community bank, which is owned and managed by its members. Members of a credit union make regular payments to build up their savings. Once you’ve built up your savings a bit, you may be able to get a cheaper loan from your credit union than you would get from other lenders, such as doorstep lenders or pay-day loan companies. Some credit unions will lend to new members who haven’t built up any savings yet.

Members of a credit union share a ‘common bond’- that is, they may live or work in the same area, or work in the same industry. Most people will find they can join at least one credit union if they want to.

As a member, any savings you have with a credit union (up to £85,000) are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, in the same way that the money you have in your bank account is protected.

Credit unions are not-for-profit organisations. A credit union’s income comes from the interest it charges on its loans to members. This income is used to pay for the running of the credit union. Anything left over is used to reward members (through a ‘dividend’).

Cash Box Credit Union

The main credit union for people who live or work in Tameside is Cash Box Credit Union..

Like any company Cash Box has a board of directors, but the board is elected by its members, and its directors are volunteers.

To join, you need to complete an application form, and bring it to one of Cash Box’s collection points with two forms of ID (ideally one showing your name and photograph, and one showing your name and address). When you join, you’ll need to pay £3 (£2 for lifetime membership, and £1 to start off your savings).

You can build up your savings by paying in cash at Cash Box’s collection points, or by standing order from your bank account. You can get your first loan from Cash Box after 13 weeks of saving with them (for at least £1 per week).

For your first loan, you can borrow up to double the amount of savings you hold with them. After you have repaid your first loan, and shown Cash Box you are reliable, you will be able to apply for a bigger loan the next time.

When you apply for a Cash Box loan, it takes around 1 week for them to make a decision on your application.

The rates of interest on Cash Box loans are low, currently 2% per month (APR 26.8%). So it you borrow £500 for 52 weeks, you would pay back £10.84 per week. The total amount you would pay back would be £563.53. You can choose to pay off your loan through weekly, fortnightly or monthly payments.

Though some other lenders advertise lower rates of APR, these are often for a minimum loan of several thousand pounds. In contrast to some other lenders, Cash Box only charges interest on the balance outstanding, and does not charge a fee if you pay your loan back earlier than expected.

Cash Box Credit Union also offers a Christmas Savings Account. If you’re regularly paying into your savings account, you can open a separate Christmas Savings Account. Your Christmas savings are automatically paid into your bank account at the end of November each year, ready for you to spend on whatever you want.

For more information, including details of Cash Box’s collection points, please click here.

Cash Box Credit Union is authorised by The Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority & The Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm reference number 213528. Deposits are protected by The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The Credit Union is also covered by The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

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