just Credit Union is a mutual financial cooperative owned and run by its members. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority just like the banks and building societies.
We are a Shropshire wide organisation with offices in many of the market towns. We look to work in cooperation with other organisations to keep down costs and are sponsored by County, District and Borough Councils.
In Craven Arms you will find a selection of our merry band of volunteers every Thursday afternoon from 2pm to 4pm at the Craven Arms Together Office (look to the left of Tuffins).
What makes us different?
● An easy way to save
● A cheap way to borrow
● Insurance on savings and loans at no extra cost
● Run by trained volunteers – low overheads
● Profits returned to members
● Money stays in the community
● Owned and run by the members, for the members
● Regulated and insured so you know your money is safe
● Part of a world wide movement
● Savings schemes for young people too
Who can join?
Anyone over the age of 16 who lives or works in rural Shropshire (excluding Telford and Wrekin); the area of Common Bond.
A common bond is something that all the members share. For just this is living and/or working in rural Shropshire.
How does it work?
Members’ savings are pooled together and used as a common fund from which members can apply for loans.
As a member you can save as often as you like. Even small amounts saved regularly soon mount up. You can pay in by bank standing order, direct from your pay (if your employer offers this facility – if they don’t get onto them) or at the local Community Branch.
You can apply for a loan as soon as your membership has been accepted and your identity verified. By law the maximum Annual Percentage Rate (APR) that we can charge is 12.68% (1% per month on the decreasing balance). The amount you can borrow will depend on your ability to repay and the amount in the common fund (current maximum loan £3000). You carry on saving as you repay your loan, so you end up with more money than you started with.
As an example if you were to borrow £1000 and repay it over a year you would pay less than £70 interest! You borrow what you need and repay to suit your financial circumstances but the shorter the period of the loan the less interest you pay.
Savings for under 16s too
You can join as soon as you are born (with the help of a trustee). You can save and receive a dividend. You become a full member when you reach 16 but you cannot take out a loan until you are 18
This is what is in it for savers (apart from the satisfaction of making funds available for other members of your community to borrow). Money we make from interest on the loans can be returned to the members as a dividend. The size depends on what is left after meeting necessary costs. It tends to be small when a Credit Union is new (as we are) but can be anything up to 8% once established and operating efficiently.
Members are your neighbours and colleagues. The interest paid on loans stays in the community. People are less likely to default on loans when they know the people they are borrowing from. Using a loan, members can purchase their needs locally, they are not reliant on companies that offer credit facilities.
We may be run by volunteers but still have to satisfy the Financial Services Authority that we can look after members’ money. By law, insurance against fraud is in place. Annual independent audits also have to take place.
Everyone has one vote in the Credit Union. We are run by a Board of Directors that is elected once a year. Any member over the age of 18 can stand for the board. Training is always available.
Credit Unions were started in Germany, nearly 150 years ago. They are now established in over 90 countries around the world. Almost half the population of Ireland belongs to a credit union and so do over a third of Americans.
To join or for more information about just Credit Union write to:
just Credit Union
or phone: 01743 252325
or visit our website:
or visit the Community Branch any Thursday afternoon 2pm – 4pm
If you live outside Shropshire and wish to find whether there is a Credit Union for you contact:
The Association of British Credit Unions
Tel 0161 832 3694
Fax 0161 823 3706