Credit unions are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. They offer savings and great value loans, plus they are local, ethical and know what their members want.
Bristol Credit Union
Bristol Credit Union (BCU) can help you to save and borrow, while supporting your local community. Any Curo customer can join.
It's operated on a not-for-profit basis, with any surplus profits being returned to members, and people in the community can come together to save ethically and to borrow money at competitive rates.
Once you are a member (which costs £1.50), you can use any of the credit union's services - you can deposit money by standing order, with a PayPoint card, or sometimes direct from your wages.
BCU offers a current account, which carries a flat weekly charge when you use it, with no danger of charges when something goes wrong. This can be the best way to manage your money, and help you to save by paying for utility bills by direct debit and standing order. You can also join the Christmas Savers' Club, open an account for your children or invest in a Child Trust Fund.
If you need to borrow money, then once you're a member you can apply for a loan. As long as you're in receipt of a regular income, whether wages, benefits or a pension, then you can apply to borrow from £100 to £7,500. You may find that you pay back a lot less than you would with a doorstep or money shop loan - and you can use what you save to put towards something else.