Watford Credit Union logo
First Floor
59 Clarendon Road
Watford
WD17 1LA
01923 236401
Email info@watfordcreditunion.co.uk

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About Watford Credit Union

Who is eligible to join Watford Credit Union?
Anyone - as long as they live, work (paid or unpaid), or study within the WD postcode area and are 16 or over (although members must be 18 or over to apply for a loan). Under 16's can join as junior savers.

We decided that our C.U. must have a good mix of community based and local employee based members. The loan and savings rules apply equally to employee members and community members

An excellent service run by
an amazing people.”
(A satisfied member)

.

Why a Credit Union for Watford?

  • To reinforce community spirit and to promote a savings ethic amongst non-savers.
  • To help and encourage people to save and manage money. We do not offer "financial advice"
  • To make low cost loans available to members. Remember our loan rate is only 1% per month interest on the decreasing balance.
  • To assist those excluded from conventional finance There are many people who cannot comply with the large financial institutions credit rules, often through no fault of their own.

Credit Unions do not discriminate due to:
  • Race, creed, sex, social standing
  • Age or disability
  • Past loan history
  • Lack of credit record
  • Living on income support
  • Living in blacklisted areas
  • Insecure employment
  • Lack of loan history e.g. return from working abroad

Watford Credit Union has helped me
to manage my money better, encouraged me to save
and has made me feel more in control of my finances.
(A satisfied member)

However as we must look after our members' assets, the granting of loans has to be business based. We have a Credit Committee that interviews applicants to assess their credit worthiness and "trustability", and importantly their ability to repay. Before a loan is granted members must save regularly with us for 13 weeks. The value of loans is determined by the WCU Current Loans Policy, the amount of time the member has belonged to the C.U., any past loans they have had, and their ability to repay. In line with our community service mandate, small emergency loans are also available, but they too must follow the "trustability" and repayment rules.

Given that we are running essentially a members' co¨operative, WCU can give a better deal than bank loans, Provident cheques and loan sharks. It is important to note that credit unions are not able to offer instant relief from poverty, more to encourage financial well being over a period of time.

Watford Credit Union Loans Policy (summary)
To obtain a loan a member must save regularly for at least thirteen weeks before a loan application is considered (although this can possibly be waived in an emergency).
The excess of loan balance over share balance for any member will not exceed 5% of the Credit Union's total assets.
Members are expected to save while repaying a loan.
The maximum repayment time for any loan is 3 years, but usually it is less, as agreed with the Credit Committee.
All loans are subject to availability of funds and at the discretion of the Credit Committee.

The current limits are: Loans - Up to 3x share balance, with an absolute maximum £5,000 loan.

How Do We Relate To Our Community?
We collect money, process and payout loans, and maintain touch with the community through community collection points. Some of these operate from local community centres, churches etc, with opening hours depending on volunteer numbers and availability. The WCU Registered Office and collection point is at 59 Clarendon Road, Watford WD17 1LA

We encourage the local community to provide volunteers to staff the collection points, which enables the local community and the credit union to get to know each other. The collection points also provide the primary means of spreading information to members and keeping in touch with their needs. We will also use payroll deduction where an employer has agreed to co-operate. We currently have such an agreement with Watford Council and Watford Community Housing Trust.

The WCU Mission Statement reflects our intent to help our local community: The mission of the Watford Credit Union Ltd is to provide accessible savings, loans and insurance benefits for those who live or work (inc. voluntary work or study) within the WD postcode area. It is owned and run by its members, in a way that encourages participation from the community.

Dividend
The payment of a dividend, if at all, depends on the amount of surplus money available. Details are decided after the end of each financial year at the AGM, in the light of a recommendation by the Board of Directors. By law, the maximum allowable dividend is 8%, but they are often much less, even zero, especially for new credit unions.

Joining Fee and Minimum Shares
The current joining fee is £1 plus an initial £1 minimum for a share (savings). The share balance must be brought up to at least £5 within 6 months and must be maintained at no less than this amount.