Strength in numbers

10th January 2003 at 00:00
There are almost 500 credit unions in the country, all functioning under guidelines laid out in the 1979 Credit Union Act.

Each credit union is a co-operative, owned by its members and operated for their benefit on a not-for-profit basis. Each credit union is managed and controlled by a volunteer board of directors.

Essentially, a credit union is an extended version of the group kitty: members put money into a collective pot, from which they can later borrow. The loans taken out are based on the amount of money investors have put in.

On average, credit unions will lend around three times a person's savings. Interest is at preferential rates: the 1979 Act set a legal limit of 12.6 per cent APR. Any profits made on the loans are subsequently returned to credit-union members as interest.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?

Subscribe

To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today