Lincolnshire Credit Union Blog

Community news and information

Local support groups given a huge boost

Date added - 09 Apr 2019

'Financial wellbeing groups will benefit from extra support thanks to more than £147,000 raised through Lincolnshire Co-op’s Community Champions scheme.

Several groups received a share of the total including Lincolnshire Credit Union (£13,598), local Citizens Advice branches (together receiving more than £93,000), Acts Trust Debt Advice based in Lincoln (£8,766), Age UK Lincoln and South Lincolnshire (£14,691) and more.

The six-figure sum will help bolster each groups’ work as they care for those who are financially disadvantaged.

The Community Champions scheme is one-way Lincolnshire Co-op’s gives back to the local community. Since it was launched in 2013, it’s helped hundreds of local charities and community groups each year raising amounts from £200 to over £200,000.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s Senior Community and Education Co-ordinator Ben James said: “‘The financial groups do an excellent job. It could be by tackling issues like debt and payday loans, encouraging safe borrowing or helping people access the money they’re entitled to – these groups help in all sorts of ways.

“Debt and financial worry can affect anyone, and we hope that with these funds even more people can get support with money worries.”

Acts Trust is a Lincoln-based charity founded by Alive Church and has a goal to eliminate poverty in the city.

Chief Executive of Acts Trust Simon Hoare said: “The money that has been raised by Lincolnshire Co-op has enabled us to provide one-to-one debt advice in Lincoln, free to the service user and in their own home.

"This is such an important service as many people find themselves burdened by unmanageable debt, unable to see a way out. We can offer them hope and a solution.

“Thank you to Lincolnshire Co-op and their customers for working hard to ensure this great service will be made available to those most in need in the city.”

Lincolnshire Credit Union is a local community focused savings and loans provider. They recently extended its business area and the money raised will help them to reach more people.

Chief Executive Officer at Lincolnshire Credit Union Sarah Moseley said: “We are thrilled to have received this funding from Lincolnshire Co-op as one of its Community Champions.

“We’ve recently expanded our geographical area and now cover the whole of Greater Lincolnshire. The funds will help us invest in digital enhancements to improve accessibility for our current members and make it easier for new members to join.

“These enhancements will save time, so our staff can provide more much needed responsible lending and financial support for some of the most vulnerable people across the county.”

More than 167,000 members raised the total by shopping in Lincolnshire Co-op stores throughout winter. A donation was made each time a member shopped using their dividend card.'

To read more, follow the link to the Lincolnshire Coop's original press release:

Five simple steps to start saving in 2019

Date added - 26 Feb 2019

'Saving can be tough, especially when money is tight, however having a buffer to fall back on can be priceless.

We’ve worked with financial wellbeing groups Acts Trust in Lincoln and the Lincolnshire Credit Union to come up with some helpful tips to get you into the saving habit.

1. It’s important to have a good overview of your finances – what’s coming in and what’s going out. Take some time to sit down and figure out your budget. Once all your bills and living costs have been paid, see what’s left and how much can you realistically afford to put aside each month.

2. Remember, a little is better than nothing. Saving even £1 per day will give you £365 this time next year. Maybe you have a goal in mind – next year’s holiday, Christmas, or a deposit for a house. Figure out how much you’ll need to save to achieve your goal, how long it will take you, and the best way to go about it.

3. It’s a good idea to have a separate bank account to the one you use on a day-to-day basis so that you’re not tempted to spend your savings throughout the year. If you can, set up two savings accounts – one for emergencies and another for future plans.

4. Find out if your employer is a Payroll Partner with a Credit Union – they’re a great alternative to high street banks. Money can be deducted directly from your salary and slowly you’ll build up your savings. You’ll also be helping your local community by providing the Credit Union with the funds to grant loans to those who are financially disadvantaged.

5. Christmas saving schemes with Credit Unions are an excellent way to save a small amount on a regular basis and access it in time for Christmas. It stops you taking cash out of an account and ensures you have enough spending money around the festive period.

Together with members and colleagues, Lincolnshire Co-op is raising money for a number of local groups which help people manage their financial wellbeing. Find out how you're part of the support here.'

Published by Lincolnshire Co-op. To read the original article follow the link:

Dividend Payment

Date added - 15 Feb 2019

We’re delighted that the members approved a dividend payment of 0.1% at our recent AGM. Funds will be credited to members account by tomorrow.

Annual Newsletter

Date added - 16 Jan 2019

Click here to read the annual newsletter

Let's Talk Energy Fund

Date added - 14 Jan 2019

The Let’s Talk Energy Fund will be open to customers of any supplier from 2nd January 2019.

This Fund has been set up to assist households in energy debt, in need of energy efficiency white goods or boiler replacement/repairs. Funding has been provided by energy companies as part of their commitment to help with energy bills and usage.

Applications can only be made online. Individuals should visit to complete a short application form. Please encourage all Applicants may like to upload evidence once their application has been submitted, in order to speed up the assessment process.

To be eligible for assistance from the Let’s Talk Energy Fund you must be in receipt of one of the following:
• Pension Credit (guarantee or savings)
• Child Tax Credit
• Working Tax Credit
• Income Support
• Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
• Income-related Employment Support Allowance
• Universal Credit, or
• Have a gross annual household income (before tax and deductions) of less than £16,190.

Applicants will also have a chance to apply for a Let’s Talk LED Smart Bulb, which stays on when the power goes off!

A Matter of Life and Debt

Date added - 28 Nov 2018

The second series of this documentary is currently showing on BBC One, previous episodes available through iPlayer.

The popular television series 'A Matter of Life and Debt' shows the important role credit unions play for people in the UK. They share stories of people's lives transformed by a credit union loan.

Annual General Meeting

Date added - 27 Nov 2018

Save the Date – Annual General Meeting on the afternoon of Tuesday 12th February 2019, The Storehouse Skegness. Members look out for your invite and newsletter in the New Year.

Download your Lincolnshire Credit Union mobile app

Date added - 04 Oct 2018

We are delighted to announce that the Lincolnshire Credit Union mobile app is now available for Android and iOS.

Type 'Lincolnshire Credit Union' on Google Play or Play Store and download it.

With the app you'll be able to:

✅ See your account balance
✅ Request a withdrawal
✅ Apply for a loan
✅ Send us a secure message
✅ Update your personal details
✅ Add and remove Bank accounts
✅ Update your marketing preferences
✅ Close your account


Date added - 16 May 2018

If you were thinking about joining our credit union, now is the time. In partnership with the England Illegal Money Lending Team, the Lincolnshire Credit Union is glad to be offering an incentive of £25 to new member accounts if they save a minimum of £5 a month for 3 consecutive months.

This is only available to new members

If you want to benefit from this offer, quote ‘Shark’ in ‘Where did you hear about us?’ when joining online or with a paper-based form.

Dreams Thrive Here

Date added - 19 Oct 2017

Why do over 235 million people worldwide choose credit unions?
Because credit unions have a “people-first” philosophy that impels them to constantly improve the communities and lives of their members. As cooperative and democratic financial institutions, credit unions’ success depends on the success of their members and their community. Your best interest is in our best interest.
This October 19, Lincolnshire Credit Union will join more than 68,000 credit unions from 109 countries and their 235 million members to celebrate International Credit Union Day®.

Credit unions strive to make the world a better place for their members by offering affordable rates and high quality service that simplify their lives and empower them to meet their financial goals.

Hollywood Actor Michael Sheen's message for International Credit Union Day

Save and Warm - A simple way to save money and keep warm in winter.

Date added - 31 Aug 2017

Community Lincs is working on energy saving initiatives that help to tackle fuel poverty across the county.

The Save and Warm project working in partnership with Children’s Links is aiming to engage families in East and West Lindsey in a series of fun and interactive Staying Warm and Saving Money activity sessions.

If you would like to learn more about the Save and Warm project or other energy saving schemes available through Community Lincs, visit their page HERE.

Lincolnshire Loan Shark receives 12 months prison sentence

Date added - 11 Oct 2016

NEWS RELEASE! From the Illegal Money Lending Team

Lincolnshire Loan Shark receives 12 months prison sentence.

A man from Nottinghamshire who operated as a loan shark in Lincolnshire was sentenced on 27th September 2016 to 12 months in prison following a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court by HHJ Heath Q.C.

Samuel John Bromfield, 60, of Ferry Lane, North Muskham was investigated by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), working in partnership with Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire County Council Trading Standards, and Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire Police. He pleaded guilty to two counts of Illegal Money Lending at an earlier hearing.

The IMLT executed warrants at the home address and business premises of Bromfield in August 2014. Upon investigation, cash and documentation were seized at Bromfield’s home address, whilst more cash and diaries were seized at his business premises, a taxi firm in Grantham. The court heard how Bromfield mainly lent to taxi drivers, claiming to help them out.

Simon Mortimer, prosecuting, told the court how Bromfield conducted an illegal money lending business from his business premises over a period of nearly 3 years. Analysis of the items seized revealed that Bromfield had been lending since at least 2011, providing over 940 loans to over 100 different individuals in that time. He had received at least £142,154 in re-payments from that illegal business. Bromfield had loaned out at least £166,046 on which he had charged interest of £53,491. At the time of Bromfield’s arrest, he had at least £71,977 owing to him.

One victim described how their life spiralled downwards due to stress and worry about the debts owed to Bromfield. Due to the level of repayments, the victim had to turn to legitimate lenders and family for funds. He even sold his personal belongings to maintain payments. He described how Bromfield told him that if he didn’t pay, the debt would be sold to a local chap with a bad reputation and he would owe £30,000.

Upon Sentencing, HHJ Heath Q.C said:

“You unlawfully engaged in an illegal money lending business without a license when you knew very well you needed one. These stringent rules exist to protect vulnerable people. You knew you wouldn’t get a license because of past CCJs (County Court Judgements). You engaged in illegal activity by running a profitable and unlawful money lending business. Therefore, I sentence you to 12 months imprisonment.”

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team said:

“We are continuing to crack down on illegal money lending and bringing those who break the law to justice. It’s important to remember that loan sharks are only motivated by greed so should never be used.

“We would urge anyone with information about loan sharking or victims of loan sharks to contact the team on 0300 555 2222.”

Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Safety Committee, said:

“Loan sharks can seem like an easy way of getting cash quick if you are having money problems, but today’s sentencing is a reminder to everyone that they are illegal and are likely to leave you in more debt with their extortionate lending rates, causing you added stress and worry, not to mention their often unsavoury methods to recoup their money

“We advise people struggling to secure a loan from a bank or building society and to consider a credit union loan as a safer alternative.”

Ian Newell, Business and Public Protection Manager from Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said:

"Loan sharks take advantage of some of the most vulnerable people in society. They profit from other people’s hardship and will often enforce repayment by blackmail or threats of violence

"The County Council, together with the England Illegal Money Lending Team, is trying to protect the residents by clamping down on loan sharks and preventing them from operating in the area."

Loan sharks operate illegally, without the correct permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority. These criminals usually appear friendly at first but quickly trap their borrowers into spiralling debt. As the debts can’t legally be enforced many lenders will resort to the most extreme and callous methods to enforce repayment.

Paperwork is rarely offered so victims are often in the dark as to how much they are actually paying. Exorbitant extra amounts and interest are added at random- the highest interest seen by an illegal lender was equivalent to 131,000% APR. In some cases the loan sharks have been known to take items as security including passports, driving licences and bank or post office cards with the PIN in order to withdraw directly from borrowers’ accounts.

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 349 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 227 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £63.5 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 25,500 people.

To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text a report to 078600 22116
Private message us on

The Lincolnshire Credit Unions top tips for first time buyers

Date added - 24 May 2016

Buying your first home is one of the most stressful and biggest challenges you will face in your life. It will take a chunk out of your wage and it will probably take you years in order to save and afford your first property. However, there are ways that can make the process much smoother and less stressful.

Tackling your deposit
Before you can even think about the total cost of the house you need to first look at paying for the deposit. These days a typical deposit will be around 10% of the overall cost of the property. Therefore, if the property you want to purchase costs £100,000, you typically require a deposit of £10,000. However, there are government led schemes that are allowing first time buyers to get a foot on the ladder with as little as a 5% deposit. The ‘Mortgage Guarantee Scheme’ makes it possible to purchase property under £600,000 with a 5% deposit.

Be realistic, can you afford this?
You need to be realistic when buying your first property. You might be tempted to go for that five bedroom house with a double garage and a view of Lincoln Cathedral but would you realistically be able to afford this, especially if it’s you moving in on your own. We all want the best but think about how you could afford to live in your new house. You need to take into account the cost of furniture, heating, electricity, food and much more. Go for something convenient; if you’re moving in on your own you don’t need any more than two bedrooms.

Save, save, save!
One of the most important things to do when buying your first property is to save as much as possible. The most effective way to do this is to sit down and take a good look at how much money you have coming in and how much you are spending. Remember that your end goal is a challenging one so a fair proportion of your earnings should be going towards saving for your property. This means limiting your spend on luxury items, holding back on nights out and maybe swapping the beaches of Crete with the seaside of Skegness.

From what you can save per month, work out how long it will take you to save what you need. For example, if you are trying to save £8,000 and you can afford to save £400 per month, then you are looking at about 20 months or just little under 2 years. Don’t be disheartened by how long it might take to save, as philosopher Lao Tzu once said “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”.

Using the ISA Scheme
A new scheme called the ‘Help to Buy ISA’ is being offered by banks and building societies across the UK. This scheme is designed specifically for individuals who are saving up for a mortgage deposit on their first home. First time buyers will receive a 25% contribution from the government on top of the amount they have saved, for example, the government will give you £2,000 if you save £8,000. However, the maximum they will give you is £3,000 on £12,000 of savings in the ISA.

The maximum monthly amount that can be deposited is £200; an additional £1,000 can be deposited when opening the account, meaning that £1,200 can be saved in the first month. The scheme is only available for people aged 16 and over and for homes worth up to £250,000. Accounts are limited to one per person rather than one per home so it possible that joint buyers can both receive the extra cash!

How the Credit Union can help you
The Lincolnshire Credit Union is also here to help you get on the property ladder. We offer simple savings and affordable loans with access to our free life insurance and other schemes. If you want to save up for a deposit on your house you could save regularly from your wage into a Credit Union Share Account. You could do this by organising a standing order with your employer or you can join the Payroll Deduction Scheme if your company is in partnership with the Credit Union.

Also as a Credit Union member you will gain access to our affordable loans. If you need a little extra cash to reach your goal we could help you out. Call us on 01522 873550 or look through our website for more details.

Financial tips for single mums in Lincoln

Date added - 04 May 2016

Often it is single mums who struggle financially and often are at risk of debt with 53% of lone parents admitting to struggling, compared to 29% of married mums.

Becoming a parent is hard work, but it is even harder if you don’t have the support of a partner to care for your child. The rise of doorstep lenders and instant loans is causing many to borrow more money they can’t repay, causing them further financial stress. Together with Lincoln Mums and Baby Basket we’ve come up with some financial tips to help young single mums across Lincoln tackle their financial worries:

Don’t go spending too much at once

Don’t buy lots of newborn clothes until you see what people give you. Friends and relatives love to buy clothes for new babies so you don’t need to go on a spending spree. There’s also no need to buy ‘tiny’ and ‘one month’ clothes unless your baby is really small, 0-3 months might be a bit big for the first few weeks but babies grow very quickly. You can also buy second-hand baby clothes inexpensively in bundles on Facebook groups, Gumtree and eBay.

Expensive nappies aren’t always the best

Nappies and other toiletries may not suit your baby’s skin or fit well so don’t bulk buy until you know what works well for you. Own brand nappies and toiletries are fine and some are even award winners. Aldi nappies have won many awards and are a fraction of the cost of some other brands. Your baby won’t suffer if it doesn’t have a brand name nappy; they all serve the same purpose!

Try second-hand but be safe

You can borrow maternity and baby clothes by swapping with friends and family. Remember babies just want to be warm and comfortable; they don’t care about brand names. Only buy a second-hand car seat if you are absolutely certain it has never been involved in an accident, your baby is too precious to take risks over safety. Second-hand cots, cribs, Moses baskets and pushchairs/prams are fine but check carefully for safety and always buy a new waterproof mattress.

Keep an eye out for bargains

Look out for bargains on social media selling sites and at baby and children’s sales as there are lots on around the county. Many mums use these to buy clothes for their babies as they don’t stay little for that long so most clothes are almost new. Register with all supermarkets for their baby clubs; as well as receiving offers you also receive notification of baby and toddler events with some great discounts to be had. You can also register for a ‘Lincoln Mums Card’ – with discounts off classes, cafes and much more!

The Credit Union can offer you access to loans and savings

At the Credit Union we can offer you access to our ‘Child Benefit Savings and Loan Plan’. The plan will allow you to use our ‘unsecured loans’ of up to £400 to cover the costs of caring for your baby. We will also encourage you to save part of your child benefit into one of our credit union share accounts. This will help you to save on a regular basis and when you need the money you can simply call us to access your account.

Unlike doorstep lenders we will treat you with the respect you deserve and offer you financial advice when you need it. Call us today on 01522 973550 or visit our website to find out how we can help you.

New Lincolnshire Credit Union Chairperson wants to modernise the credit union

Date added - 21 Apr 2016

Our new Chairperson, Nicoya Palastanga, hopes to see the Credit Union fulfil its potential in helping those in financial difficulties as well as providing a service for everyone across the Lincolnshire area.

Nicoya, who has been a member since 2012, wants to introduce more partnerships with businesses, aiming to get more organisations involved in offering the credit union service.

Nicoya who was voted in as Chairperson at the recent Annual General Meeting in March works as a Partnership Manager for West Lindsey, Lincoln and North Kesteven councils. For the past three years she has been working to prepare people for the changes of Universal Credit.

Since joining in 2012 she has been pivotal in providing a base within the Guildhall at Gainsborough. She hopes to bring the credit union into the modern age, not only helping those in financial difficulties but providing a service to everyone regardless of their financial circumstances.

Nicoya stated that:

‘I work to promote the benefits of credit unions, including LCU in financial capability projects across the county, supporting financial mentoring and access to financial products for vulnerable groups such as offenders.

‘In one of our recent projects a woman came in worried that she had been approached by a loan shark and didn’t know what to do. I want people to be more aware that credit unions can provide loans at affordable rates, so if they do get approached by loan sharks they know where to go. People seem unaware of the existence of credit unions and it’s vital that people know there is an alternative to loan sharks and payday lenders.

‘A key to achieving growth is working with major organisations across the county offering our services to their employees. Although credit unions help those in financial difficulties we also offer competitive rates on savings and loans for everyone. Many have this perception that credit unions are exclusively for people in debt or on a low income but we are there for everyone and we offer a financially savvy service.

‘I hope I can bring more partnerships, grow the board and get more people using the credit union. I want people to recognise there is a financial alternative and get people to understand that the credit union is here to help.’

For more information about the Lincolnshire Credit go to our website at, or call us on 01522 873550.

Competition winner praises credit union staff and fantastic service

Date added - 15 Apr 2016

We’d like to congratulate Anne from Grantham on winning the £50 prize money when she completed a membership survey earlier this year. Anne, who has been a member for three years, first got involved with credit unions when she saw the credit union on the TV.

“The programme said credit unions were a great place to put money away and they also offer affordable ethical loans. I quickly went down to the Lincolnshire Credit Union and the service was so quick and easy I was able to set up an account in no time. The staff were extremely helpful and friendly and gave me all the advice I needed.”

The Lincolnshire Credit Union is also there if you ever encounter any financial trouble in life. If you need a new washing machine or if you need a small loan for a holiday we’ll be there.

Anne suffered a financial set back when her car broke down last year. Needing a quick repair the credit union stepped in to offer her the support she needed.

“When my car went up the creek the credit union was there to help. I was able to get a quick loan with easy affordable repayments within minutes. If it wasn’t for the credit union I would have been stuck without a car with no way of getting to work.

“The credit union is a fantastic service and can even help people with bad credit history. If you’re prepared to save you will gain access to more loans and it is a fantastic incentive to save more.”

At the Lincolnshire Credit Union we are always here to help those in financial trouble or to offer anyone who wants a small loan a quick fix. If you want more information about getting a quick affordable loan call us Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm on 01522 873550.

Know the signs of scam mail before they rip-off your loved ones

Date added - 30 Mar 2016

Scam mail is affecting thousands of Lincolnshire residents and it is essential that we know the signs to help the vulnerable. According to the National Trading Standards 1,674 victims of scam mail have been identified in Lincolnshire alone. These victims can be anyone but often these scammers will target the vulnerable, elderly generation of people aged 70 years and older.

Scam mail can come in any shape and size promising money, health cures and even the services of spiritual mediums predicting your future. These promises can be very persuasive to some people and the scam mail they receive can look very authentic and official. People respond to these scams to get a financial gift for their family or if they are experiencing financial hardship. These people are specifically targeted by these scammers because of their vulnerability; they do this through a ‘sucker list’.

The National Trading Standards team has so far identified nearly 200,000 victims whose name appears on this ‘suckers list’ used by scammers. This list is shared and traded between the fraudsters who have identified easy targets for criminals to extract money. Once someone engages with scam mail the chances of them receiving more increases rapidly. If you respond to a scam you are likely to receive up to 32 more items of scam mail per day.

One case study provided by the Lincolnshire County Council states:

Mrs M is a 92 year old Lincoln lady. She has been responding to scam mail for over 13 years. The scale of her financial loss is enormous. Her son estimates she has given away in the region of £20,000, which includes her savings. Her children have tried hard to help her understand that this is the work of fraudsters. In spite of their efforts they have failed which, has caused family estrangement. Mrs M received approximately 8 – 10 pieces of scam mail a day and sends in the region of £100 - £200 per week.

So how can we combat these criminals and how can we help the vulnerable who are being targeted?
There are some obvious signs when someone is engaging with scam mail.

Although lots of people will be keeping it a secret you should be on the lookout for:
• Large amounts of post everyday
• Phone calls promising cheques will be delivered
• Many letters waiting to be posted.
• Cheque book stubs with acronyms and empty cheque books
• Lots of low value items such as cosmetics, biscuits and vitamins

If you suspect someone is a victim of scam mail it’s important to alert Lincolnshire Trading Standards as soon as possible. You can fill out an online reporting form at or you can phone Citizens Advice on 03454 045006.

For more information or for further financial advice you can call the credit union on 01522 873550 or you can visit our website at

Top 10 reasons to start a Christmas Saver Account with the Lincolnshire Credit Union

Date added - 23 Feb 2016

We all know how costly Christmas can be; buying presents for loved ones, preparing a ten person Christmas dinner and spending money on fuel to meet up with relatives we only see once a year. Starting a Christmas Saver Account with the credit union could make all the panic and financial stress of Christmas disappear.

Here the Lincolnshire Credit Union gives you the top 10 reasons to start your Christmas Saver Account today:

1) Your money will go untouched until the festive period

The money you save in your Christmas Savers Account will go untouched until 1st November 2016. This will ensure you keep your money saved for Christmas and not for anything else. It’s the best way to prevent the temptation of using up all your savings throughout the year.

2) Your account will gradually increase without you noticing

Save monthly or weekly and eventually without even noticing you’ll have a large sum to spend at Christmas. If you save £5 a week from today you’ll save £180 by November! That’s enough cash to cover the cost of family presents and more.

3) You’ll be planning ahead

By planning ahead you’ll be making it much easier for yourself when it gets to the Christmas period. The Christmas Savers Account will give you a tidy sum to spend without the fear of going into debt or overspending on presents and food.

4) They’ll be no more last-minute present buying

We’ve all been there with a week before the big day still trying to find that present for that difficult relative. With the Christmas Account you won’t have that worry of a shopping frenzy on the last day. You can get your shopping done early and you’ll have that safety net to insure you won’t be going into debt.

5) No more New Year headache

The New Year is when reality hits home with 20% of us still paying off our Christmas up to six months later. You can prevent this by saving regularly with the credit union. By having a nice tidy sum before the Christmas period you’ll be safe in the knowledge you won’t be paying the costs in the New Year.

6) Your savings are completely safe

Just like national banks your money is safe with us as we are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Service. FSCS protection is free and automatic. If anything happens to your credit union the FSCS will automatically refund your savings.

7) You’ll be saving ethically knowing your money is going back to the community

A credit union keeps your money in the community. Unlike banks where any profits are given to the companies’ owners our profits are shared out between our members in the form of a dividend.

8) Access the credit unions affordable loans and free life insurance

Once you become a member of the credit union, not only will you be granted access to our Christmas Savers Scheme, but you’ll be able to apply for our free life insurance and affordable loans. The cover provided will effectively double the value of a member’s savings on death and will mean that any outstanding loan balance is repaid.

9) You can save every payday

Access the Christmas Savers Account through a payroll deduction scheme. If your company is in partnership with the credit union and offering the scheme to employees you can save into your Christmas Savers Account every time you are paid. Without even noticing you’ll have a tidy sum to spend at Christmas.

10) You’ll be avoiding payday lenders

Payday lenders can cause a great deal of distress especially around the festive period. Some can charge up to 4000% APR causing you financial anxiety when it comes to the New Year. Although their adverts may look pretty and modern don’t be fooled into using their services.

The Christmas Savers Account is a fantastic scheme to give you that financial cushion during the winter. It’s one of our best schemes we offer but don’t take our word for it.

One of our young Mum members said:

"The Lincolnshire Credit Union Christmas Savers Account is helping me save for a nice Christmas with my daughter. She’ll be 10-months-old by Christmas and I’ll be able to buy her that big Christmas list without scrimping at the last minute to get the money together – that’s the brilliant thing about the Lincolnshire Credit Union."

The only requirement to opening a Christmas Saver Account is that you are a member with the Lincolnshire Credit Union and you have a share account with a minimum balance of £1. To apply for a Christmas saver account simply download a form from our website, call in to your local access point or call us on 01522 873550 to request an application form.

How to spot nasty loan shark thugs before they take your money

Date added - 16 Feb 2016

The extra spending we do around the start of the year can be costly for some so you could be forgiven for looking for that little bit extra to get you through the next coming months. According to figures published by the Bank of England, borrowing has surged by 8.3% over the year past year, the sharpest rise since February 2006 - two years before the financial crisis hit.

While obtaining a loan can provide a short term solution the dangers of becoming victim to loan sharks is on the rise. More and more loan sharks are looking for their next victim especially at the beginning of the New Year. Loan sharks will start off being friendly and if you keep your repayments up they will stay that way. However, even if you do, the money you borrow will come at a high price.

The interest on these loans can often be incorrect and could even be changed to a higher percentage without you knowing. You pay far more in interest than you would through any legal borrowing. One woman who borrowed £500 ended up repaying up to a massive £88,000! Some loan sharks have even attempted to charge interest rates as high as 719,000%. Failing to meet your repayments could lead you to being harassed by the loan sharks and you could be pressured into borrowing more money to repay one debt with another.

Loan sharks cause misery to people in financial difficulties and everyone around them. Some may be harder to spot than others but always be on the lookout for these signs:
• They will provide little or no paperwork, such as a licence, credit agreement or record of payments
• It’s likely they will increase the debt or add additional amounts to it without your permission
• Many will refuse to give information, such as the interest rate or how much you still owe
• You can expect them to want items for security such as, passports, bank cards or driving licences
• They will not allow you to settle your debt
• In an attempt to get their money from you they will get nasty – they may resort to intimidation, threats or violence
To prevent this happening to you always make sure that the lender you are using is legitimate. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) keeps details of all licensed lenders, as well as everyone who has applied for a licence or has had one taken away or suspended. If a lender isn’t listed as having a current licence or has been refused one, don’t borrow money from them and don’t let them come into your home.

With many loan sharks now turning to imitation to get their cash laws have been set up to stop them doing this. Any lender (licensed or unlicensed) who harasses you or threatens you with violence is breaking the law. Some loan sharks will threaten you by saying you will be prosecuted and even sent to prison if you don’t pay up. This can’t happen. An unlicensed lender such as a loan shark has no legal right to recover the debt. They even have no legal right to make you pay the loan back at all – because the loan is illegal.

When you think you have spotted a loan shark you must report them as soon as possible and if you’re in immediate danger should ring the police. To report a loan shark you can contact the Illegal Money Lending Team via their email - or phone the 24/7 phone service on 03005 552222.

There are always alternatives to loan sharks and you don’t have to put up with the stress and anxiety they cause. If you’re on a low income or you need to improve your credit rating and you need a small loan for a short time, look into credit unions. They offer low-interest loans and secure savings.

A beginners guide to credit unions and how best to use them

Date added - 20 Jan 2016

Did you know that in Ireland around 75% of the population is a member of a credit union? This is compared to only 3% of the whole UK population being a member which has even doubled in membership over the past few years. So what are we missing out on and what benefits can you get by becoming a credit union member?

Traditionally, credit unions are a small, non-profit organisation set up by members with something in common to benefit their community. That common factor could be working in the same organisation, living in the same area or belonging to the same trade union. Credit unions in the UK mainly focus on providing a service to their communities such as the Lincolnshire Credit Union which only provides membership to those living or working in the Lincolnshire area.

Credit unions were created to provide a secure and ethical financial community. There’s no profit for third-party shareholders and the members of the credit union are the ones that decide how it is run. They are not a bank but they do offer services similar to one. They offer several different saving accounts and if you need that extra bit of cash it’s worth checking it out due to the willingness to make small loans of £100 to £7,500.

But can you trust a small organisation with your money? Definitely! Credit unions are authorised by the ‘Prudential Regulation Authority’ and are regulated by the ‘Financial Conduct Authority’. Anyone who becomes a member of the credit union will find their savings are safeguarded by the ‘Financial Services Compensation Scheme’.

The aim of a credit union is to reassure its members to take control of their money by encouraging them to save what they can and borrowing only what they can realistically afford. The credit union only works in a non-profit system so the cash it uses is only used to run the services and reward the members, and not to pay outside shareholders, like most other financial institutions.

There are several ways you can use the services of a credit union to your advantage. A ‘share account’ is the most common account; it’s essentially a savings account where you can place your money in without it ever being touched by someone else. They are largely flexible allowing you to save large sums weekly, monthly or whenever you can.

Credit unions don’t have interest rates but instead they have dividend rates. A dividend rate doesn’t rely on the financial climate of the markets but solely relies on how well the credit union is doing that year. Typically, dividend rates are 1-3%, but it could be as high as 8% of the sum saved.

Arguably the biggest incentive for people to join a credit union is their willingness to offer small loans of £100 to £7,500, which most high-street banks won’t do. They're a much cheaper alternative to payday loans and far less risky. Some credit unions can even get cash to you the same day. They are always willing to help those in need and regardless of your credit history they are always open to helping you out.

Joining a credit union is a low-risk, safe, ethical and smart way to organise your finances. At the Lincolnshire Credit Union you can give us a call on 01522 873550 if you have any questions about becoming a member. Alternatively you can check out our website and see what service suits you. Our aim is to provide access to reasonably priced financial services to everyone living or working within the boundaries of Lincolnshire.

Welcome to the new Lincolnshire Credit Union website!

Date added - 04 Jan 2016

We are pleased to welcome you to our new and up-to-date website where you can discover more about savings, loans and offers from the Lincolnshire Credit Union.

We’ve been working vigorously alongside website developer ‘Strikemedia’ to produce this fantastic website for our members and volunteers.

This is an exciting development that will transform the way that our members use the Credit Union. We’ve also opened up a new community blog where you can find out the latest news, tips and events from the Lincolnshire Credit Union.
We hope our new website will provide a much more user-friendly environment for everyone who uses it. We’ve taken great steps in ensuring the help and information you need is only a few simple clicks away.

As well as a new website we have started up a new Twitter account. Our Twitter page ‘@LCUsavingsloans’ shares the latest Credit Union news, money advice and also tells you the latest financial going-ons in the Lincolnshire area.

We always aim to develop the website to suit your needs. If there’s anything you would like us to improve on the website then give us a quick message via our ‘contact form’.