FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CroydonPlus Credit Union is a savings and loans co-operative. We are authorised to take savings deposits and to administer loans. We aim to help our members save up money, but we also provide loans at affordable rates. After we meet our essential running costs our profits are given back to the membership through a dividend payment.
WHAT IS A CREDIT UNION?
No. We are a regulated financial co-operative.
All of our members are shareholders and so the benefits from the successful growth of CroydonPlus Credit Union are more widely distributed than in traditional financial institutions. Whilst banks might invest internally; we invest in our local community and our profits are given back to our members.
ARE YOU A BANK?
Yes. We are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA – Firm Reference Number 213603) and regulated by the PRA and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), meaning that savings of up to £85,000 are protected – just like with any other bank. Our staff and Board of Directors are approved as ‘authorised persons’ by the FCA and PRA, which means they undergo a range of checks to protect you and your shares that are held by CroydonPlus Credit Union. to the membership through a dividend payment.
IS MY MONEY SAFE?
WHO RUNS CROYDONPLUS?
CroydonPlus Credit Union is a ‘member-led’ Organisation. The Board of Directors is accountable to the members. All Directors must be members as are all other members of the team.
DOES IT COST MONEY JOIN?
Yes, there is a one-off charge of £5 to cover our administration costs. You then need to make a minimum deposit of £5 and maintain a balance of at least £5 to keep your account active.
WHAT IDENTIFICATION DO I NEED TO BECOME A MEMBER?
To become a member you must either live, work or study in the borough of Croydon, Merton or Sutton.
Like any financial institution, we require proof of who you are (identity) and where you live (residency). Unlike high street banks we will be flexible with these needs, so long as our legal obligations are being met.
HOW DO I JOIN?
Joining is simple. If you are eligible to become a member, joining online is the quickest way.
You could also download the application form and send it to the office, along with photocopies of identification (see FAQ on Identification). Once we have processed your application, we will contact you to let you know if there is anything else we require to validate your account.
Yes. We are always happy to welcome new members. So long as they live, work or study within the borough of Croydon, Merton or Sutton OR if they live at the same address as you.
CAN MY FAMILY ALSO JOIN?
Sadly, we do not currently operate Joint Accounts.
CAN I HOLD A JOINT ACCOUNT WITH A FRIEND OR RELATIVE?
HOW SECURE IS MY ACCOUNT?
We will always ask you to provide your unique membership number and other account information, to verify your identity and we will only discuss the account information with the named account holder. You may be asked to provide identification when withdrawing money or receiving a loan payment.
WHAT IS MY 'SHARE' ACCOUNT?
DOES CROYDONPLUS PAY INTEREST ON SAVINGS?
As a co-operative, we do not pay interest on savings. CroydonPlus can make a dividend payment to members; once annual accounts are approved and if there is sufficient profit after setting aside the required reserves. If a dividend payment is agreed then this is paid into your CroydonPlus Account, usually annually, as a percentage of your savings.
HOW DO I PAY MONEY INTO MY ACCOUNT?
You can pay into your account by Debit Card over the telephone, by Standing Order or Bank transfer. If you are employed by a local employer that has enrolled onto our Salary Savings Scheme, you can also save directly from your salary.
We are also able to receive payment directly from Child Benefit and Universal Credit. If you would like to do this, please contact us and we can help you.
In addition, you can also make a payment by clicking here:
CAN I SET UP BANK PAYMENTS MYSELF?
Yes. All you need are our account details and your membership reference number and you can set this up directly with your bank. You will need to use your individual payment reference, which is formed by your account number and name, followed by the share account you would like your money paid into.
For example: 1234.J.Smith S1
CAN I MAKE WITHDRAWALS IN CASH?
No, for security reasons this is not possible. We can transfer funds to a nominated UK bank account (details will need to be provided in writing by the member including Account Name Sort Code Account Number and Reference), transfer funds to an Engage card or other prepaid card or issue a cheque. Cheques are limited to £500 per cheque and can only be cashed at the East Croydon Branch of COOP Bank. Please note there is a charge of £2.50 per cheque (although first cheque is free of charge).
DO I HAVE TO GIVE NOTICE TO WITHDRAW MONEY?
No. CroydonPlus offer savings accounts, which do not require notice to be given before making a withdrawal. However, we do need time to process any withdrawal requests within our usual opening hours.
All withdrawal requests received before 3pm, will usually be processed the same working day. Any requests made after this time, or at the weekend, will be processed on the next working day. You can request withdrawals, by using your online account, by phone, email, or in person.
Please note that while we aim to process all withdrawals as quickly as possible, some withdrawal requests may prompt the need for contact from a member of the CroydonPlus team to request further information from you. This may delay the withdrawal processing time.
CAN I WITHDRAW MONEY FROM MY SAVER ACCOUNT?
The savings in every member’s account with us, belongs to them. Members can request to withdraw their savings at any time, subject to not having an outstanding loan balance. All withdrawals will be subject to our processing times.
You can check your current balance by using our online members area, by telephone on 020 8468 8568, or by emailing us at:
email@example.com We are required to send all members a written statement annually. You can also request a statement anytime throughout the year.
HOW CAN I CHECK MY ACCOUNT BALANCE?
HOW DO I RESET MY WITHDRAWAL PASSWORD OR PIN FOR WHEN I AM USING ONLINE SERVICES?
I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE JUNIOR SAVER ACCOUNT. WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION?
We have created a list of answers to the frequently asked questions on the Junior Saver Account and this can be found here
A ‘share’ account is another name for your Savings Account. For every £1 you have saved with CroydonPlus, you own one share.
By default, your payments are posted to your ‘share 1’ account but you can open separate accounts to help you designate your savings into separate pots. More information on the different types of savings accounts available, can be found on our Savings Page.
There is a minimum period of savings for most of our loans. These vary based on the chosen loan product and repayment method.
Our most common loan (Saver Loan) requires 3x Monthly (or 8x weekly) deposits before an application would be considered.
See our Loans Page for more information.
Members in receipt of Child Benefit can apply immediately for a small loan of up to £500, subject to the ongoing Child Benefit payment being paid into your CroydonPlus Account.
Sometimes members may need to ‘top up’ an existing loan. This is possible; however, it would be subject to an additional application and review process. Applications for a ‘top-up’ loan will only be considered once a period of three months has passed since the last loan was issued, and all payments are up to date.
WHEN CAN I BORROW?
Our interest charge varies from 5% to 26.82% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) depending on the type of loan. There are no hidden fees and we do not penalise you for repaying a loan early. More information on this can be found on our Loans Page
WHAT RATE OF INTEREST DO YOU CHARGE ON LOANS?
HOW MUCH CAN I BORROW?
You can borrow as little or as much as you need, within the limits of our loan products (up to a maximum of £15k exposure).
All loan applications will be reviewed, based upon your individual circumstances, how long you have been a member and your ability to repay. As an ethical lender, we would never loan more than you can afford to repay. More information on this can be found on our Loans Page.
At peak times, a loan application may take up to 10 working days to process however, we are normally able to process this with 5-7 working days.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PROCESS A LOAN APPLICATION?
DO YOU USE CREDIT REFERENCING AGENCIES?
Yes, we use Credit Reference Agencies, to enable us to verify your identification and exposure to other debts. We also use the agencies to report on repayments of our loans. If you repay according to the agreement, this will help your credit rating in the long term.
Previously having difficulty repaying a loan or credit card, will not necessarily prevent you from borrowing from us - so long as this was declared at the time of application.
DO YOU USE CREDIT SCORING?
Yes. As an ethical lender, we must ensure that we only lend what you can afford to repay.
We have our own loan assessment process when considering loans. This takes account of members savings and repayment history, disclosed and undisclosed loans, and any debts with other lenders.
Because we are lending other members’ money as loans, we have a responsibility to do our best to ensure that all loans are repaid in full.
We understand that sometimes individual circumstances can change unexpectedly, and an agreed loan repayment plan may become unrealistic. We are sympathetic and encourage members to talk to us about their change in circumstances.
We will always consider ways to help and can often reschedule loan payments to make things more manageable. However, we do operate a strict Credit Control Policy and all non-authorised defaults will be taken seriously and pursued.
Members must be aware that missed payments on a loan may be taken into account in the consideration of any future loan applications and will be reported on, as part of our agreement with Credit Reference Agencies.
It is always best to speak to our Credit Control Team, if you are having difficulty with paying your loan.
WHAT IF I CANNOT REPAY MY LOAN?
Everyone who becomes a member of CroydonPlus and sets up monthly savings arrangements, is helping our Credit Union to grow. By doing this, YOU are helping local people to get out of debt.
Spread the word about us, so that more people learn about ethical savings and loans, and so that we can help more people take control of their finances – meaning more money in their pockets!