Last updated: 8 November 2022
Next review: 8 November 2023
If you want to start saving, need access to affordable credit, or are looking for a current account to manage your money, a credit union account can be the right choice for you.
London Community Credit Union (LCCU) is a local organisation that supports those who may struggle to get financial services from the big banks. Many people join because they like to know their savings are helping others in their community, by allowing LCCU to provide low-cost credit.
Our loans are an affordable and ethical alternative to high-cost lenders.
Frequently asked questions about the LCCU
What is a credit union?
Credit unions are member organisations made up of people who share a ‘common bond’. It could be a workplace, a profession or a congregation, but for London Community Credit it’s our location.
Credit union members are encouraged to save money, and from the shared savings pot, they finance loans for members at affordable rates. Credit unions can also provide banking facilities including full current accounts with a debit card.
The credit union is owned by its members who can share in any profit via a dividend payment. It is managed by a volunteer board of directors, elected from our membership.
Can I join London Community Credit Union?
Credit unions are member organisations. To join London Community Credit Union, you must live, work or study in Waltham Forest, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Newham, Tower Hamlets, or the City of London.
How do I join London Community Credit Union?
You can join, or join and request to borrow via a single application online. If you prefer, you can complete an application by hand and join by visiting one of their 4 branches.
What information will I need to join London Community Credit Union?
They will need to confirm your identity and your address. Photo ID like a passport or driving license is ideal and proof of your address can be in the form of recent bank statements or official letters from authorities like the local council, DWP or HRMC. If you don’t have all of these documents, speak to us and we will try to help. Download a leaflet listing acceptable ID documentation (pdf).
Do I have to pay a membership fee to join the credit union?
Membership of London Community Credit Union is free. But you need to make a minimum initial saving deposit of £10. It is also recommended that you commit to saving regularly if you can.
How can I manage my credit union account?
There are four branches that open six days a week. They are in Bethnal Green, Hackney, Poplar and Stratford. Members also have free access to online banking and automated telephone banking through which you can check your account balance or make a transfer request. When you join, you will invite be to visit your local branch and they will provide you with a Welcome Pack containing all the information you need.
Will my money be safe in a credit union?
London Community Credit Union is part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which means savings up to £85,000 are automatically guaranteed by the government. This is the same scheme that protects your savings in a High Street bank. Credit unions are also regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, meaning they have to meet strict conditions to operate, in the same way, banks do.
How can LCCU help me save money?
They encourage every member to save regularly. No matter how small the amount you can put away, saving regularly is a great habit with many benefits. The money you save can act as a cushion in case of emergencies and it means you can dream of doing things you wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.
If you have a wage or benefit payments, paid into your credit union account, they can set up a regular transfer into your savings account.
A record of regular saving also counts in your favour if you apply for a loan.
Can I have more than one savings account?
Although you can access your money if you need it, you will be encouraged to use your main savings account to build long-term savings. You can open a second, easy-access savings account, to save towards particular goals. They offer special accounts to help you save towards a holiday or Christmas.
Do LCCU pay interest on savings?
They don’t offer savings account with interest rates. Instead, and because it is member-owned, each pound you save, counts as a share in the credit union. If they generate a surplus at the end of each year, it can be shared in the form of a dividend payment.
Can I get a loan from the credit union?
You can apply for a loan as part of your membership application, or at any time after you join. Each loan request is individually assessed and affordability is considered by looking at your income and outgoings. Your credit history will also be a factor. Saving regularly with them will boost your chances of being approved for a loan. Applications can be made online or in a branch.
What can I use a loan for?
The members borrow for all sorts of reasons, and the loan will not be refused for the reason of borrowing. Often people borrow to purchase items like a new sofa or replacement washing machine. You may want to pay for car repairs or cover an emergency expense. People also borrow when they want to splash out, maybe on a family holiday, home renovation or for a special occasion like Christmas or a wedding.
How much can I borrow and how much interest does LCCU charge?
They offer loans between £250 and £15,000 and the interest rates vary between 9.4% and 42.6% APR. The interest rate you are charged is based on the amount you borrow. Unlike most lenders, people with a lower credit score are not penalised by being charged a higher interest rate. There is no hidden loan charges and you can pay off your loan in full at any time without penalty.
The online loan calculator will allow you to see the cost of borrowing before you apply.
What happens if I can’t repay a loan?
When circumstances change, it can be a struggle to keep up with loan repayments. If this happens to you, try to contact them at the earliest opportunity. They have an experienced team of staff who can help you and the earlier they know about your situation the more solutions they can offer. They can consider renegotiating a loan to lower the repayments if necessary.
About current accounts
Can London Community Credit Union offer me a current account?
When you join London Community Credit Union, a basic current account will be opened for you. It will have a sort-code and a unique account number so you can accept payments like wages or benefits. You can upgrade this to access additional services like Direct Debit to pay regular bills, or to have a contactless Debit Mastercard.
Does LCCU offer a debit card with the current account?
Their Gold and Platinum current accounts offer a contactless Debit Mastercard which can be used to pay for goods in shops, online and withdraw cash at ATMs. The contactless feature means you can also use it to pay for travel. These accounts incur a small monthly charge to cover our costs.
How can I manage my current account?
Each of the current accounts can be managed in branch or via online banking. You can also check your account balance at any time via telephone banking. You can opt to receive regular statements to help you stay in control of your finances.