Chance to learn about credit unions in West Sussex


Residents are being given the opportunity to find out more about credit unions in the run up to National Credit Union Day on Thursday, November 16.

People can discover how much they could save over door-step lenders at one of the West Sussex Credit Union’s contact points taking place in a library, church or council office across West Sussex.

West Sussex County Council has teamed up with West Sussex Credit Union (WSCU), our local, not-for-profit credit union to give everyone the opportunity to open an account to save regularly and apply for affordable personal loans for any purpose.

Michael Brown, county council cabinet member for finance, said: “West Sussex Credit Union has an important role to play within the community, ensuring an ethical alternative to money management to many individuals and families in the county.

“West Sussex Credit Union can provide employers with an opportunity to reward their employees with a personalized ‘save as you earn’ scheme.

“By signing up, these businesses are caring for their staff’s financial wellbeing and on a wider social scale, helping local people gain access to affordable finance.”

West Sussex Credit Union deals primarily with loans from £500 to £10,000 and savings accounts of up to around £15,000. People who take out a loan pay interest, but gain four big advantages over taking a loan from most other small loan providers:

- Repayments are more reasonable because our “not for profit” structure means we focus on you and not excessive profits;

- No arrangement or service fees;

- There are no penalties for repaying all or some of the loan early; and

- Borrowers are actively encouraged to structure their repayments so that when the loan is paid off they have accumulated some money in a savings account. Because of this, many members are both savers and borrowers with the credit union.

Ray Mason, Chief Executive of the West Sussex Credit Union, said: “We offer a real alternative to high interest doorstep lenders and personal loans from the High Street Banks. There are credit companies out there charging 270% and more APR (annual percentage rate) on loans.

“In one case we found one resident was borrowing £1,000 over 52 weeks at 272 per cent APR and having to pay back £1,820.

However, if they had borrowed the same amount over the same time with the West Sussex Credit Union they would have had to pay back only £1,184. That represents a saving of £636 over the year.”

It is easy to apply online and borrowers can check out what their repayments could be in advance with the ‘loan calculator’ tool.

WSCU is regulated and authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and your savings are 100% guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

You can drop-in and find out more by visiting the following locations at the following times:

St John The Baptist Church, Burgess Hill, Tuesdays - 11am-2pm;

Arun District Council offices, Littlehampton, second Wednesday of the month - 10am-4pm;

Chichester District Council offices, Chichester, second Thursday of the month - 10am-12.30pm;

Mid Sussex District Council offices, Haywards Heath, second Thursday of the month – 1pm-4pm;

Southwater Library, Southwater, third Thursday of the month – 10am-12.30pm;

Storrington Library, Storrington, third Thursday of the month – 1pm-4pm;

Shoreham Library, Shoreham, third Tuesday of the month – 10am-12.30pm;

Billingshurst Library, Billingshurst, third Tuesday of the month - 1pm-4pm;

Crawley Library, Crawley, fourth Thursday of the month – 10am-12.30pm;

Broadfield Library, Broadfield, fourth Thursday of the month – 1pm-4pm;

Bognor Library, Bognor Regis, fourth Tuesday of the month – 10am-12.30pm;

Willowhale Library, Bognor Regis, fourth Tuesday of the month - 12.30-4pm;

Horsham District Council offices, Horsham, fourth Wednesday of the month - 10.30am-12.30pm; and

East Grinstead Library, East Grinstead, fourth Wednesday of the month – 2pm-4pm.

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