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Joining a credit union

 

Joining a credit union is easy once you are within the common bond of the credit union.

 

What is the common bond?

The common bond is the factor which unites all the members of your credit union - it is what all members have in common. The most usual common bonds are:

  • Community bond (where all the members live, and in some cases work, in a particular locality).
  • Occupational bond (where all members are in the same profession or occupation, or work for the same employer).
  • Associational bond (where all the members are in the same society or association).

 

Because of the common bond, all members have the good of their credit union at heart; they know and trust each other. The common bond ensures that the savings of members are available to fellow members as loans. It also enables credit judgements to be made on character and personal record as well as on commercial risk factor.

To find your local credit union, visit the CU Locator.

 

What do I need to join?

When applying for membership you will be asked for proof of ID and proof of address, for example a current passport and recent utility bill. Depending on the rules of your credit union, to be a member there will be an entrance fee of not more than €1/£1stg and you will need to hold a minimum savings of between one and ten shares.

 

5 reasons why joining a credit union is a smart move

There are so many reasons to join the credit union, but here's the five that make it such an important part of Irish culture.

 

1. It's local

In Ireland over 3 million people are members. The credit union movement across Ireland is the most successful in the world with the highest membership per capita. At the core of everything we do, is to uphold a different, people-led way of looking at things, a way that is benefiting millions of people, in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

2. It's personal

Our philosophy has always been to look at things differently. A credit union is an organisation of people, for people. It exists only to serve its members - not to profit from their needs. Credit unions are non-sectarian and non-political, and continue the Irish tradition of co-operative self help. All decisions are taken at a local level not in a remote head office and each member can attend it's credit union's AGM regardless of the amount of savings held so you get a say in how your credit union is run.

3. It's different

Each credit union is owned by people like you, the members, who both save with, and borrow from it. The founders of the Credit Union recognised the root of most people's money problems as lying in the scarce availability and poor management of money in Ireland and resolved to identify a system that would allow people to have more control over their finances. Credit unions also offer insurance services at no direct cost to you. In the event of your death, your credit union loan and your savings are insured subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria.

4. It's fair

Every credit union is a 'not-for-profit' financial co-operative. Any surplus income generated is returned to the members as a dividend to savers or it may be directed to improved or additional services for members. Some credit unions give borrowers an interest rebate at the end of the year so you may get back some of the interest you've already paid on your loan. This is why we're so diligent when it comes to deciding, whether or not to grant the loan because every member is accountable to every other member.

5 It's simple

When members need a loan, all they need to do is come in, chat, and fill out a form. Your application is treated in the utmost confidence and will be considered on its own merits. In deciding, whether or not to grant the loan we take into account your record of savings and loan repayments, as well as your ability to repay.

 

So if you're not already a credit union member why not join one?

To find your local credit union, visit the CU Locator.

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