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From 1st October 2017, the interest rate on new loans will be 1.25% per month (16.1% APR) up from 1% per month (12.7% APR) on the decreasing balance.
The Board regrets this increase which is due to loss of the grantfunding that we used to receive from Northumberland County Council and is necessary to ensure that the Credit Union’s finances remain on a sound basis.
Existing loans and loan applications received up to Friday 29th Sept 2017, with the signed repayment schedule signed by 15th Oct 2017 will be charged 1% per month for the duration of the loan. Loans awarded after that including “top up” loans which include paying off an existing loan will be charged at 1.25% per month.
We don't do instant loans - but we don't do external credit checks or carry out intrusive interviews about your finances. Instead we depend on members' savings patterns and loan repayments to establish an 'internal credit rating' - if you show you can save £20 a month, then you've demonstrated that you could repay a loan at £20 a month.
So our loan structure is closely linked to regular savings:
1st loan: up to £100 plus savings repayable in 39 weeks or less - and you need to demonstrate your ability to repay by saving at least £4 a week for eight weeks
2nd loan: up to twice total savings - so it helps to continue saving while you are repaying your first loan.
3rd loan: up to three times total savings
4th loan: up to four times total savings
with a maximum loan of £3000
Local credit union champion, Ed Sweeney, has stood down as co-ordinating volunteer in Alnwick for Northumberland Credit Union after nearly two years in the role.
Ed successfully brought the credit union to the town, creating the local identity “Alnwick Credit Union”, initially establishing the weekly “paying in point” at St Paul’s RC Church, then moving to the Homes for Northumberland Offices, before settling at the Youth Hostel on Green Batt.
Nic Best, Chair of Northumberland Credit Union, said:
“Without Ed’s support and dynamism, we would not have a presence in Alnwick – and we are very grateful to him. We are sorry to see him go but understand his need to take on new challenges and wish him all the best.
“The weekly paying-in point – open 12noon-2pm on Mondays - at the Youth Hostel will continue to operate with Chris Wilson taking over as co-ordinating volunteer. While many Alnwick-based credit union members pay in by standing order or using the payment machine at the Council Offices, the paying in point is our ‘shop window’ in the town.
“We do need more volunteers to help run the paying in point, so if you can spare a couple of hours on a Monday once or twice a month, please get in touch.”
Members of Northumberland Credit Union are eligible for low cost loans – the interest rate is just 1% per calendar month or 12.7% APR – based not on external credit checks, but on their savings record with the credit union.
As Nic Best, the credit union chair puts it:
“If you save £5 a week regularly, then we don’t need to check with Experian to know that you will be good for a loan with repayments at about £5 a week.
“So instead of wondering how you’ll afford a new washing machine if yours breaks down, start saving now – even just a little bit – with the credit union, and you’ll have access to a low cost loan when you need it.”
More information about Northumberland Credit Union is on our website www.ncul.co.uk, email us on or leave a phone message on 01670 503666 – and you can find us on Facebook.
Northumberland Credit Union in Alnwick is supported by Alnwick Town Council.
Three directors stood down at our 2016 AGM on 22nd February - Roger Bland, Roger Hawkins and Symon Agnew.
Roger Bland was one of the leading founders of Prudhoe Access to Credit for Everyone (PACE) which merged with the Morpeth-based MorCred to form the county-wide Northumberland Credit Union in 2005. He has served on the Board and as Deputy Treasurer since then, as well as being the lynchpin of the local Prudhoe group of the credit union and maintaining the weekly paying-in point at The Spetchells. In particular, he has ensured that Northumberland Credit Union has stayed committed to the principle of encouraging saving and personal financial responsibility as well as providing low cost loans to members.
Roger Hawkins was a founder member of the study group formed to set up the credit union in 1997. He has served on the Board continuously since then, first as Secretary and more recently as Compliance Officer. He has seen us safely through the changes in financial regulatory structures more designed to deal with multinational banks than with credit unions and shown infinite patience and wit in dealing with financial bureaucracies.
Both will be hard acts to follow - but we are looking for additional volunteers to fill two remaining vacancies on the Board. Do get in touch if you'd like to find out more.
The Berwick branch of Northumberland Credit Union Ltd is expanding from January 29th.
After fifteen months of operation in the town, coordinators Gary Morton and Elaine Mallory are delighted that Head Teacher Pauline Molloy and the Governors of Tweedmouth Prior Park First School are welcoming the community enterprise into their premises. There will be a Paying in Point (PiP) at the school, in the breakfast room, on term time Friday afternoons from 2.30 - 3.30 p.m.
The existing PiP at Tweedmouth Parish Church Hall will continue to be open on the first Tuesday of every month, but it is hoped that the expansion into the school will make it easier for local residents to pop in and find out what a Credit Union is all about and how it can help encourage good financial habits.
So why not come along on Friday 29th and have a chat with one of our friendly volunteers? Meanwhile if you want more information, ‘phone Elaine on 01289 303545 or Gary on 01289 298217. We look forward to seeing you.
The Paying-In Point (PiP) at Alnwick has relocated to the YHA Hostel on Green Batt (NE66 1TU) and will be open from 12 noon - 2pm every Monday (except Bank Holidays) wef Monday 28th April 2015. It will remain based at this venue until at least December 2015. Thanks are due to Cllr Gordon Castle who facilitated the move.
This is the third location for the Alnwick PiP since it was set up last September (2013) initially at St Paul's RC Church and then from the New Year hosted by Homes for Northumberland in the old Council offices. Our thanks to both those organisations for their support.
This is the second of our PiPs now based at a Youth Hostel. The Berwick PiP operates out of the Granary PiP on Thursdays (12 noon - 2pm). Our particular thanks to the YHA Hostel Wardens,
We are looking to set up new paying-in points in Alnwick and Haltwhistle as soon as possible - we've got the locations ready lined up - so we need to create a rota of volunteers to staff them.
We also need more volunteers to help run our existing paying-in points in Allendale, Hexham, Morpeth-Stobhill, Pegswood, Prudhoe, Seahouses and Wooler. We're happy to establish further paying-in points, but need a core of local volunteers to do so. Get in touch if you'd like one set up near you.
The Credit Committee decide on loan applications. They meet 2-3 times a month and work according to strict rules. At least three people must be present when deciding a loan.
They also oversee the local loans officers. Loans officers have the power to make loans up to £1000.
We depend on grant funding at present, but we have just one person working on fundraising. Ideally a small team is needed to look for opportunities, complete applications, monitor grant-spending and write reports for the funders.
Would you like to become involved in running the credit union? You can offer yourself for election to the Board, or the Credit Committee or the Supervisory Committee. But there are lots of other jobs to be done as well.
The Supervisory Committee is our internal audit. They cover everything from passbook checks to monthly bank reconciliations, and also oversee loans made to Board members. We need at least three people on this Committee. If you are independent-minded and have some knowledge of audit or accountancy, this is for you.
Our Credit Control team work closely with the credit committee. They monitor overdue loans, and pursue them by telephone and with visits. If necessary, they take legal action.
Visits are made in pairs and we need both men and women volunteers in this role.