In this brief blog, we will discuss the Leeds credit union and how they can help you.
A history of the Leeds credit union
The Leeds credit union is a financial co-operative which was formed in 1987. The Leeds credit union is based in the city of Leeds in the county of Yorkshire. It is a member-owned not for profit organisation. The Leeds credit union also has other trading names where it trades from. These trading names are White Rose Credit Union, of Wakefield, and Your Loan Shop.
The Leeds credit union is the countries largest credit union with over thirty-five thousand members. The members voted in 2012 to extend the range of services that Leeds credit union offer. This meant the organisation started offering common bonds to employers and other organisations, business accounts and savings accounts which pay interest.
The Leeds credit union actually started off as the Leeds city council employees credit union which offered savings and loans to the local authority staff from the area. After 10 years as a credit union which offered savings to the local authority staff, it became a credit union which offered its services to everyone in the community.
The savings account on offer from the Leeds credit union do not offer a fixed rate of interest which is paid to its members but instead, they distribute any surplus from the financial year to their members in the form of an annual dividend which is calculated on the average savings of the member or paid as rebate for the interest the member paid on a Leeds credit union loan.
In July 2015, Leeds City Credit Union became members of Leeds Citizens, a new diverse alliance of organisations which aims July 2015, Leeds City Credit Union became members of Leeds Citizens, a new diverse alliance of organisations which aims to campaign for social justice and the common good.s to campaign for social justice and the common good.
Leeds city is one of the biggest cities in the UK with over eight hundred thousand people.
Things haven’t always been smooth sailing for the Leeds credit union, in fact, they have experienced some difficult moments which led to them changing the management teams from between 2006 to 2008. These difficult moments led them to have an independent review of governance and then this led to them appointing a new management team with new directors to oversee the credit union from 2009.
The Leeds credit union has good customer feedback with a 4.7 out of 5 and a five-star rating from over three hundred and fifty reviews on Feefo at the time of writing. You can view their Feefo review page here.
What do you get as a Leeds credit union member?
When you join the Leeds credit union you will receive a membership account which you can save into each week. Interest isn’t paid on this account bu rather an annual dividend is paid at the end of each financial year based on your average savings in this account or as a rebate if you took out a loan from the credit union.
The features of the membership account are:
The membership account is free to open
You can access the account at any time with an internet connection
You can withdraw as much as you want from the account, there is no limitation or caps on withdrawals
The account has a minimum balance of £1.
You can manage the account online.
What products does the Leeds credit union offer?
The Leeds credit union offers a payroll deduction savings and loan scheme in hand with the Leeds city council and some local employers.
The leeds credit union also offer loans from between £250 and £20,000 which members of the public can apply for as long as they meet certain criteria. The rates offered on the loan are capped by the credit union legislation.
To be able to apply for the loan from Leeds credit union you will need to meet one of the following criteria.
You may be an existing member of the credit union
If you are new to the credit union you may be able to apply if you meet one of the below criteria and fill in a new membership application.
You can apply if you are a new member if one of the below applies to you.
-” you live or work in Leeds, Wakefield, Harrogate or Craven
– you are a resident of certain housing associations
– you work for one of our ‘Select’ employers or a Unison member in Leeds or Wakefield, or a member of Unite in Yorkshire, Durham, Teeside and Northumberland -”
To check if your employer is one of the select employers or a Unison member please click here.
Repaying the loan is relatively simple. You can repay the loan through a standing order or direct debit from your bank., through payroll deduction from your employer, or by Benefit Direct.
Once you have applied for a Leeds credit union loan you should hear back relatively quickly and if further information is needed from you then the credit union will contact you.
The current rate on the Leeds credit union is 42.6%.
With an APR of 42.6% and borrowing £1500 will cost you £34.47 if you repaid weekly or £150.69 if you repaid monthly over 12months. You will pay a total of £1791.06 if you repaid weekly and a total of £1808.28 if you repaid monthly. These are just illustrations and the rate may have changed since the time of writing. There is no guarantee that you will get the same rate.
The Leed credit union also has a homeware loan which it offers through a retail partnership. With this loan, people shopping through the “own comforts” website can get a Leeds credit union loan to pay for the goods they want to purchase once they reach the checkout page.
This loan is only available for homeware goods such as fridges, washing machines, furniture, dryers etc.
To be eligible for the homeware loan provided by the Leeds Credit union you will also need to be:
“Live or Work in Leeds, Wakefield, Harrogate or Craven.
Are a current resident of one of these Housing Associations.
Work for one of the following employers
You will also need to:
Be over 18 years old.
Have a Valid UK bank account.
Not previously declared bankrupt.
Have a regular household income of over £12,000 per annum.
Agree to a credit check and having repayments collected by Continuous Payment Authority.”
Engage prepaid visa debit card
The Leeds credit union provides the engage visa debit prepaid card through a prepaid account. They state the below on their website
“Engage is an ethical Visa debit card and account that truly benefits the credit union member. There are no nasty hidden charges and fantastic rewards that mean you can save money on your everyday shopping.
The Engage account and Visa debit card works just like an account from a high street bank but is only available from your Engage accredited credit union. You can use your Engage card to shop, pay bills and save money with our cashback rewards program.
FREE to apply for a card (you can also have an additional card for free too)
FREE for any purchases made within the UK
FREE mobile app available on Android and iPhone
Engage Envelope Money Management Tool
Earn up to 15% cashback with Engage rewards partners
Only £0.75 for an ATM withdrawal in the UK
Low management fees
FREE to set up a standing order
FREE email alerts to help you track your spend
Complete and return the application form here and we will do the rest.”
You can view the terms and conditions of the Engage visa debit prepaid card here.
Who regulates the Leeds credit union?
Leeds City Credit Union is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and PRA. This is the same way that most high street banks are regulated and in essence, the Leeds credit union acts as a bank.
In this brief guide, we discussed the Leeds credit union. Some of the information on this page may have changed since the time of writing. If you have any questions or comments please let us know.
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.