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Credit unions

Home > Services > Social care and health > Benefits and debt advice

The people's bank

A credit union is a community savings and loans co-operative, where members pool their savings to lend to one another at a low rate of interest. Members use their credit union loans for a wide range of different purposes, such as: household or consumer goods, holidays, Christmas, school uniforms or DIY projects.

Credit unions are mutually owned and democratically controlled by their members. Their purpose is to provide their members with low cost, accessible financial services and is based on the principle of people acting together for their mutual benefit. Credit unions play an important role in addressing social exclusion, especially financial exclusion within our communities.

The credit union movement provides financial services on a community basis, with all decisions taken in the interests of members. Credit unions can help break the cycle which sees poorer families denied credit or finding it only from loan sharks, doorstep lenders and other sources which charge high rates of interest.

There are five community credit unions in Renfrewshire. All are managed and run by local volunteers who work to offer a personal and friendly financial service to their communities.

The continued success of credit unions is based on giving a much-needed affordable service of savings and loans to its members. Increasing the wealth of their community through members’ savings is a vital part of their business and new members are actively sought and always made welcome.

Credit unions are about 'people helping people'.

Benefits of joining a credit union

Why you need to save
Your savings create the pool of money, which is used by the credit union to make loans to your fellow members. This uses the wealth of the community for the benefit of the community.

Borrowing and paying back
Credit unions' lending methods vary. The credit union loan policy details the conditions that the membership have to comply with before they can borrow. However, each loan is granted on the individual members’ ability to repay the loan. Credit unions by law, can charge no more than 2% interest per month on the reducing loan balance (APR of 26.8%). But many charge less than this, normally 1% (APR of 12.68%). Check with your local credit union for its interest rate. You can borrow for anything that promises to be of benefit to you, for example: Christmas, holidays, weddings, bills, cars, household items, school clothes.

Is my money safe?
Yes! Credit unions, in common with other financial services such as banks and building societies are regulated by the Financial Services Authority. They also benefit from the services of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and The Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme. This gives credit unions members' the assurance that their money is as safe as in any bank, and any legitimate complaints they may have against the credit union will be taken up by the Financial Ombudsman.

By law, credit unions must also hold a fidelity bond insurance that protects members' savings against fraud.

Membership – who can join a credit union?
You can join a credit union only if you share a ‘common bond’ with other members, such as: Living or working in the same area; working for the same employer; or belonging to the same trade union, church or other association.

Any person over 16 years of age can be a member and save with the credit union. However, members must be 18 and over before they can apply for a loan. Many credit unions also have Junior Savers who can be joined from birth by a sponsoring adult member.

Why not join your local credit union? Joining is easy and you will be made most welcome. You will be required to provide proofs of both your identity and address, such as: a driving licence, passport, utility bill, rent book or benefit book. Like banks and building societies credit unions are required by Money Laundering regulations to obtain this information from members.

When you join, you can also ask about being a volunteer. Volunteers are the life-blood of credit unions, without them the credit unions could not function and new volunteers are constantly needed. Volunteers need no experience as they receive comprehensive in-house and specialist training. Many credit union volunteers have found the skills and experience they have gained from their credit union work has assisted them to gain employment opportunities.

Credit Union services in Renfrewshire

Credit union
Branches / Collection points
Opening times
Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union
39 High Street
phone: 0141 889 7442
fax: 0141 848 6813
39 High Street
Mon, Tues,
Thurs and Frid 9.30am – 4.30pm

Wednesday 9.30am - 12.30pm

Saturday 10.00am – 12 noon
St. Ninians Church, Blackstound Road, Ferguslie Park, PaisleyWednesday 10am - 11am
52 High Street
Mon, Tues, Wed
and Frid 10am-12noon

Tuesday & Fri 2pm-4pm (for
general inquries only)
Cherry Centre
Moorpark, Renfrew
Wednesday 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Bargarran Community Centre
Thursday 6pm - 7.30pm
Linwood Community Centre
Brediland Road, Linwood
Thursday 7.30am – 8.30pm
Tweedie Hall
Ardlemont Sq, Linwood
Fri 10.30am – 11 30am
Gallowhill Credit Union
Gallowhill Community Centre
Netherhill Road
Paisley PA3 4SF
phone: 0141 889 1539
Gallowhill Community Centre
Tuesday 7.00pm - 8.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 11.30am
Glenburn Credit Union
18 Skye Crescent
Paisley PA2 8EL
phone: 0141 583 4905
18 Skye Crescent, GlenburnMonday 10.00am – 2.00pm
Tuesday 10.00am – 2.00pm
Wednesday 10.00am – 5.00pm
Thursday 10.00am – 2.00pm
Saturday 10.00am - 12noon
Rivers Community Building, Spey Ave., Foxbar.Tuesday 10.00am - 11.00am
Johnstone Credit Union
26 Church Street
Johnstone PA5 8DU
phone: 01505 327 148
26 Church Street
Mon to Thurs 9.15am – 3.00pm
Friday 9.15am – 6.00pm
Saturday 9.15am - 12.30pm
Bridge of Weir
Friday 10.00 am – 12.30pm
White Cart Credit Union
73 Neilston Rd
Paisley PA2 6NA
phone: 0141 889 3005
fax: 0141 889 3005
73 Neilston Rd
Monday 10.00am - 12.30pm
Tuesday 10.00am – 12 noon
Wednesday closed all day
Thursday 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Fri day 10.30am - 12.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 12.30pm
Scotwest Credit Union
13 Elmbank Street
G2 4PB
phone: 0845 634 7634
13 Elmbank Street
Mon to Thurs 8.30 am – 5.00pm
Friday 8.30am – 4.00pm

Please contact the individual credit unions above for additional information on their services.

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