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I'd never heard of a credit union, until I changed jobs and ended up working next door to one. We are all friendly folk, so decided to go and say hello and just see what it was all about. So, we made an appointment and were made very welcome by the staff at Fairshare Credit Union in Telford. They explained what they did and that they were a local Bank for the community of Telford and Wrekin.
It costs £2.00 to become a member of Fairshare and this cost goes towards the costs of the credit union. Then you can save any amount you like as long as it is on a regular basis (for example weekly or monthly)
After saving for a while, you can get access to loan facilities to help spread the cost of something you want, for example; a holiday or christmas and you can just pay monthly for this by Direct Debit or by paying into the local branch.Interest is charged on the loan, but it's only a small amount 1% per month and your loan will be insured free, so if you die before your loan has ended, then it will be paid off.
The same goes for your savings too! You have a free insurance policy which will cover your savings. So if you die your savings will be doubled and given to your chosen benificiary. Interest dividends are payable yearly on your savings.
Now I pay my savings into Fairshare instead of my Bank because I know that I am benefitting the whole of my community and also myself.
Everyone should be a part of a credit union if they have one. Go check out your local one!