Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union- All about us
What is a Credit Union?
A credit union is essentially a financial services provider for a specific group of people who all share something in common, such as postcode or employer.
The ‘common bond’ for Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union Ltd includes everyone who lives or works in the Ballymena and surrounding areas of Co Antrim.
And instead of customers, credit unions have members who use their services and own the credit union. Each member has an equal say on how the credit union is run, and shares in the organisation’s success. They are not-for-profit, member owned, financial co-operatives that exist to give their members access to reasonably priced financial services and encourage development of good financial practice.
As an alternative to banks and building societies, almost 400,000 people in N. Ireland save in a credit union. Community-based credit unions mainly focus on providing savings accounts and offering small loans.
We are made for our members – and the local area
Although banks and credit unions may seem very similar, the two financial institutions are hugely different.
Credit unions offer personalisation that big banks just can’t. When you call your Credit Union a real person picks up the phone and they are likely to know you. Personal attention and stellar member service are their top priority and they strive to make a positive contribution to their community.
The big difference is who benefits from the profits – banks pay out to their investors, whereas credit unions reinvest any profits (called dividends) back into the business for its members or use the money to help improve the local community.
The dividend rate is decided at the Annual General Meeting where members are invited to attend, and can fluctuate year on year, depending on the Credit Union’s performance during their financial year.
The directors of the credit union are also volunteer members, elected by a vote. So the organisation is always run in the interests of its members, not just for profit
Benefits of Credit Union membership
Credit unions are for everyone, and they exist to provide an inclusive financial community and act in the interest of all members.
Some of the benefits of joining a credit union are:
- Encouragement to save regularly
- Annual dividends
- Interest rates are charged at up to a maximum of 1% per month on a reducing balance
- The way we lend is based around our members ability to repay
- Free loan insurance in case of death
- A free ‘Money Mentoring’ financial education and guidance service.
Credit unions are just as safe as banks and building societies
Credit unions are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so your money is just as safe in a credit union as it is with a UK bank or building society.
The FSCS was set up to provide a safety net should a bank, building society or credit union become insolvent, and the scheme currently protects up to £85,000 in an individual account.
We offer a free one to one ‘Money Mentoring’ service
Need help with budgeting or guidance on sorting your finances?
Just make an appointment to talk to one of our specially trained Money Mentors, who can provide this one to one, confidential service, at no cost to our members.
Joining Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union
To open a new Senior Account (16yrs +) you will need to bring 2 forms of identification, one photographic ie. Passport or Driving Licence, and the other a proof of address ie. Utility bill, bank or benefits statement.
We also offer ‘Christmas’ accounts, where savings can be built up during the year and accessed in the months of November and December, and ‘Jamjar’ accounts, which allows you to have an accessible savings account whilst also having a loan account.
There is a ‘one off’ fee of £5 to open each of these type of account, and at least £1 must be deposited into savings at the point of opening.
To open a new Junior Account (0-16yrs) you will need a birth certificate for the child and ID for the adult opening the account. Junior Accounts are free to open.
Satellite offices and opening hours
Our Main ‘Raglan’ office – Mon- Fri 10am-3pm
Thurs evenings 7-8pm
Sat mornings 10am-12noon
Connor/ Cullybackey / Randalstown Orange Halls – Thurs evenings 7-8pm
Broughshane House – Fri evenings 6.30-7.30pm
Cloughmills Orange Hall – Fri evenings 7-7.45pm
You can join Slemish n tha Braid at any of these offices, and once a member, can use any of these offices to save, apply for a loan, and make loan repayments.
Main Raglan office address- 20-24 Queen St
Tel.No: 02825 648641
We can also be contacted via our Facebook and Twitter social media platforms
Borrowing from Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union
You will need to become a member before any loan would be granted and it is recommended that you build up some savings with us first.
The interest rate charged will be a maximum 1% per month on a reducing balance. For example, a loan of £500 repaid at the rate of £20 per week will take 26 weeks to pay off completely and total interest charged would be about £16.
There are no hidden charges and no early repayment penalties. Our loans are tailored to your ability to repay, and we will require proof of income and expenditure to assess this. As with any lender, you will be expected to repay your loan as agreed, and will be expected to sign a formal declaration to that effect.
Our ‘unsecured’ loans are over a maximum of 5 years duration
You can pay back your loan in several different ways
- Over the Counter in cash or cheques
- Our main Raglan office also has a Debit Card payment facility
- Via a Standing Order you set up with your bank (we can give you a form)
- Via a Direct Debit set up by us (you just need to fill in a form)
- Via your own home internet banking (we can give you our details)
With lending decisions based on your individual needs, a quick and easy application process, and clear interest rates guaranteed not to change after application, Slemish n tha Braid Credit Union could help you take control of your finances.