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Why are your loans so affordable?

Credit unions do not have shareholders to pay, as our members are our shareholders. By law, the maximum interest rate that a credit union can charge its members for a loan is 3% per month or 42.6% APR. The interest rate on a typical loan from Oxfordshire Credit Union is much lower than that charged on typical payday loans, so taking out an Oxfordshire Credit Union loan saves you money and makes good financial sense.

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Do you pay interest on my savings?

You get a dividend; which members agree at the annual general meeting. Last year it was 1%, we plan to make dividend payments going forward. It’s worth noting that this is a dividend which depends on the performance of Oxfordshire Credit Union. It is not regarded as interest, so is appropriate for religious groups who do not believe in charging or paying interest.

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What makes a Credit Union ethical?

Credit unions strive to offer fair, competitive financial services to individuals from all walks of life, regardless of their social status and economic background. Additionally, we believe that borrowing money should be a carefully thought through process, and the way we lend is built around your ability to repay. Our dedicated employees want to work with you personally to create a repayment plan that best fits your situation.

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What does it mean to join a Credit Union?

As a member of the credit union, you own part of the credit union through your shares. The members own, control, and administer the Society (the credit union). Because you are a member and partial owner, the credit union works for you. So, as a member of the credit union you will have access to ethical and affordable loans and more financial advice as to which loan product is best for you.

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Why would I join a Credit Union?

  1. A Credit Union is an ethical alternative to banks – you save and your savings are used to lend to other members in Oxfordshire. Your money doesn’t get used for other purposes.
  2. You can borrow at fair rates – and certainly better than many high-cost lenders. It’s also flexible, we lend smaller amounts, let you pay off early and because you are saving whilst you borrow – you end up with a cash buffer when you’ve paid off your loan, making you more financially resilient in future.
  3. Having savings and some financial security is good for you and for your family
  4. We don’t lend more than you can afford to repay.
  5. People understand the benefits of “shopping local”, this is “saving and borrowing local”.
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Our Financial Results

Our coming board meeting on Tuesday 6th will look at our financial results. The accounts have received a clear audit from our external auditors; Appleby and Wood. At the end of our financial year on 30th September 2017, we had generated an £11,068 surplus on the year. Our loans to members was £338,341, up 20% on the year before. Our total members’ share capital stood at £583,913 at the same date.

This has been achieved with a volunteer board and some very hard working staff. To view the full document, click here: Oxfordshire Credit Union signed Accounts 30.09.17

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Pay off your credit card with an OCU loan

Credit cards are really flexible and easy to use, you can buy for goods on-line and take advantage of new year sales. If you pay the balance off each month credit cards are cheap to use. But as the money advice service highlights, the interest rate on balances is typically really high and if people are only making the minimum payment – the interest over a year can add up really fast.

If you have the funds in your bank account, setting up a direct debit to pay off the credit card balance each month will help you avoid those high interest costs.

But if you don’t have the funds to pay off the balance at once? We can help with a loan – typically at lower interest rates – which could help you get out of credit card debt. Combine that with a monthly direct debit too ensure your credit card doesn’t build up new sums – and you have put your finances on a much better footing for the new year.

So if you want to start your new year by paying off high cost debt – speak to us about a member loan to clear and say goodbye to high interest rates.

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January board meeting

Your board meets each month to look at how we are progressing against our business plan and to plan development. Some of the highlights from this evening include.

  1. We agreed to simplify our web presence, around the much simpler “www.ocu.coop” It reflects what we are (a co-operative) and is easier to type. The existing addresses will still work – but will connect to this domain in the background.
  2. We welcomed the latest management information – our total assets now stand at £649,992. We made 23 loans in December (a short month) totalling £23,150. This takes our lending to members to £346,982
  3. Several of us have completed data protection training – in advance of major new regulations that take effect in May this year.
  4. Our team answered 1,394 telephone calls in the month, helping members apply for loans, transfer funds onto pre-payment cards or just answering questions individuals might have.
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