FAQ

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions, but please contact us if you have any further questions


  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".


Go to membership

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.

We 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.


Become a member

You get a dividend; which members agree at the annual general meeting. Last year it was 0.5%, 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.

Savings information

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.

Information on loans

There are NO hidden fees or costs involved in transactions with the Credit Union. We are completely transparent with our charges and interest rates. There will be no surprises. You can pay off your loan early at any time with no penalties.

Loans

You can withdraw money from your Share Account at any time unless secured against a loan. Money is paid either directly into your bank account or Engage Account. Or you can complete and return to us a Share Withdrawal Form.

For fraud prevention purposes we can only pay to an account in your name, we will contact you if we don't recognise the bank account details provided.

Withdrawals are made free of charge 7 days after the request is received, so it is best to plan and decide when you will need your money and how much you would like to withdraw.

Find out about Engage

We are happy to talk to everyone. We can provide some of the services you expect from your bank. This includes deposit and loan accounts, as well as offering a debit card, so you can order and pay for goods at shops without cash or online. You can use the card to withdraw cash and you can even make regular payments (Direct Debits) from it.

Our bank card

Every credit union has a Common Bond which defines who can join it. OCU's Common Bond is shown below

  • Anyone living in Oxfordshire


  • Anyone who works in Oxfordshire


Membership information

Oxfordshire Credit Union is run by a volunteer board of Directors who bring their experience and skills to the operation of the business. These people must be accepted as a "fit and proper person" by the regulator and undergo training from the Association of British Credit Unions. They are elected by the Annual General Meeting of the credit union.

The day-to-day operation is carried out by a team of paid employees who are employed by a partner coop called Credit Union Solutions. We share this organisation with three other Credit Unions so we can keep our running costs as low as possible.

All officers and volunteers sign a declaration of confidentiality, so all members' information is kept totally confidential at all times. A qualified accountant audits the Annual Financial Statements that are submitted to the members at our Annual General Meeting.


We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA). These are exactly the same organisations that regulate banks, building societies and other financial institutions. This means that all credit unions meet the FCA/PRA's strict standards.

Credit Unions are also members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so member's savings are always protected, exactly the same way as they would be in a bank or building society.

Important information about compensation arrangements

We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS can pay compensation to depositors if a credit union is unable to meet its financial obligations. Most depositors - including most individuals and small businesses - are covered by the scheme.

In respect of deposits, an eligible depositor is entitled to claim up to £85,000. For joint accounts each account holder is treated as having a claim in respect of their share so, for a joint account held by two eligible depositors, the maximum amount that could be claimed would be £85,000 each (making a total of £170,000). The £85,000 limit relates to the combined amount in all the eligible depositor's accounts with the credit union, including their share of any joint account, and not to each separate account.

Information on savings

  1. It's part of being a good employer - supporting staff to become financially independent and less dependent on very high-cost loans.
  2. It's cheap and easy to set up - using a payroll deduction for both staff and employers.
  3. Debt is a major source of stress and illness - which affects people as employees.
  4. It's part of ethical businesses - so is typically part of your CSR policy.
  5. Some employers offer loan schemes, but they can be cumbersome and many individuals (perhaps those with the greatest needs) don't necessarily want to come to their bosses to ask for a loan.


Information on payroll deduction schemes

We are sorry to hear that you may have a complaint, but the attached complaints policy tells you what to do. We hope that we can resolve the issue promptly.

OCU Complaints Policy