Our Family Loan offers a safe and cost-effective way to spread the cost of Christmas if you need a helping hand.
You could borrow from £50 up to £1,000, using your Child Benefit for the repayments.
It’s a fair and affordable way to borrow, and helps build your credit history for future borrowing.
We pride ourselves on our fair and affordable interest rates and at 42% APR, the Family Loan could save you hundreds of pounds compared to borrowing from other lenders.
Family Loan Representative example: Borrow £1,000 for 12 months at 42% APR.
Repay in 12 monthly instalments of £100.30
Total repaid £1,204 Total cost of borrowing £204
Because the Family Loan is linked to your Child Benefit payments, there’s a very high approval rate, with loan decisions made by people, not computers.
And, once you’re up and running, you can easily request to top up your loan again too.
Borrowing with a difference
Borrowing from a credit union is different to banks and other lenders. We’re a not-for-profit organisation, run for the benefit of members.
Members of The Co-op, Usdaw and a number of other organisations can join and benefit from our loans and services.
As well as competitive rates on loans, we’ll also help you to build up a savings pot as you repay.
We’re here to help you make the most of your money, not to make the most money out of you.
See our FAQ below, or contact our team who will be happy to help
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Family Loan and how does it work?
Our 'Family Loan’ allows individual members in receipt of Child Benefit to have a revolving loan of up to £1,000 from The Co-op Credit Union. This will be conditional upon you being in receipt of Child Benefit and agreeing to either pay it directly into your Co-op Credit Union account or setting up a card payment to come out the same day.
As a credit union member, you’ll also build up savings as you repay your loan. The minimum amount is £10/month, which will be taken from your repayments.
The maximum period you can borrow over is 18 months. After 6 payments (for those paid Child Benefit every 4 weeks) or once you’ve paid off 50% of your loan (whichever comes first), you can apply for a ‘top up’ and we will set up a payment plan which is affordable allowing you to pay down your loan, build up savings and get back some of your Child Benefit to spend each month if you need it.
Who can apply for a Family Loan?
Both new and existing Co-op Credit Union members who are in receipt of Child Benefit can apply.
Note: Membership of The Co-op Credit Union is open to employees and pensioners of a wide range of co-operative organisations, as well as members of a number of co-ops and the Usdaw trade union. See the full list at: https://www.co-operativecreditunion.coop/join/who-can-join/
How do I arrange for my Child Benefit to be paid to the Credit Union?
We will ask Family Loan applicants to apply via our Nivo secure messaging app. As a step in the application, you will need to digitally sign a letter which we send on to the Child Benefit department instructing them to make future payments into the credit union.
Alternatively, you can pay by card payment the day your Child Benefit is due. This is beneficial because you can get your funds immediately. If you want to pay by Child Benefit direct, we will need to wait until the money starts to arrive with us before we issue your funds.
Am I guaranteed to get a Family Loan if I pay in my Child Benefit?
Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that we’ll give you a Family Loan. We will run a credit check when you apply. However, because you pay using your Child Benefit to make payments, we can approve a lot more loans than we would with our standard loan products. That means that only those with very poor credit will be declined.
The Family Loan is about helping you to strengthen your finances by borrowing affordably, building savings and improving your credit profile. Because of this, we will run credit checks every time you apply to top up your loan and agree more borrowing as long as your credit profile is as good or better as the last check we ran.
Your successful repayments will be reported to the credit rating agencies so that the Family Loan account will help you to borrow elsewhere in future.
Once my Family Loan has been approved, how long does it take for the funds to be deposited into my account?
This depends upon how you wish to pay the loan back. If you pay by Child Benefit direct, we’ll need to wait until the funds are diverted to us which can take 6 weeks or even longer in some cases.
If, instead, you decide to pay by card payment on the same day as your Child Benefit is paid to you, then you can have your loan funds as soon as we approve your loan.
What happens to my Child Benefit when it arrives at the Credit Union?
We decide this with you when we agree a loan. You will need to repay your loan within 18 months so the amount you can borrow will depend on how much you can afford to pay to the credit union out of your Child Benefit each month or week and how much you would like to have access to for day-to-day expenses after the £10 per month savings contribution which you cannot withdraw until you’ve paid your loan off.
We can set it up so that the amount you get back to spend is either returned to you automatically each time we process a payment by 5pm on the day we receive it or leave it in a savings account which you can withdraw the same day as and when you need it.
If you pay by card payment, we’ll just take the amount for your loan repayment, plus your savings, and leave the rest with you to spend as you wish.
Can I apply for more than £1,000, or have more than one Family Loan?
You can only have one Family Loan but once you have made 6 payments (for those receiving Child Benefit every 4 weeks) on your last loan, or you have paid off 50% of your original loan (whichever is soonest), you can apply to “top up” your loan up to the maximum of £1,000 depending on your circumstances.
When can I “Top Up” a Family Loan?
You can “top up” your Family Loan once you’ve made 6 repayments on the last loan you had (for those receiving Child Benefit every 4 weeks) or once you’ve paid 50% of your original loan off.
How do I apply for a Family Loan Top Up?
To “top up” your Family Loan we will ask you to apply once again via Nivo.
How do I know how much I still owe on my Family Loan?
You can track the balance of your Family Loan by registering for Member's Access on our website at https://secure.co-operativecreditunion.coop/register
Can I get a standard loan with the credit union?
You will always be better off borrowing with one of our standard loan products than with a Family Loan because the rates of interest are lower. The credit union will always offer you the cheapest loan we can based on your circumstances. But having a standard loan does not stop you from applying for a Family Loan and vice versa if that is the best solution for you.
Often people will start off with a Family Loan, build a history with the credit union and move on to a standard loan product as they gather savings and demonstrate their ability to repay the Family Loan successfully.
How can I access my savings?
All Family Loan borrowers will need to put at least £10 into savings every 4 weekly payment (or £2.50 per week for weekly payers). This money is locked in until your loan balance falls below your savings balance.
However, unlike our standard products, Family Loan borrowers who pay Child Benefit directly to the credit union are able to access any excess above this linked savings contribution as and when they need to. You can do this one of two ways:
1. Set up an automated payment so that every time we receive your Child Benefit we deduct your loan & savings payments and return the remainder to your bank account by 5pm the same day
2. Leave the excess amount in a separate credit union savings account which you can withdraw from whenever you need to via our online system
If you want to withdraw some of your savings you can arrange this yourself in the Members Area of our website at: https://secure.co-operativecreditunion.coop. Withdrawals will be in your nominated bank account around 5pm the day you request it on a normal working day.
Your savings with the credit union are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so your money is just as safe as it is in a bank or a building society.
If I have requested a withdrawal, when can I expect the funds to be available?
The best way to request a withdrawal is via the Members’ Area of our website. If you make a withdrawal request through the Members’ Area it will be in your account by 5pm on the day you request it on a working day as long as you request it before 3pm. If you miss the 3pm cut off, the funds will arrive in your account by 5pm the next working day.
Can I pay my loan back early? Are there any fees for this?