If you’ve got outstanding debts with one or more lenders, it could be worth finding out if a Consolidation Loan from The Co-op Credit Union could save you money.
We could help you take back control of your finances by consolidating your debts with an affordable loan, leaving you with one easy to manage monthly payment.
We’ve helped hundreds of our members get their finances back on track in this way – from helping members avoid rising overdraft fees to helping clear higher-rate loans, or outstanding balances on credit cards. Read more about real member stories here.
With no hidden costs or arrangement fees and competitive rates of interest from 16.8% on our consolidation loans, a Co-op Credit Union loan could be the way to clear that expensive overdraft or credit card bill, or consolidate multiple debts into one, making them more manageable and potentially more affordable too.
Any questions? See our FAQs below, or if there’s something else we can help with, here’s how to get in touch
Frequently asked questions
We make our decisions on whether or not to grant you a loan on a number of factors: the amount you want to borrow, your credit history and an assessment of your affordability – that is, what we think you can afford to repay each month.
The evidence we ask you for to make a decision will vary depending on what you are looking for but at a minimum we will run a credit search if we can look at an application at all. We would only run the credit report if you are at least eligible to apply. The credit search will leave a mark on your credit file.
As a credit union we will do everything we can to offer you a loan, including offering you a smaller amount if we think you’ve applied for more than you can afford, but there will always be times when we can’t even help with a smaller amount. This is because we have to balance the interests of borrowers with those of our savers whose funds are used to make our loans. We are also obliged to follow regulations around the affordability of the loans that we make.
This depends on how busy we are. We tend to be busiest in October and November in the lead up to Christmas. In general we aim to get back to you within 24 hours but this might be two or three days at our busiest times of year.
How quickly you get an answer will depend upon how promptly you provide your supporting information, including pay slips and connecting your bank account. It’s also good to bear in mind that if you have received your application confirmation it is in the queue and you will be contacted as soon as possible. Often – and especially within the Nivo app – to chase your application up with messages asking for an update will only slow down your answer.
When you apply and you are eligible to do so (that is, you’re a member and at least 3 months have passed since your last application) we will conduct a credit search as a routine step for all loan applications. This will leave a mark on your credit file. Therefore you should try not to apply too often – both with us and other lenders – as it will impact upon your credit score.
Open Banking is a government-sponsored and regulated system allowing you to share your bank account transactions with a third party. We use a company called Planky to allow us to access your Open Banking data for certain larger loans or those where we need more information than just a credit report.
You can think of this as a quicker, more secure and more convenient way for you to share your bank statements with us as you may have done when you applied to borrow with us in the past. If you consent to share your data with us, we get a snapshot view of your payment transactions and you can withdraw your consent again afterwards via your bank at any time.
Consenting to allow us to view your bank account data does not in any way affect your credit score.
Yes, you can apply to top up your loan at any time from 3 months after your original loan was granted. However, if you last topped less than 6 months after the loan before we ask you to wait at least 6 months until your next top up. We call this the 3 & 6 rule and it is intended to prevent repeated and frequent top ups.
Each top up is subject to a new application and assessment including credit check and Open Banking report depending on the value of the top up request. If you are successful with your top up application, your new loan will be rolled together with your existing one creating one larger loan.
Yes, you can repay your loan early at any time and there are no charges for doing so aside from the interest that has accrued against the outstanding loan balance since your last repayment. The interest is calculated and applied daily at the rate you agreed to when you took out the loan.
In order to pay early, please contact us on any of our usual channels (https://www.co-operativecreditunion.coop/contact/) and explain that you would like a settlement figure to repay your loan early. This will stop new interest being applied to your loan for 7 days to give you a set figure that you need to pay to clear the balance. If you do not pay the loan off within the week, we will reset the interest and leave the account running as it was, therefore if you need longer than 7 days to repay you should get back in touch and request a new settlement figure.
Full details of how to make your payment will be provided along with your settlement figure.
Yes, but only after at least 3 months have passed since the declined application. We advise that those applying having been recently declined take steps to address the reasons that they were declined before – such as repaying recent defaults, catching up outstanding arrears or addressing problems like high-levels of gambling. We also advise that applicants wait as long as they can to allow the benefits of any action they’ve taken to address the reasons for their previous decline.
No. A standard condition of borrowing from the credit union is that your Regular Shares are tied in while your loan balance exceeds your Regular Shares balance. These shares act as security in the event that you should fail to repay your loan.
If you want to be able to use your savings as well as taking the loan you’re applying for you should let us know when you apply as we may be able to offer you the loan without the security of the Regular Shares, depending upon our assessment. In these circumstances we can either allow a withdrawal of your Regular Shares before your loan is issued or move funds across to a Special Shares account which you can still access while you have an outstanding balance.
Any savings that are tied to your loan will become available to withdraw when your loan balance falls below your Regular Shares balance. Only the difference between your loan balance and savings balance will be available to withdraw at any one time.
We can consider requests to withdraw Regular Shares which are tied to a loan in circumstances of financial hardship.
No. While we will often set up a new payment amount either by payroll deduction or Direct Debit when your loan is first set up, the two are not connected and so when your loan is finally repaid, we will continue to take the same amount as a payment each month or payroll period until you instruct us to change the amount.
In these circumstances, the whole amount of your payment will roll into your savings account and be available for you to withdraw when you need to. This is a good way of getting into a savings habit as you get used to going without the payment amount during your loan and so, even though you can withdraw these savings when you need to, you can leave the payment running to quickly build up some savings.
If you are having difficulty keeping up with your payments, the best thing to do is to contact us to explain your circumstances and we will do everything we can to support you. This might involve, for example, reducing or stopping your payments for a period of time. When we receive requests for support in these circumstances we may ask for some evidence to demonstrate the difficulties you are facing.
Where you can’t keep up with the agreed repayments we will report this to credit reference agencies. This may have an impact on your ability to obtain credit from elsewhere.
If you stop making your payments to us but don’t talk to us about why then we will chase you to establish contact and a plan to repay the debt. The longer that you go without communicating with us, the more severe this process will become and we will not hesitate to take legal action against you if you refuse to speak to us.
All loan applications are subject to our Loan Approval Policy. Members who have been declined for a loan with us in the last 3 months are not eligible to apply. We will check your credit history and assess the affordability of loan repayments by reviewing your bank account(s). We may also request additional supporting information depending upon your circumstances, such as payslips, ID documents or immigration paperwork. All lending decisions are ultimately at the discretion of our team. We always do our best to say “yes” but unfortunately that is not always possible. We will be happy to provide information about how we made any decision upon request.