Save money on the cost of a Christmas Loan

Co-op Member or Employee?
Join & borrow today for a preferential rate on a Christmas Loan
– or borrow for any purpose, all year round

Spread the cost of Christmas with an affordable loan from YOUR credit union.

We’re a not-for-profit organisation, here for the benefit of anyone who’s a co-op employee or member.

Membership is free. Joining gives you access to a wide range of member benefits and savings & loans services:

● Apply now to join and borrow any amount from £50- £15,000

● Fair, competitive rates of interest, paid back at a pace you can afford

● Easy online application and quick decision. Apply now and you could have the funds in your account and ready to spend within two working days or less.

Apply now

What does it cost?

As a guide, here’s how much a typical Co-op Credit Union Christmas Loan for £1,000 could cost:

Duration Monthly
Cost of


12 months





Example for illustrative purposes only

A typical loan of £1,000, repaid in 12 monthly instalments of £95.66, could save you hundreds of pounds on the cost of borrowing elsewhere. We estimate we saved our members over £350,000 in loan interest in one year alone*

Apply now

How it works

• In addition to loan repayments, all members must save a minimum of £10/month, which is taken directly from payroll for co-op employees, or by direct debit.

• This means you build up savings even when you’re repaying a loan, and savings quickly mount up.

• Because we’re a not-for-profit co-op, we’re able to pass on affordable loan rates to our members.

• You can take a look at example loan rates on our loans calculator

All membership and loan applications are subject to approval

Any Questions?

We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions here- from how we make loan decisions to how long it takes to receive a loan, but if there’s something else you’d like more information on, please get in touch, the team will be happy to help.

How do you decide whether or not I can have a loan?

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.

How long does it take to get an answer on a loan application?

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.

Do you run credit searches for loan applications? Will it leave a mark on my credit file?

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.

What is Open Banking and how do you use it to make a loan decision? Who are Credit Kudos?

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 Credit Kudos 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.

Can I top up my loan and how often?

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.

Can I repay my loan early and are there any penalties if I do?

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 ( 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.

If I’m declined for a loan, can I apply again?

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.

Can I access my savings while I have a loan?

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.

Will my regular payment automatically stop when my loan is repaid?

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.

What happens if I miss a loan payment or have trouble making my repayments?

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.

Loans are subject to our lending policy and affordability checks. Minimum term of loan – 1 week. Maximum term of loan – 5 years. Minimum APR 11.8% Maximum APR 35%. Please see our terms and conditions and privacy policy for details on the use of your personal information by ourselves and credit reference agencies.

* we conservatively estimate that our lending during the financial year 2020/21 saved our borrowers over £350,000 in interest they would have otherwise paid had they have borrowed elsewhere.