Who can join First Rate Credit Union?
Any UK resident current or retired employee of BAE Systems may join.
Can I get my money out quickly?
Yes. You can withdraw your savings without notice via bank transfer. Just use our online members' area to make the withdrawal request at any time and the money will be in your registered bank account by the end of the next working day.
Note that in order to keep the account open, a minimum balance of £5 must be retained.
If a member has a loan, a minimum balance of £5 plus one loan payment is required.
How much can I borrow?
The maximum that a member can hold in a credit union loan is £15,000. The amount you personally can borrow depends on your circumstances and whether the repayments would be affordable to you. We recommend making the application for the amount that you need and feel that you can comfortably afford to repay.
How do I know if the loan is affordable to me?
It is important to your financial health that you do not take a loan which is not affordable to you. Prior to making any credit application, you should carefully prepare a budget for yourself to see what repayments you could comfortably afford. You could use an online budget tool like this one from the Money and Pensions Service.
How do I repay my loan?
We will adjust your payroll deductions to take the loan repayment plus your savings amount. For retired employees and family members, by bank standing order mandate.
How do I apply for a loan?
Just fill in a Loan Application form and send it to the office along with your latest month's bank statement and payslip. Forms are available on the internet or directly from the office.
Are there any penalties for early loan repayment?
No. None at all. You can make partial or full repayments of your loan at any time without penalty. Interest is only charged on the balance of the loan so paying it off early also means that you pay less interest than shown on your loan agreement.
What happens if I leave the employment of BAE SYSTEMS?
Once you are a member you can remain a member, even if you leave BAE systems employment. Loans still need to be paid and savings can also continue. As it won't be able to continue through payroll deductions just let us know and we can help you to set up a standing order from your bank to make sure that your loans stay up to date and your credit record isn't damaged by going into arrears.
What if my circumstances change?
You must complete a Change of Circumstances Form, to record changes of name, address or beneficiary etc. and return it to the First Rate Credit Union office so that your records can be updated.
How much interest do I earn on my savings?
The Credit Union does not pay interest, however, as an owner of the credit union your savings may attract an annual dividend payment which is announced at each Annual General Meeting. The amount of dividend depends on how much surplus is available after the credit union has paid its bills, met regulatory requirements and invested in developing its services. For more about dividends and how you can affect them read our blog post on The Dividend Difference
Is my money safe with First Rate Credit Union?
Yes. First Rate Credit Union is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and savings are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Your money is therefore as safe with us as it is with any bank or building society.
Do you use a credit reference agency?
Yes, we exchange both positive and negative data with Credit Reference Agencies. We obtain data from them for the purpose of ID, residency and fraud checks when you join the credit union. When you apply for a loan we carry out credit checks. We report regularly to the Credit Reference Agencies on the management of our members' loan accounts. This means that regular payments can improve your credit record and missed payments can damage it. Full details on how the Credit reference Agencies may process your data can be found by clicking here.
What happens if I don't pay?
The money we lend to members is the savings of other members so we have an obligation to collect it back in. We will try to work with members to get them back onto a payment track but if members do not pay, then we enter the debt into a robust credit control and collections process. We hope that by keeping in touch and working with us to resolve any difficulties, that we can all avoid those costly collections.