Your Questions Answered

Your Questions AnsweredWhat is a Credit Union?

A Credit Union is a not-for-profit social enterprise, set up to benefit the community that we work in. We are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authorty and regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. In reality, we are very similar to the old style mutual building societies. We offer many of the services that banks offer, such as savings, budget accounts, debit cards and loans.

Why should I join LASER Credit Union?

LASER Credit Union is an honest, safe, ethical alternative to the big banks, offering a friendly convenient service to customers. As we don’t have big bonuses to pay to top bosses, or dividends to pay to shareholders, we are able to offer great rates of return on savings held with us. LASER can offer savings returns up to 3%.
An added bonus, not provided by the banks, is that LASER offers a free death benefit scheme, on members’ loans. This will repay your loan in full, in most cases, on your death. (Cover provided between ages 18 and 80)

LASER is one of the fastest growing credit unions in the country, taking on an average of 150 new customers each month.

Is my money safe?

As an individual, your savings are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to a maximum of £75,000 per person. Individuals are entitled to save up to a maximum of £15,000 with LASER, under current rules, so all your savings are safe.

Joining LASER Credit Union

Who can join?

Individuals, both adults and children, who live or work in the Borough of Rotherham can join LASER Credit Union at the moment. However, the law governing Credit Unions has changed recently, allowing LASER to offer accounts for groups and businesses in 2014, as well as extend our geographical reach to provide services to more people.

How do I join?

You will need to complete a membership application form either online or in our office. To comply with FCA rules, we need to confirm your name, address and date of birth. We can do this by doing an online Identity check, if you apply through our webiste, or you can bring in relevant documents if you are applying in person. If you are applying for a loan, you will need to provide proof of your income. There is a small membership fee of £5 to pay to join LASER Credit Union. You will need to start saving with at least £1.

Being a Member

How do I apply for a loan?

Once you have joined LASER, you will only need to complete a loan application form and provide proof of your income, to apply for a loan. This will give LASER permission to perform a credit search, to assist in assessing your affordability for the loan.

How much will it cost?

Interest rates on loans can be as low as 1% per month, (APR 12.7%) and cannot be higher than 3% per month (APR 42.6%), as this is the maximum set by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means that a loan of £500 borrowed over 52 weeks, would cost between £31.16 and £97.02 in interest.

What other services does LASER provide?

Credit Unions provide similar services to the big banks. LASER also provides furniture schemes, to access white goods and other furniture at reasonable prices. LASER also offers money manager accounts and rent direct accounts, to help people manage their money and pay their bills. We also provide a prepaid visa debit card to customers, to give them easy access to funds held at LASER.

Credit Unions can provide house insurance, funeral plans, and other similar products, the same as banks. As Credit Unions grow, the level of services will also grow. LASER is one of the fastest growing credit unions in the country, taking on an average of 150 new customers each month. Keep a check on our webiste for new product launches this year.

How easy is it to access my savings?

Savings accounts are generally provided with instant access, although LASER is looking at expanding our savings account range, in line with the recent law change, during 2014. This will mean that LASER will be able to offer interest bearing savings accounts, as well as dividend bearing accounts. This will see the launch of Cash ISAs, Savings Bonds, Junior ISAs and other term deposits.

A local Credit Union

How do I find LASER Credit Union?

LASER Credit Union is based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. Our services can be accessed locally at our office in The Old Town Hall building on Effingham Street, Rotherham, S60 1QX. There are several local collection points available throughout the Borough of Rotherham as well. LASER’s full range of services can also be accessed online.

Anything else I should know?

LASER is part of  the Credit Union Expansion Project (CUEP) funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This project will bring about significant improvements, for those 81 credit unions in the UK signed up to it, over the 3 years up to March 2016. Some of the changes will be about how we process our work. Some of the changes will be about increasing the range of products and services on offer. The aim of the project is to increase credit union membership nationally from 1 million to 2 million people over the 3 years. LASER will be increasing the number of services on offer to members during 2015, as part of this project.

Credit unions are traditionally heavily reliant on volunteers to support them, both in the day to day work of running a Credit Union, but also in making decisions at board level. If you would like to assist LASER in this way, please contact us accordingly.