Money saving – how to sort your festive finances

NCU-infographics-01It’s now only six weeks until Christmas!  The festive season is always one for overdoing it on too much turkey, but at Nottingham Credit Union we want to help you make sure that your festive hangover isn’t a financial one which sticks around, by giving you our top 5 money saving tips.

Christmas is traditionally a time of year for the giving and receiving of gifts rather than money saving, but last year the Money Advice Trust flagged that over 16.9million of us borrow to cover the cost of Christmas and that 76 percent (12.8million) use credit cards and 2.6million use high-cost catalogue credit.

We’ve compiled some top money saving tips for Christmas but, if you must borrow, borrow responsibly and affordably as it is all too easy to get trapped in the debt cycle with payday loans and high-interest borrowing.

We know that Christmas can be an expensive time of year and, if you do need to borrow, Nottingham Credit Union can offer you a low-cost loan (and ways to help you save for next Christmas at the same time).  We are not for profit and don’t impose any early repayment charges or penalties.

Whether you have already saved with us for Christmas or you need to borrow a little more, you can register for our easy, safe and secure online and mobile banking here to have access to your money within three hours.

To find out more, call us on 0115 828 3121 or apply on our website.

Categories: LATEST NEWS.

Benefits of a Payroll Membership Scheme

With over 1.5 million UK members, credit unions are a responsible alternative provider of savings and loans.

What is Payroll Membership?

Payroll Membership is a hassle free means of regular saving and borrowing, with payments deducted directly from your salary. The money is transferred directly to your Nottingham Credit Union savings account, or if you are borrowing, repaid to your loan account and because the money is taken directly from payroll, it is a much easier way to save and borrow.

What are the benefits of a Payroll Membership Scheme?

As a payroll member you get lots of benefits:

  • Annual return on your savings
  • Exclusive Payroll Pro offers and interest rates
  • Affordable loans with fixed interest rates
  • No transaction fees on saving or borrowing money
  • Comprehensive online branch and facilities
  • We often lend when other lenders won’t

Major UK employers such as British Airways, Royal Mail, the NHS, offer payroll membership to benefit the financial wellbeing of their employees and because Nottingham Credit Union is a financial co-operative, joining means you are reinvesting in your local community.

How do I become a Payroll Member?

Whether you are an employer or employee, setting up payroll membership is easy. Visit www.payroll-pro.org.uk and find out more.

 

Categories: BLOG.

Benefits of a Payroll Scheme

Saving isn’t something that comes naturally to all of us and many people live from month to month financially, which can be difficult when it comes to times when you really need money in an emergency. This can be anything from an appliance breaking down, home or car maintenance to needing to travel somewhere. Having regular savings isn’t just about paying for the things you want, but more linked to security and knowing that if you need something urgently you have the money to pay for it.

If you’ve ever read anything about building wealth and managing your finances better you’ll know that the general rule of thumb is to save 10% of everything you earn. Now we know that this isn’t always going to be possible, but as a starting point it’s a good guideline. Let’s keep it simple; if you earn £1000 a month, to save 10% would mean you would need to save £100 a month – does that seem reasonable? If it isn’t then work from this until you reach a figure that is. Even saving 1%, just £10 a month, is better than saving none at all.

Credit unions are all about serving people and improving the financial wellbeing of the local community. One of the ways they do that is by forging relationships with local organisations to set up payroll deduction schemes.

How do Payroll Schemes Work?

The best way to think of a payroll deduction scheme is in the same way that a pension payment is made; directly from wages or salary. A link is set up between the credit union and the payroll department of the organisation. Members of staff sign up and open a credit union account and then specify a savings amountto be deducted each month or week. The amount is deducted from the net salary (after tax) and transferred directly into their credit union account.

 

Why is it easier to save this way?

One of the biggest mistakes people make when saving is that they wait until they have paid or bought everything else before deciding what to save. Returning again to our point on building wealth and managing your finances better, you should always pay yourself first. Now we are not suggesting you avoid important bills or payments, but by considering a regular saving amount you can afford and paying that first, means you are more likely to succeed with your savings than if you consider it as an afterthought, once you’ve paid everything else. By doing it this way, the savings amount becomes an important payment you make each week or month, but the beauty of it is, you are paying yourself! We all deserve to have the security of savings and this is a tried and tested way of doing it.

Just like any other banking organisation, your credit union savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to £85,000.

Are there any other benefits of joining a Payroll Scheme?

Yes! Part of managing your money better is being able to borrow when you need it. If we dipped into our savings every time we needed something we would have nothing left and so you may wish to borrow from time to time too. Credit unions often give a preferential loan rate to their payroll scheme members. Once a credit union member, payroll scheme organisation members can apply for a loan and have the loan repayments made in the same way; deducted directly from their salary. For peace of mind and confidentiality, payroll departments do not have any information on what the payment you are making to the credit union is for (i.e. it could be for savings or loan repayments). You only have to specify the amount and frequency. The payment is simply sent to your loan account for repayment.

How can I join a Payroll Deduction Scheme?

A lot of local councils and housing associations will already be members of a payroll scheme. If your organisation isn’t you can simply approach your HR department and ask them if they would set one up. Credit unions have teams who work on this specifically and the process is quite simple in terms of setting a up the scheme and putting everything into place. You can find out more about the Nottingham Credit Union Payroll Pro Scheme by clicking here and share with your employer by visiting and when you land on the page and have read the information you can watch the short video that gives you an overview too.

Categories: BLOG.

Top 10 Credit Union Myths

 

Many people could benefit from joining a credit union, but their misconceptions could be preventing them from joining. We are going to debunk some of these credit union myths and hopefully reduce the confusion about credit unions.

  1. Credit unions have strict eligibility requirements.

While there are eligibility requirements for joining a credit union, they are not as strict as you might think. To join Nottingham Credit Union, you only have to live or work in Nottinghamshire. Other types of credit unions may require you to be a member of a union, a church or have attended a certain university. It is very likely you are eligible to join at least one credit union. You can check which ones you can join here.

You may even be eligible to join our Payroll Pro scheme if you work for one of our payroll partners. This entitles you to exclusive rates and offers. Find out if you are eligible here.

  1. Your money isn’t protected by insurance.

When you make a deposit into your Nottingham Credit Union savings account, your money is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Individual depositors are entitled to a claim of up to £85,000 and joint accounts up to £170,000. On the off chance that NCU or any other credit union in the UK was unable to meet its financial obligations; your money would be fully protected. Your money is just as safe in a credit union as it is in a bank.

  1. They are unlikely to be around in ten years’ time.

Credit unions have existed in the UK since the 1960s and NCU was founded in 1992. It is unlikely that credit unions will disappear; in fact, they are growing in membership every year.

  1. Credit unions do not offer rewards programmes.

This varies by credit union, but many do offer cashback rewards and incentives. NCU is now offering the Engage card, which is a prepaid debit card that can earn you up to 15% cashback at various retailers. You can find out more here.

  1. The technology credit unions use is outdated.

Credit unions may not have as big of a budget as the banks, but their technology is still up to date. Online banking is easy with NCU and most other credit unions.

  1. There are fewer places to withdraw your money.

You can easily withdraw money from your NCU savings account by BACs transfer either online or by phone. The Engage card can be used at any ATM and anywhere Visa is accepted. Most credit unions offer access to a large network of ATMs, so accessing your money is not a problem.

  1. Credit unions are only for people who are low income or have bad credit.

Credit unions can be beneficial for people of all financial backgrounds. There are many benefits to choosing a credit union over a bank; we are able to avoid added on fees such as those for early repayment, so you may find that a loan with us would be more affordable. By saving your money with a credit union, you are also helping the local community by allowing someone else to borrow.

  1. They are a good place to keep your savings, but not for much else.

Credit unions offer a variety of products such as loans with competitive interest rates and everyday banking. You may find that switching to a credit union is better for all of your banking needs as there are generally less fees.

  1. Credit unions are an old, outdated concept.

In contrast, credit unions are quite a progressive concept. With shopping local becoming more and more popular, it only makes sense to bank locally as well. Making large corporations wealthier is really the outdated concept.

  1. Opening an account is a difficult and lengthy process.

It is very easy to open an account at NCU. All you have to do is fill in an application form here. Just have your ID and bank details ready and you’re all set.

Categories: BLOG.