Here you can see a list of our most Frequently Asked Questions organised by category. If your question is not listed, please feel free to submit a question via our contact form or call us on: 029 2087 2373
If you are already a member with us, you can apply online.
If you are not yet a member with us, you can apply for free membership and a loan at the same time by completing our new member loan application pack which can be downloaded, or posted to you at your request.
Before applying, please read our guidance notes to ensure that your loan application is fully completed and the supporting information needed is provided. We also have a summary of responses to frequently asked questions below.
We welcome loan applications for any purpose, which will be assessed on an individual basis, subject to ability to repay. Loan applicants must be aged 18 or over. If you already have a loan with us, you will need to repay at least 25% of your current loan before you can apply for a top-up loan (or one third if you are currently repaying your first loan with us).
No - if you have a bank account and are able to provide bank statements or an open banking authorisation to support your loan application, then you don't need to save with us before applying.
If you don't have a bank account and don't already save regularly with us, we ask that you save for at least four consecutive weeks before applying for a loan.
We offer loans of up to £15,000 in excess of your savings with us. We are a responsible lender, and we always advise that you apply for an amount that you are confident you are able to repay. We may carry out credit checks to help us make responsible decisions, although we do not base our decisions on a credit score.
Whether you apply online or submit an application by post, we will need the following supporting information to process your application:
- a full month's bank statement (issued in the last 3 months) or authorisiation for us to securely access your statement online via open banking through our partners Credit Kudos.
- proof of address (if you are not an existing member, or if you have moved since your last loan aplication with us and haven't already provided proof of your new address)
- proof of income (e.g. a recent payslip if you are employed, benefits statement if you are unemployed or business bank account statements, receipts or invoices if you are self-employed)
In some circumstances, we may need to ask you for additional supporting information to help us to assess your individual loan.
After your loan has been approved and you have signed your loan agreement, we will transfer the payment into your nominated bank account the same or next working day.
You can repay your loan in the same way as you make deposits into your savings. This can be through standing order, payroll deductions or direct Child Benefit payments. If you do not have a bank account, you can also pay at any Post Office or Paypoint outlet using a payment card, or at our branch at 4 Working Street, Cardiff, CF10 1GN.
Loans can be repaid over a period of up to 5 years (60 months), depending on circumstances and the value of the loan. When applying for a loan, you have the option to choose either weekly or monthly loan repayments.
We ask that all our members save a minimum of £10 a month with their loan repayment. We also request that you maintain your savings (up to the value of your outstanding loan) in your account until your loan is repaid. Members making weekly repayments are asked to make a minimum £2 per week payment into their savings.
Members can use our website loans calculator on the homepage to find out how much it will cost to borrow a loan with us. Please note that this calculator is based on our standard loan rates. Rates for loyalty, promotional or credit consolidation loans are charged at specific rates, subject to eligibility. If this is the case for the loan you are applying for, we will advise you of the details if your loan is approved.
All loans are assessed on ability to repay. This can be used to calculate the approximate cost of repayments. Please note that the loans calculator will give repayment figures based on our standard loan rates, and doesn't take into account any loyalty or promotional rate you may be entitled to, so should only be used as a guide to demonstrate the maximum cost of repayment. If you are entitled to a rate that is lower than the standard rate, our loans team will ensure that you get the best rate that you are eligible for at the time your loan is approved.
Credit union loan interest rates are capped by law to ensure that members receive affordable access to credit, subject to status and approval. Our loan rates vary according to the amount borrowed, between 3.9% APR for larger loans secured by savings, to 41.2% APR for the lowest value loans up to £1,000. Interest rates charges are fixed for the full repayment term, and we do not apply any additional fees or charges.
Saving While You Borrow
Part of our philosophy is to encourage regular savings amongst our members. We therefore request that all of our members pay a minimum of £10 per month into their attached savings account throughout the repayment term of the loan, which you can then access once the loan is repaid.
Returning Paper Applications
If you are returning an application by post, please send or hand in your completed application and documentation to: Cardiff & Vale Credit Union, 4 Working Street, Cardiff, CF10 1GN.
Please ensure you have put the correct postage on the envelope. Post sent without correct postage are withheld by Royal Mail and we cannot accept responsibility for any undelivered or lost post.
We may use credit reference agencies and fraud prevention agencies to help us make loan decisions. What we do and how both we and credit reference and fraud prevention agencies will use your information is detailed in the section in the condensed guidance notes below. When completing a loan application, applicants will be asked to confirm their agreement to proceed and accept that we may use their information in this way.
All applicants are requested to declare any current credit agreements with other lenders e.g. personal or secured loans, credit/store cards including debt management programmes. A credit check would also reveal any County Court Judgments (CCJs), IVA arrangements or bankruptcy orders etc. that have been registered in an applicant's name. Failure to declare correct information may result in an application being refused.
A Condensed Guide to the Use of your Personal Information by Cardiff & Vale Credit Union and at Credit Reference and Fraud Prevention Agencies
1) When you apply to us to open an account, this organisation will check the following records about you and others (see 2 below)
a) Our own;
b) those at credit reference agencies (CRAs). When CRAs receive a search from us they will place a search footprint on your credit file that may be seen by other lenders. They supply to us both public (including the electoral register) and shared credit and fraud prevention information.
c) those at fraud prevention agencies (FPAs).
We will make checks such as; assessing this application for credit and verifying identities to prevent and detect crime and money laundering. We may also make periodic searches at CRAs and FPAs to manage your account with us.
2) If you are making a joint application or tell us that you have a spouse or financial associate, we will link your records together so you must be sure that you have their agreement to disclose information about them. CRAs also link your records together and these links will remain on your and their files until such time as you or your partner successfully files for a disassociation with the CRAs to break that link.
3) Information on applications will be sent to CRAs and will be recorded by them. Where you borrow from us, we will give details of your accounts and how you manage it/them to CRAs. If you borrow and do not repay in full and on time, CRAs will record the outstanding debt. This information may be supplied to other organisations by CRAs and FPAs to perform similar checks and to trace your whereabouts and recover debts that you owe. Records remain on file for 6 years after they are closed, whether settled by you or defaulted.
4) If you give us false or inaccurate information and we suspect or identify fraud we will record this and may also pass this information to FPAs and other organisations involved in crime and fraud prevention.
5) If you have borrowed from us and do not make payments that you owe us, we will trace your whereabouts and recover debts.
6) We and other organisations may access and use from other countries the information recorded by fraud prevention agencies.
7) Your data may also be used for other purposes for which you give your specific permission or, in very limited circumstances, when required by law or where permitted under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998.
How to Find Out More
This is a condensed version and if you would like to read the full details of how your data may be used please visit our website at www.cardiffcu.com or phone (029) 20872373 or ask one of our staff. You can contact the CRAs currently operating in the UK; the information they hold may not be the same so it is worth contacting them all. They may charge you a small statutory fee.
- Experian, Consumer Help Service, PO Box 8000, Nottingham NG80 7WF or call 0844 4818000 or log on to www.experian.co.uk.
- CallCredit, Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ or call 0870 0601414
- Equifax, Credit File Advice Centre, PO Box 3001, Bradford, BD1 5US or call 0870 010 0583 or log on to www.myequifax.co.uk
- Transunion, One Park Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS3 1EP or call 0330 0247574, or log onto TransUnion UK
If you have any other queries, please contact us directly and we will be happy to help.
To open a savings account with us, you will first need to apply to become a member . Membership is free, and it's easy to join, in a number of ways:
- Join online: this is the easiest option for those who live or work in Cardiff or Vale of Glamorgan
- Download our Membership Application Pack or for those under 16, our Junior Application Pack, or contact us if you would prefer us to send you a pack
To activate your account, you must deposit at least £5 in the first 3 months.
We offer a number of accounts for both adults and children. See our Savings page for details to find out what account would most suit you.
A minimum of £5 is required to keep your account active, and you can currently save up to £70,000.
Provided that you keep a minimum £5 in your account, you can save any amount that suits you. We request that our members save regularly with us - at least on a monthly basis.
If you have a loan with us, we will request as part of your loan condition that you pay a minimum of £10 per month (or £2 per week) into your savings account with each loan repayment. This ensures that once your loan is repaid, you will have access to a lump sum in your savings account. If you prefer to pay more than the minimum amount, you can pay any amount that suits you.
There are a number of options for making deposits, and you can choose more than one option if that suits you:
- by setting up a payroll deduction order if you work for a participating Moneyworks employer
- by setting up a standing order from your bank account
- by payment into our Cardiff office or one of our collection points
- for school savers, into your weekly school collection
- by payment card into a Post Office or Paypoint outlet (for those without a bank account)
Yes. If for example you want to make payments into both a general Adult Saver account (known as Share 1) and a Christmas Saver account, this can be done. You can also for example pay into your own account and an account for your child. Please contact us and we can arrange this for you.
Yes: we are an established and respected financial mutual. As with all credit unions, we are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Your savings up to a value of £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, in the same way as savings with banks and building societies are protected. Credit unions are also fully insured against fraud.
Our savings accounts do not pay a fixed interest rate. Depending on our financial performance each year, we pay our members an annual interest payment in the form of a variable dividend.
The dividend rate for each financial year is agreed retrospectively at our AGM each spring. For last financial year (ending 30 September 2021), a gross 0.05% dividend was allocated to our members.
You can withdraw your savings at any time, unless you currently have a loan with us. Withdrawals can be requested in the following ways:
- Online by logging into your account and selecting 'Transferring Money'
- By telephone (call 02920 872373) during opening hours. We recommend that you register for telephone banking to make withdrawals in this way easier and quicker
- In person, by completing a share withdrawal request form at any of our offices or collection points
- By post, by completing a share withdrawal request and returning it to us
There are a number of ways in which you can have a withdrawal paid to you:
- Into a nominated bank account
- Onto a prepaid debit card if you have one with us
Provided that you have sufficient funds in your account and are eligible for a withdrawal, you will normally be able to access your savings on the next working day, if you make your request before 3pm.
There are no account charges, but transaction charges are applied on accounts with frequent withdrawals. For our standard savings account (known as share 1) members can request 6 free withdrawals each year (from April to March) and will be charged a £5 transaction fee for each withdrawal after ths, to allow us to cover the costs of administering frequent withdrawals. These charges do not apply for members who currently have an active loan with us.
For Christmas saver accounts, a £5 charge will be applied to all withdrawals made between 1st January and 31st October, to encourage savers not to access money intended for Christmas. If you think you may need to access your savings throughout the year, our general saver account may be more suitable for you.
Our accounts are intended to be kept active, and an annual £5 dormancy charge will apply to all accounts with balances under £25 if no transactions are made by members for a year.
Members can fill out the form here to register for online banking. A member of staff will contact you on the telephone number provided to verify your identity and complete the registration process. A PIN will be sent to your address securely by post or via SMS.
You can call our office on 029 2087 2373 during office opening hours and our team will be happy to re-issue your pin. Alternatively you can fill in the form here and a member of staff will be in touch to finalise your request.
To access your account, members will need their account number and PIN to login.
Yes. Using the PIN you were issued by Cardiff & Vale CU, login to Online Banking. Within Online Banking, click on Personal Settings (top right corner). You will have the option on this page to change your PIN.
Members will not be charged for the service.
A prepaid debit card is an electronic money product - a more secure alternative to cash and cheques. It can be loaded with funds from your Credit Union savings account or a bank account. You can only spend the amount you have pre loaded onto the card. Once loaded with funds it can then be used in the same way as a standard debit card to make purchases in stores, online or withdraw cash from an ATM. You can also set up standing orders using the card.
No, we offer our members the option of applying for an Engage Classic debit card – this is a Visa prepaid debit card supplied by Contis Financial Services Ltd.
Simply phone us on 02920 872373 during working hours Monday – Friday and we will transfer funds immediately onto your card. Larger transfers of £1,000 or more may take up to two working days.
There are a number of benefits to the card, particularly for those who don't have a current account, or want to keep a separate account for specific expenses or bills:
- You can have an approved loan from the credit union paid onto the card
- You can load the card from your credit union account, bank account or at a local shop where you see the Paypoint sign. Charges apply when loading at Paypoint – please refer to the Card Issuer’s terms and conditions.
- You can only spend what you have preloaded on the card – you can't overspend
- Up to 15% cashback on purchases made online and in store from a number of retailers including Asda, Argos, B&Q, Debenhams, Halfords and M&S
- Contactless transactions facility
- Free mobile app to enable you to manage your money on the move
- It can be used abroad as a more secure alternative to cash or Traveller’s Cheques
- Manage your transactions securely online using the Engage portal
The card is free at the point of issue, but monthly management fees of £2 per month, per card are charged by the card supplier Contis. For a full breakdown of fees and the card issuer’s terms and conditions please visit https://engageaccount.com/terms-conditions/
Please contact us and we will advise you on how to apply for a card.
Cardholders 'load' money onto the card from their savings account with us or have an approved loan paid onto the card, which can then be used to buy goods or withdraw from cash machines, in the same way as a standard debit card in stores, online or to set up standing orders.