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Save and Borrow With Hi-Scot Credit Union

4th November 2013

What is a Credit Union?
The modern Credit Union movement traces its origins to Germany and to Friedrich Willhelm Raiffeisen, the Mayor of a small town in southern Germany, who in 1849 formed societies, which later evolved in to Credit Unions. The purposes of these Credit Unions was to enable people to help themselves in relieving debt and poverty.

HI-Scot Credit Union is a community based financial co-operative owned, run and controlled by its own members. All Credit Union members have something in common (the common bond) and every member has an equal vote in the running of the Credit Union. The HI-Scot Credit Union common bond area is a work or live membership, covering the Highlands and Islands area of Scotland.

HI-Scot Credit Union is a non-profit making financial co-operative run entirely by the people for the people. How do Credit Unions work for members? Savings are pooled together to be used as a common fund from which members can apply for loans. Credit Unions encourage people to save, and members have financial security through low cost loans.

When someone joins the Credit Union they open an account (savings). It is called a share account because individuals become part owner of the Credit Union.
Since Credit Unions are not-for-profit organisations, any money made above the cost of operations is returned to the members in the form of dividend.

Credit Unions in the UK were in existence for some time before the movement gained momentum in 1979, when the Credit Unions Act was passed.

Since then, the Credit Union philosophy of mutual self-help has proved very popular, and there are now over 600 Credit Unions affiliated to the Association of British of Credit Unions (ABCUL) throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

In the UK over 360,000 members have recognized the value of credit unions, and have savings approaching 300 million pounds with their credit unions. There are thousands employed in the sector and many more thousands are volunteers involved in the movement.

How It Works
Members of the Credit Union have savings called shares in the Union, on which dividends are paid. Shares can then be used to make loans for other members.

Anyone who lives or works in the Highlands and Islands area can become a member of HI-Scot Credit Union.

Only members can apply for a Credit Union loan, which have some unique features:

Loans have no hidden fees or transaction charges
Interest rates are affordable and are calculated on the reducing balance of the loan. This means the interest payments get smaller as the loan is paid back
Loans are customised to suit the conditions and need of each member
Loans can be repaid early with no penalty - and a saving of interest
Whats so different about Credit Unions?
Everyone seems to be after your money these days. Newspapers are full of advert offering savings schemes or loans, so what makes a Credit Union different?

An easy way to save
A cheap way to borrow
Insurance on savings and loans at no extra cost
Profits returned to members
Money stays in your community
Regulated and insured so you know your money is safe
Part of the world wide movement
Savings schemes for young people too
Credit Unions aim to help you take control of your money by encouraging you to save what you can, and borrow only what you can afford to repay.

To join go to

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