Credit unions and banking

Credit unions  Credit union leaflet

Credit unions are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. They offer savings and affordable loans, and provide an ethical financial option for the communities in which they operate.

Westcountry Savings & Loans

Westward is working in partnership with a local credit union, Westcountry Savings and Loans, who can help you save and borrow, while supporting your local community. Read more in the credit union leaflet

Membership is free to join and open to all Westward customers.

Once you are a member you can start saving and borrowing with the credit union. They offer a range of different savings accounts, including a Christmas Savings and a children’s Junior Savings account.

Savings are secure with deposits of up to £85,000 covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

If you need to borrow money, you can apply to borrow from £100 to £15,000, depending on your circumstances. Westcountry Savings and Loans look at all applicants and their circumstances individually.

There are no set-up fees and you can choose to repay in affordable amounts either weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

How to join the credit union

You can join online or call Westcountry Savings and Loans office on 0800 304 7041 or 03300 563994 weekdays between 9.00am and 5.00pm (4.30pm on Fridays).

For more information about the services available, please click here to visit the Westcountry Savings and Loans website.

If you become a member, you can deal with Westcountry Savings and Loans through their secure, instant online messaging with Nivo app. Use Nivo at any time for information about your accounts, to progress your applications and make new ones. It is an instant messaging platform with bank standard authentication, identity verification and encryption features built in. There are no adverts, affiliate marketing or tracking.

Westcountry Savings and Loans is operated on a not-for-profit basis, with any surplus profits being returned to members. This enables it to serve more customers and offer better rates, products and services to members, new customers and communities.

This is just one of a range of options out there and their rates are fair compared to the astronomical rates charged by many lenders.

Bank accounts and direct debits

Post-it note saying Pay RentYou need to manage your own rent and service charge payments and will need to make sure you make prompt, reliable payments.

In order to do this, you need to have a bank account and to pay your rent by direct debit ideally.

The Direct Debit mandate form.pdf can be downloaded here, completed and sent to us, or call us on 0300 100 1010 as we can set up a direct debit for you over the phone.

The Money Helper site offers very helpful advice on how to:

You can also find some great advice and guides on the Money Saving Expert site