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East Sussex Credit Union

What is East Sussex Credit Union?

We are a not-for-profit savings and loans co-operative, originally registered on 8th August 2000.

We aim to operate a successful and ethical co-operative savings and loans business, which is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and open to all people living and working in East Sussex, Brighton & Hove and all members of the Unite Union in the South East Region.  To help us achieve this, we will:

  • promote savings and sensible borrowing amongst our membership
  • offer cost effective and flexible loans that meet the needs of our members
  • strive to ensure maximum member satisfaction with our services
  • treat all members and potential members equally and promote equality of opportunity for members, volunteers and staff
  • return our profits to our members or re-invest in accordance with co-operative principles
  • develop communities in our work by combating poverty and its detrimental effects upon health, and educational attainment
  • provide paid and voluntary work and training & development to people from within our trading area
  • provide debt and money advice to those who cannot access our loans..

The Board of Directors have also explicitly agreed to target services to ensure that we contribute towards:

  • the alleviation of poverty within the community and
  • the economic regeneration of the community.

In addition we work with our members to promote increased financial literacy by helping them budget more effectively, enabling them to participate in the running of the Credit Union and by working closely with other organisations who provide financial literacy training and money advice services.

We have a current membership of over 5,000 people and they have increased their savings with us to well over £2,250,000 and have lent out more than £1.5 million, some of which is lent to people who are most in need. We have engaged across a number of sectors (housing, business, government, academia and advice) with a view to building joined up approaches to tackling financial exclusion.

What can we do for you?

We help you to save money and offer cost effective and flexible loans, which meet your individual needs.

We work in partnership with local communities and other statutory and non-statutory organisations to provide joint solutions for all members of our community.

A Real Life Example – the benefits of membership

One of our members borrowed £1,900 from a high cost credit company and repaid almost £3,000.

She paid £1,100 in interest and charges.

If she had borrowed that money from the Credit Union she would have paid less than £200 in interest, a saving of £800.

By the time she cleared the loan her ‘save as you borrow’ scheme loan with the Credit Union would have left her with savings in her account of close to £200.

This example can be repeated thousands of times each year by local residents using such doorstep lenders.

Worse still are lenders that charge thousands of percent in interest, compounding debt issues and driving people into bankruptcy.

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