The First Dorset Credit Union
At the Portland Centre you are able to access the First Dorset Credit Union, which is a co-operative savings and loans organisation for rural Dorset, including Portland.
First Dorset Credit Union Ltd is a local community support project started by a group of volunteers in Dorchester over twelve years ago; it is run by a Board of volunteer directors elected from among its membership, and is supported by local councils, Housing Associations and Citizens Advice Bureaux.
It is for all of us! Everybody who lives or works in the Common Bond area can join. It is owned and controlled by the members, whose elected representatives run it for the benefit of all.
The Credit Union is a community based organisation, staffed by local volunteers which provides to members a safe and ethical place to save and can offer it’s members affordable loans.
The First Dorset Credit Union is run by local people, for local people. First Dorset Credit Union is your local savings and loans co-operative.
The Credit Union’s membership is open to everyone.
- People who have a good income who would like to make their money work ethically to support their Community
- People who have a reasonable income who want to save and have the safety net of being able to apply for loan cost loans if something unexpected happens
- People who have a moderate income who possibly have not got a bank account, but who would like to have the same services available – saving ; loan facilities ; pre-paid Visa card.
- People who want re-instate their credit rating by having a Credit Union account and who also may need to seek a loan from time to time
- People who have their Benefits paid into the Credit Union and draw the cash every week.
The Credit Union tries to encourage it’s members to:
- Save regularly, even if it is only 50p a week
- Seek the Low Cost Loan facility
- Sign up for the Credit Union’s Pre-Paid Visa card, which is accepted on-line and in all shops
The Credit Union wants to help people avoid:
- High rates of interest charged by 'doorstep lenders'
- Online lenders
- Television loan companies
People join the credit union for many reasons. Some join because they want a secure place to hold their savings; some join because they need the help of the credit union to overcome financial hardship; some join because they want their savings to help support their community – others because they want to volunteer their time to benefit others.
The Credit Union and your money is completely safe:
- No one person controls the money
- At every opening there are at least 2 trained Volunteers who account for every penny on the Computer, which is immediately sent to the Head Office in Dorchester.
- The Volunteers also have to send paper records of every transaction, they will ask you to sign a saving / withdrawal slip and you will have a saving book which shows increasing savings ; loan repayments and decreasing loan balances with the interest costs clearly shown.
- You can ask to see your transaction record at any time and it is easily recalled on the Computer.
- All savings are banked and always available to you.
- Loan requests are thoroughly investigated by:
- 2 Loans Officers
- Credit Checks
- Finanicial Planning to ensure adequete funds for repayment
- A Committee based decision on each individual loan
- Cheques usually made payable to the Retailer (if it is for a purchase) or Service provider (if it is for a new boiler - for instance)
- Loans repayments are overseen by Loans Officers ; the Credit Committee and Administration Staff
- All loans defaults are followed up, with initial offers of changing the payment schedule to enable payment, through to County Court Judgements and Bailiffs.
- The Pre-paid Visa card has to be ‘loaded’ with funds before any purchases can be made and will only be accepted if adequete funds are available on the card.
- Every transaction you make or loan you apply for is completely confidential, even if you know / recognise the Volunteer Tellers who work at the Portland Centre for the Credit Union - WE DO NOT GOSSIP!
- The Credit Union is governed by the same Government controls as Lloyds TSB ; Nat West ; HSBC and all other banks – The FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL oversees the operations of all banks and Financial Serives, including The First Dorset Credit Union.
If you want to find out more about the credit union, just call us on 01305 824333 or email us using our contact form or pop in to see a Portland Centre Staff member, to receive immediate assistance.