Credit unions offer an alternative to traditional banks and building societies for saving and borrowing.  They can sometimes beat the rates on the high street. They operate as non-profit organisations, owned by members, and once you become a member, you can open savings and checking accounts and obtain loans and credit cards. Profits are returned to the members, in the form of lower rate loans and higher-rate savings accounts than are available through traditional banks.

Money Saving Expert has some good neutral information on what a Credit union is, and how they work. The website Find Your Credit Union lists three that operate in Cornwall, but some operate in within businesses, or professions, eg the Police Credit Union. You can search using a geographical area, or profession, employer or other organisation.

These are the three that operate geographically, covering Cornwall:

Kernow Credit Union

Www.Kernowcreditunion.co.uk
enquiries@kernowcreditunion.co.uk
01209 314 449
Office hours – 10am and 3.30pm weekdays

Service points reopening when lockdown permits, by appointment only:

Bodmin
Bude
Camborne
Carbis Bay
Delabole
Falmouth

Helston
Launceston
Liskeard
Millbrook
Newlyn
Penryn

Penzance
Redruth
St Austell
St Breward
Truro

Services

  • Various savings accounts for different purposes and ages.
  • Loans offered with 8 weeks membership and regular savings, to max 3x the savings balance. Max 3% interest per month, 3 years repayment with regular repayments.
  • In-person (when available) and online services available.
  • Engage card for Members, with pre-paid bank card, bills by standing order, and discounts.

Westcountry Savings and Loans

www.westcountry.org.uk
mail@westcountry.org.uk
0800 304 7041

Services

  • Various savings accounts for different purposes and ages.
  • Loans offered with 8 weeks membership and regular savings, to max 3x the savings balance. Max 3% interest per month, 3 years repayment with regular repayments.
  • Debit card for Members.

City of Plymouth Credit Union

www.cpcu.co.uk
contact@cpcu.co.uk
 01752 201329
Office hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 to 16:00
6 physical locations in Plymouth area, but an app available for remote access.

Services

  • Savings accounts for different purposes, including for under 18s
  • Loans offered, even for new members, max 3% interest per month
  • Debit card for Members
  • Budgeting advice
  • Free life insurance (subject to conditions)
  • Smartphone app for online operation