Surrey Credit Unions and lenders – gaining access to credit in 2024

Many Surrey residents have been able to get access to credit without approaching the big-name lenders by borrowing from credit unions. There can be many advantages to using a credit union when you need access to cash. Credit unions can be preferable to banks and other lenders for many reasons. Some well-known credit unions in and close to Surrey include BOOM! Credit Union, which is run by West Sussex and Surrey Credit Union and Thamesbank Credit Union.

Surrey Credit Unions and Lenders

Why might someone approach a credit union when they need access to credit in Surrey?

People have used credit unions in Surrey to gain access to finance for many reasons. A credit union may be helpful if you have been turned down by other lenders as they normally specialise in assisting people with poor credit. Credit unions tend to offer highly competitive and lower interest rates than you will be offered by many big-name lenders. This can help you to cut the cost of borrowing when you need to.

Credit unions are usually owned by their members and are operated on a cooperative basis. This means they are run by their customers, who are able to have a say in their decisions. There are no shareholders, and they are run on a not-for-profit basis. Any profits that a credit union does make are usually returned to customers in the form of lower fees and customer-friendly interest rates.

What is the purpose of a credit union?

One of the key purposes of a credit union is to serve the local community. Customers who use credit unions often say that the service they receive is more personalised than what they experience elsewhere. Credit unions also tend to be very flexible and frequently help people with bad credit. They often assist people who aren’t in the most positive financial situations including people with limited or poor credit histories. Some people say that they prefer to borrow from credit unions because they regard them as more ethical than profit-making lenders. You may get lower interest on loans and better interest on your savings when you join a credit union in Surrey.

Can a credit union help me improve my credit rating?

Credit unions often provide in-depth financial advice to their customers to help them make better decisions. They can help with debt management, financial planning and budgeting. These organisations often have a strong focus on the well-being of their members.

Is borrowing from a credit union the right decision for me?

Credit unions have been able to help many people who have been turned down for finance elsewhere, although they are not for everyone. If you do need to borrow money for whatever reason, it’s always wise to spend time exploring a number of options so you can decide what’s right for you.

Are there any disadvantages to joining a credit union?

If you open a bank account with a credit union, you could be at a disadvantage as not all these accounts come with cards that you can use at ATM machines. You might also find that online services are limited and that the branches have limited opening hours in comparison to the branch of your current bank. Credit unions can seem less technologically advanced than mainstream banks, so you might not get access to the resources and features you have become used to using during traditional banking.

You might also find that your credit union doesn’t have as wide a range of financial products as your bank. Another problem that you might face if you want to join a credit union in Surrey is not meeting the membership criteria. You may need to live in a specific area or have a specific employment status if you want your application to be accepted. It’s also worth noting that credit unions can fail just like other financial institutions can, although you will have protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). This can protect your savings up to a certain limit, typically £85,000, if the credit union does collapse.

Some credit unions in Surrey don’t offer a wide range of international banking services, which means you could face problems if you regularly need to send money overseas.

More facts about credit unions

Britain’s first credit union started trading back in 1964. Over 1.2 million people in England, Scotland and Wales are now members of credit unions. There are credit unions in more than 100 countries across the world. If you want to become a credit union member, the best thing to do is to visit your local credit union in Surrey or give them a call. The registration process can differ from one credit union to another, so it’s best to get in touch to find out what you need to do to join the specific one you’re interested in.

Some credit unions now let people apply online and offer online banking services including apps that allow you to manage your money on the move. You are more likely to be accepted into a Surrey credit union if you have a “common bond” with the other members. This can mean you’re employed by the same company or organisation as other members, you live or work in the same area as them or are part of the same association, such as a trade union.

Other community lenders in Surrey

You could also consider joining a community bank if you need access to credit in Surrey. There are some similarities between credit unions and community banks, but there are some differences as well. Some community banks are designed to make a profit and are normally governed by boards of directors, which means decisions aren’t generally made by their customers. Community banks in Surrey can also have different goals when it comes to social responsibility. Some of Surrey’s best known community banks include SurreySave Community Bank.


Although credit unions in Surrey can have their drawbacks, such as limited technical resources such as smartphone apps and lower interest rates on savings than certain banks, it may well be worth considering joining one, especially if you need access to credit and have been turned down elsewhere.

Credit unions tend to be highly ethical when it comes to banking and can provide detailed advice to help you improve your financial situation. It can also work better if you live or work near to the credit union branch that you join so you can easily get help and access services when you need them. Showing that you have a common bond with other members can make it easier to become a member of a credit union in Surrey.