General FAQs

What is a Credit Union

A credit union is a financial co-operative that is owned and controlled by its members, who share a common bond.

Unlike banks, each member of the credit union has an equal say in the running of the credit union, regardless of how much they have saved.

Credit unions are concerned about the financial welfare of their members, rather than purely making a profit.

Who are First Scottish University Credit Union

Like all Credit Unions, First Scottish is a financial co-operative, owned and controlled by its members.

We help care for the financial needs of members employed or studying at the Higher Education Institutes in Edinburgh and across the rest of Scotland.

Currently, we have nearly 1,000 members and our membership is growing on a daily basis.

Why a Credit Union and not a bank or other lender

A credit union is a community of its members, whose aims are to promote their financial wellbeing through savings, affordable and appropriate lending opportunities, and through the promotion of greater financial awareness.

Members are the owners of the credit union and the pressure to generate profit for shareholder dividends is therefore greatly reduced. Any surpluses generated by the credit union are redistributed among the members, or retained to develop the business.

The structure and nature of a credit union frequently enables it to help those who are currently excluded from access to ordinary bank products. It can become a lifeline for people who may otherwise have to resort to payday loans or doorstep lending which often carry incredibly high interest rates. However, credit unions can benefit savers and borrowers at all ends of the income ladder, with dividend rates often greater than interest rates offered by High Street banks to their savers.

Who regulates the Credit Union and is my money safe?

Like all credit unions, First Scottish University Credit Union is Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

The credit union is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which applies to all UK financial institutions.

The scheme protects deposits of individuals up to £85,000 in the event of any bank or credit union failure. Savers will usually get their money back within 7 days.

How secure is the First Scottish University Credit Union website

The Members Area utilises several layers of technology to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of its transactions across the internet.

SSL Protocol (Secure Sockets Layer) ensures that data cannot be read by other computers as it travels between your browser and our server.

Digital Certificates allow you to verify that your browser is communicating with our server and not another server posing as our server.

Member numbers, PINs (personal identification numbers), your date of birth and other personal details are also used to verify your identity. In order to provide a banking service on the internet, it is necessary for information to securely pass between your computer and our server.

Joining us FAQs

Who can join First Scottish University Credit Union

If you are an employee or student of The University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt, Napier, Queen Margaret or any other university based in Scotland, you are eligible to join First Scottish and benefit from simple, secure Payroll Deduction as well as our other fantastic products and services.

How do I Join?

You can join online on PC, tablet or smartphone via our application form.

You can also join by downloading and printing off an application form here.

Can I remain a member if I leave or retire from a University?

Yes – our Common Bond allows those who retire from or leave the service to continue in membership if they so wish.

You will have to inform our team of these changes and they will amend your savings from Payroll Deduction to Standing Order if applicable.

Can anyone else join?

We also welcome membership applications from graduates of Scottish universities and family members over the age of 18, of our current members. While you may not be able to take advantage of Payroll Deduction, you can still apply for loans and save with us every month through Standing Order – still pretty simple!

Can I take advantage of Payroll Deduction?

Currently, only employees at University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Napier University and Queen Margaret University can take advantage of Payroll Deduction.

Family Members, Students and employees at other Higher Education Institutes in Scotland can save with us through Standing Order. As our membership grows, however, we would expect to expand Payroll Deduction to the other HEIs in time.