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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* Please Note: At this time, only Members based at the four Edinburgh based HEI’s can benefit from the Payroll Deduction Scheme
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.
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!
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.
Unlike High Street Banks, we don’t rely on flashy gimmicks or tempting offers that aren’t what they seem. We offer a simple, secure savings account where you can see your savings grow.
Yes you can deposit a lump sum (i.e. a deposit outside of your Payroll Deduction or Standing Order) at any point.
Rather than receive a fixed interest rate on their savings, credit union members share in a dividend payment which is based on the surplus earned by the credit union over the course of the financial year.
The level of dividend is recommended by the Board of Directors and then agreed at the Annual General Meeting of the credit union, which every member can attend. The level of dividend will usually vary from year to year.
Please note your dividend is based on the balance of your savings over the whole year and is not guaranteed.
You can withdraw your savings by either logging onto your online account or on the app and pressing the ‘withdraw’ button. From here you can select your nominated account to send your money to.
Please note, withdrawals are not instant and can take up to 3 business days to be applied to your nominated account.
You can pay into your credit union either using our Payroll Deduction Scheme or Standing Order.
To change your Payroll Deduction amount contact us by message through the Member’s Area on our website.
You can borrow an amount up to 5x the amount held in your savings account, up to a maximum of £25,000.
Higher amounts may be available on a case by case basis.
When you first join First Scottish and, if you are a member using Payroll Deduction, you can apply immediately for our Introductory Loan offer of £1,500 (subject to affordability checks). If you are a family member, you can apply for an Introductory Loan after 3 months of saving with us.
The Introductory Loan must be paid in full before you apply for a further loan with us.
We currently offer 3 different loan products:-
After the Introductory Loan is paid off in full you may be eligible to apply for a Personal loan.
Once half of this loan is paid off, you can apply for a ‘Top Up’ loan. Once half of the Top Up loan is paid off, you may apply for a second Top Up loan, which must be paid off in full before any further Loans will be considered.
Yes, your loan is covered by insurance at no extra cost to you, up to 70 years of age and subject to health declaration.
Yes! We understand that circumstances can change. If you find yourself struggling or unable to make your Loan Repayments, contact us at the earliest opportunity and we will be happy to discuss options with you.
We want to work with you to manage any arrears. If you fall behind with your repayments, we will work to come to an arrangement with you and you will be able to have other loans in the future without arrears adversely affecting your credit rating.
However, if you fail to make regular repayments and do not respond to offers of help from First Scottish, we reserve the right to follow all legal recourse to protect members’ savings and will pursue measures including court action.