This works like a current account from a bank or building society, but usually has charges for certain features.
For free, you can usually:
- pay in or take out cash at the credit union
- have money paid in, such as wages, benefits and pensions
- use online, mobile or telephone banking
- get budgeting advice and support.
You’ll often need to pay a monthly account fee for:
- a debit card for spending or using cash machines
- setting up regular payments, such as bills via Direct Debit
- access to borrow money using an overdraft – normally with daily interest up to 42.6%.
You might be charged each time you use a cash machine to withdraw money or view your balance, so always check. Some accounts will also require you to pay in a minimum amount each month, such as £80.
You usually won’t have to pass a credit check, even if you apply for an overdraft. Credit unions normally use manual checks to decide whether to lend to you.