Welcome to our help section. Please select a question below to find answers to some of the most common questions.
1. How do I change my payroll contribution?To amend your payroll contribution, please contact the office via email or phone. We have to inform the relevant payroll department at a certain time each month of any changes that need to be made to a member's payroll deduction.Back to top
1. How do I make a deposit into my credit union account?You can deposit funds by cheque or bank transfer. Please make cheques payable to National Fire Savers Credit Union and post to 169 Union Street, London SE1 0LL. You should quote your membership or payroll number in the covering letter. If you would prefer to conduct a bank transfer via online or telephone banking, please contact our office for the relevant bank details. We do not accept card payments at this time.VERY IMPORTANT: You must quote your membership number and surname as a reference for the transaction, ie 1234 - Smith. Failure to do this will mean us having to ask you for proof of the deposit by either evidencing a paying-in slip or copy of bank statement, both of which will take some time and effort on your part to provide to us. Once the deposit shows in our account (except: see above), we'll allocate the money into your credit union account.PLEASE NOTE: If you go into a branch of your bank and complete a paying-in slip and hand over a cheque, the funds will arrive in our account with no reference along with it. We will then not be able to credit it to your account until you provide us with proof of your deposit.Back to top
2. Do I receive interest on my savings? Technically the answer is no, we don't pay interest. However, what we do is pay a dividend which is based on the financial success of the credit union in the previous year. The dividend is calculated when the accounts have been audited and approved at the Annual General Meeting and is paid after the AGM has taken place which is usually in the early part of each year. However, dividends are treated as interest for tax purposes.Our accounting year runs from 1st October through to 30th September.Back to top
3. Is there a limit on what I can deposit into my credit union account?The maximum amount every member is allowed to have in their savings is based on a percentage of our total shareholding although we vary the amount to take into account other factors from time to time. As of 18th July 2016, the maximum savings amount allowed is £40,000 (combined total across all three share accounts). Due to the success of the Savings Plus Account, we are now having to limit the amount that can be deposited each year (our financial year) to the Savings Plus Account to £12,000. This can either be as a lump sum or by a regular savings amount.Back to top
4. Do I have to pay tax on my dividend?The short answer is yes. However, there will be some exceptions depending on your current tax status. Please be aware that Credit Unions do not deduct tax at source and it is therefore our members' responsibility to ensure they pay the correct tax due. For the purposes of tax, our dividends are classed as interest. From 6th April 2016, if you're a basic rate taxpayer you'll be able to earn up to £1,000 in savings income tax-free. Higher rate taxpayers will be able to earn up to £500. This is called the Personal Savings Allowance. For more information regarding tax, and how to pay it, please visit the HM Revenue & Customs website which can be found here.Back to top
5. Are my savings protected?
Shares are protected, up to a total of £85,000 per member, by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This is the UK's Deposit Protection Scheme and provides a safety net if a bank, building society or Credit Union should fail.
1. How much can I borrow? Our loan policy allows a member to borrow up to 3 x the balance of their savings plus £2,000, less the outstanding balance of any existing loan(s)
. There are also different loan products that you may be eligible to apply for like our Member Loan (£500 - £7,500) and our Everyday Saver Loan (£50 - £1,500). Please check our loan types
page for more information.
2. Can I clear my loan early?You can repay your loan at any time and without incurring any early repayment fees. Please bear in mind that if you use your savings to do this, it can affect the amount you can borrow from us in the immediate future.When you have more than one loan and you want to use your savings to clear one or more of them, it may not be possible to completely clear a loan as you will still need to have sufficient savings to meet our loan borrowing criteria. If you do clear your loan or your loan reaches its normal maturity date and you wish to lower your monthly contributions, please let us know. If you don't, then we will continue to collect the normal amount with the money normally used for your loan repayments being automatically transferred into your savings. One point to bear in mind however is that if you've had a loan for say three years, it is inevitable that you will have become accustomed to making the required monthly repayment. We therefore, in an effort to encourage savings, try to encourage members to leave their monthly payment the same, meaning they don't notice anything different, but now all the money is going into their savings.Back to top
3. I have a loan but can I withdraw any of my savings?When you take out a loan with the credit union, we may attach your savings as security against the loan until the loan is repaid. How much of your shares must remain in the credit union is dependent on the loan policy in place at the time of share withdrawal application; not the policy in place when applying for a loan. Our loan policy is subject to change at any time.
Our current loan policy allows share withdrawals from the Membership Account of any amount that is not required to qualify your existing borrowing within the criteria 3 x shares + £2,000 = maximum total borrowing. So for example, if you have a (total) loan balance of £8,000 and £3,000 in your Membership Account you can apply to withdraw £1,000. This is because you are only required to keep £2,000 in your savings in order to remain within criteria for £8,000 of borrowing.
The combined total of the Everyday Loan, Ordinary Loan 2 and Member Loan can be up to £7,500, providing you have no other loans with us, before the share multiplier (3 x shares + £2,000) comes into effect. Therefore, it may be possible to withdraw your savings in this instance.
4. If I reduce the balance of my loan, will the monthly repayment amount change?The short answer is no. However, any overpayments, either by a lump sum or by a regular overpayment will have an effect of the term of the loan, which should mean your loan will be repaid earlier than originally intended, thereby saving you interest that otherwise would have been paid as we only charge you interest on the outstanding balance of your loan.Back to top
1. How do I make a withdrawal from my savings? You can either email (available 24 hours a day), phone the office (we are open Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm but have an answerphone as well) or request funds via the website (which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year). When you make a request via the website, the instructions go through to the office for processing. It is not an instant transaction and the requested funds will not be paid immediately into your bank account. Your request will be dealt with when the office opens and will be placed into the next available BACS run. We process BACS transfers every week day. We have a cut-off of 12 p.m. on the days of making transfers so as to give us time to make sure the money is in your account by the end of the day*.It is proving to be the case that the majority of the transfers by faster payment, take around 2 hours to reach members' accounts once we have sent the funds, though there is no guarantee of this and funds can take up to 9pm to reach members accounts.If you need to transfer funds to another individual, then we will need an email from you giving the recipient's details.Back to top
2. When will I receive the money in my account?We make payments into members' accounts every day from Monday to Friday. On the day in question, we upload the details to the bank around lunchtime. The faster payment system operated by all the main clearing banks in the UK, means that your funds should be received by mid afternoon although there is no guarantee of exactly when the funds will clear.Back to top
1. What if I leave the Brigade or retire? Once you are a member of the credit union, you can remain a member for the rest of your life. There is no requirement for you to fully repay any outstanding loan balances and you can continue to apply for loans for as long as you remain a member. If you wish to remain a member in these circumstances, please contact the office and we'll send you a standing order form.Back to top
2. Is there any way I can help the credit union?We welcome help from any of our members. The best way to do this is to become an ambassador of the credit union and to help promote the advantages of being a member and outline the services we offer to your colleagues in the fire station. It may be that everyone on your watch is already a member but there are the other watches to consider as well, not forgetting any support staff or administration people that may work on the station or in offices attached to the station.Back to top
3. What happens when I die?When you die, we look to pay back your savings to your estate as quickly as possible. To help us do this we ask you for a nominated beneficiary or beneficiaries so we know who we are going to send your money to. However, before we can pay out anything we will require either the original or a certified copy of the death certificate.
Unlike other creditors, if you have a loan (or loans) with us, we will consider them paid in full if you die. This means that we will not chase your dependants for any of your debts with us. In addition, we will pay back the balance of your savings to your beneficiary/beneficiaries as stated above. The Board of Directors also, depending on the circumstances, reserve the right to increase the amount paid back. Back to top
* We can not guarantee to make transfers on the day of request but will endeavour to do so.
Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (No.213995)