The Boom! Credit Union is like a bank in that it lends to borrowers and looks after money for savers, but unlike a bank it does not operate to make a profit. It is a co-operative which is owned by its members.
The County Council worked with key stakeholders and partners to develop the credit union which opened in October 2008.
It deals primarily with loans between £500-£10,000 and savings accounts of up to around £15,000. People who take out a loan pay interest, but gain four big advantages:
- Repayments are more reasonable because a 'not for profit' structure means focus is on you and not excessive profits.
- There are no arrangement or service fees.
- Borrowers are actively encouraged to structure their repayments so that when the loan is paid off they have accumulated some money in a savings account.
- There are no penalties for repaying all or some of the loan early.
Boom! Credit Union can also put you in touch with agencies that can provide you with advice on budgeting and debt management.