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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.


Who can join?

Membership is open to anyone who is employed or has a written volunteering agreement with the many different organisations that supports SCVO and SCVO Credit Union. Our services serve many in the Housing, Care, Support and Charity sector. Partners and family members are also encouraged to join, as long as they live at the same home address. Online applications are welcome. The credit union may need further evidenced of members address and bank account details before carrying out any banking transactions The standard requirements for identification are current UK driving license, passport, work photo i.d, utility bill or any regulated letter sent to you address. If you are unsure if you can join ask your employer or email

How is a credit union different from a bank?

Credit unions are not-for-profit organisations that exist to serve their members. Like banks, credit unions accept deposits and make loans to their members. As a member-owned cooperative institution, credit unions provide a safe and highly regulated place to save and borrow with reasonable rates of interests. Credit Unions operate through a set of principles founded in the philosophy of co-operation and the values of equality, equity and mutual self-help. Unlike other financial institutions, these principles focus on both the social and economic well-being of their members and the communities in which they serve. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Registration No: 2138) (CU No: 135(S). Your eligible deposits with SCVO CU are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK’s deposit protection scheme. Any deposits you hold above the £85,000 limit are not covered

How does it work?

Members’ savings are referred to as shares, each having a value of £1 each. These shares are then loaned out to other members. Currently the credit union has just under £1.1million out in loans with savings of more than £1.6 million After administration costs are deducted and reserves are increased, within our legislation procedures any surplus is distributed back to the members as a dividend.

How can I access my credit union account?

You can access your credit union account by registering Members can also request a statement of their account by phoning 0131 474 8003 or emailing

Is there a membership fee?

A one-time membership fee of £5 is payable by all new Credit Union members – this amount will be deducted from your first payment.

Credit Union Savings

You can access your savings at any time (subject to any outstanding loan balance); simply by emailing us at with amount that you wish to be transferred. Alternatively, you can download a share withdrawal form to send to us. Don’t forget to include your eight digit membership number in any correspondence. If at any time you wish to change the amount that you save with us, you can email us and we will change the amount deducted from your payroll or you can contact your own payroll department . Alternatively, click download a Payroll Amendment form.

Credit Union Payments

To help our members use the best possible means of payment into their credit union account, we have four main banking procedures:
  1. Direct Debit
  2. Payroll Deduction
  3. Standing Order
  4. Bacs Transfer
Once your payroll deduction is obtained, the Credit Union will liaise directly with your payroll department to enable this service to proceed. Any loans granted are paid directly into your bank nominated bank account on your application form or subsequent written amendment.

Credit Union Loans

The Credit Union will consider loan applications from members for any worthwhile purpose. Each application is treated in the utmost confidence and will be considered on its own merits. It is credit union policy to meet the borrowing requirements of as many members as possible. All members must be aware of the pre-existing medical condition clause that applies for any loan.

How much can I borrow and what can I borrow money for?

SCVO Credit Union has a wide range of loan products all designed to help new and existing members. Members borrow for many different reasons household goods, holidays, home improvements, debt consolidation ,help with the costs towards a new car or a deposit for a new house We've made it easy to borrow as little as £100 or up to £15,000 at fair and affordable rates with no application fees and no early repayment charges. For further information on our loan products, interest rates and length of repayment periods contact the credit union.

How soon can I take a loan?

Standard Loan

A member must have saved regularly for a period of three months prior to applying for a Standard loan. Unsecured loans in the first year of membership will not exceed £3000

Starter Loans

Starter Loans of £500 can available to new members who have made a minimum of one payment of £25.00. The credit committee will consider a starter loan where there is evidence that a deduction has been made from the member’s salary. The credit committee will consider on-line applications for starter loans.

Budgeting Loans

A member must be with the credit union for more than 1 year to apply for a Budgeting Loan. Budgeting loans will be made available to existing members, and can only run alongside existing standard or refinanced loans.

Loans over £5,000

  • For loans in excess of £5000, members must have been an active member for at least two years.
  • For loans in excess of £10,000 members must have been an active member for at least three years.
  • Loans amounts over £7,000 may not be refinanced unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Refinanced Loans

Standard loans may be re-financed three times from original loan less the current outstanding loan. Once the loan has been refinanced for a third time, it must be paid in full before another is granted Refinanced loans will be dependent on previous loan record of repayments and ability to repay and with the agreed credit checks .

What are the repayment costs?

The table below sets out examples of our loan products with representative APR rates of interest and periods of repayment.
Loans Products Borrowed Amount Representative APR Monthly Repayment Repayment Term Total Repayment
Standard Loans £1,000 12.68% APR £88.84 12 Months £1,066.01
Refinanced Loans £1,000 19.65% APR £91.65 12 Months £1,099.88
Loyalty Loan £7,000 9.38% APR £174.21 48 Months £8,361.39
Loyalty Loan Plus £10,000 6.17% APR £234.85 48 Months £11,272.87
Budgeting Loan £1,500 26.82% APR £80.00 24 Months £1,898.20
Starter Loan £500.00 26.82% APR £47.26 12 Months £567.23
Budgeting Loan Borrowed Amount Representative APR Monthly Repayment Repayment Term Total Repayment
Limit £500.00 26.82% APR £45.00 12 months £571.03
Limit £750.00 26.82% APR £65.00 14 Months £861.06
Limit £1,000.00 26.82% APR £80.00 12 months £1,161.98
Limit £1,500.00 26.82% APR £80.00 24 months £1,898.20

Credit Union Savings

It is SCVO Credit Union policy to strongly encourage a savings habit even during a loan repayment period.

Who manages the SCVO Credit Union?

Management of the SCVO Credit Union is by a volunteer board of Directors who are elected at the annual meeting by fellow members. The credit committee who deal with loan applications, and the supervisory committee who audit the internal operations, are also elected by members, under the one member, one vote system.

Do I get a dividend on my savings?

When the Credit Union achieves the level of income from loans for all expenses to be paid, any surplus is divided between reserves and a dividend payment. The amount is decided at the AGM in line with our not-for-profit philosophy. For the last few years the credit union has paid out an annual dividend .5%

Online Accounts

With Online Banking, members can access information on their Credit Union accounts. Apply for additional accounts and loans. To request a transfer of shares and download loan applications, you can contact us via secure live chat and email. Get a complete view of your finances with ABCUS

Are my savings protected?

It is a requirement of the Credit Union Act 1979 that all credit unions have a Fidelity Bond insurance product to protect members’ savings from fraud and dishonesty. Savings protection is also provided by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme up to the individual limit of £85.000.

Data protection

SCVO Credit Union recognises the need to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and understands that it must ensure that member accounts are processed fairly and lawfully. SCVO Credit Union is also working towards the new GDPR that will become enforceable on May 25th 2018. SCVO Credit Union will maintain the six Principles for Data Processing.
  1. Process personal data lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner
  2. Collect for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes
  3. Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary
  4. Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
  5. Retained only for as long as necessary
  6. Processed in an appropriate manner to maintain security
Last modified on 30 January 2020