Loan FAQs

From time to time we all need to borrow. Retail CU offers a range of loans to members, with bite-sized repayments straight from your pay (or by direct debit if you’re not an employee of one of our Payroll Partners).

To apply for a Retail CU Loan you must:
  • Be a member of Retail CU
  • Be 18 years of age or over
  • Not currently be bankrupt
  • Not have an active Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) recorded against you
  • New members must have made at least 1 regular payment through payroll deduction or 1 months direct debit payments before any loan can be considered.
How Do We Make Our Loan Assessment?

As a responsible lender, it’s important we only lend what a member can afford.

We consider each loan application carefully. As part of the loan assessment, we use a licensed Credit Reference Agency, Equifax, and follow current credit union policies regarding your income, expenditure, spending habits and lending history.

We look at your income and expenditure to see how much disposable income you have available (what’s left over after you’ve paid your essential living expenses) and can therefore afford to repay each week/month.

Remember, we are lending money that is members’ savings, and it would be irresponsible to lend to those who are unable to repay.

For more about our loan assessments, and why we unfortunately decline some applications click here.

What Information Will I Need To Provide?
  • Your details – name, address* and membership number
  • Loan details – the type of loan, the amount you wish to borrow, the period you wish to repay the loan over and the amount you wish to save alongside the loan repayments
  • Your income – including wages/salary, pension and benefits
  • Your expenses – rent/mortgage, council tax, bills, food, and other expenses
  • Your recent payslip – we will ask you to upload a photo. The payslip must show your name and address* and be no more than 4 weeks old. Click here to see an example of an acceptable payslip.

* If your address (or name) is different to the one on our system, we will need to see a recent, official proof of address document like a bank statement or utility bill before considering your loan application.

Open Banking

With your consent, we use Open Banking to review your income and expenditure, speeding up the assessment process and saving you time. Open Banking is safe and secure, quick and easy. For more information on Open Banking, click here.

If we cannot use Open Banking, you will need to supply us with copies of your last 3 months bank statements, before we can consider your application. The bank statements must cover the 3 months up to the date of your application, and must include your name and address*. Poor quality or incomplete copies cannot be accepted, and will delay your application. Open Banking is therefore the quickest, easiest and most secure way to provide us with the required income and expenditure information.

* If your address (or name) is different to the one on our system, we will need to see a recent, official proof of address document like a bank statement or utility bill before considering your loan application.

How Do I Apply For A Retail CU Loan?

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a Voyager Alliance/Retail CU loan is using the Nivo App. Simply follow the ‘Apply with Nivo‘ link on each loan page from our website and complete the mobile friendly loan application in minutes! Alternatively, complete the Online Loan Application Form

How Will You Contact Me?

We will contact you via the Nivo App. It’s useful to download this by clicking here as the quicker we are able to receive required documents from you, the quicker we may be able to make a decision!

Through the Nivo App, we may ask you for any of the following:

  • The purpose of your loan
  • The length of time you’ve been working for your current employer
  • To confirm consent for Open Banking or to request copies of 3 recent bank statements
  • A recent payslip, if this was not already uploaded with your loan application
What Happens Next?

Once we have received all the information requested, your application will be carefully considered. In most cases, we make decisions within 3 working days, but at busy times, it may take a little longer.

As soon as a decision has been made, we will message you through the Nivo App.

  • If your loan is agreed, we will send you a loan agreement using the Nivo App. You can sign this securely via the Nivo app, and funds will usually be in your account that day.
  • In some cases, we may not be able to agree a loan for the amount you requested, but instead may offer you a different amount or repayment period. This may be due to restrictions if topping up an existing loan or be better suited to your budget and circumstances.
  • If your loan is declined, we will message you through the Nivo App. Please read the message carefully as it will include a link to further information and tips to help improve your financial fitness for future applications.
Why Do I Have Restrictions On My Retail CU Loan?

Our loans policy includes some restrictions to help protect our members.

Members must have repaid at least 10% of the original loan value, or 25% in the case of Gold and Platinum loans, before applying to top up their loan. It is important you are comfortable with your repayments and do not overstretch yourself, financially.

You are able to make extra repayments or pay off a loan early without incurring penalties. However, if you are applying to top up a loan, lump sum repayments do not qualify, unless you can prove the sum has been built up through regular savings.

I Have County Court Judgements (CCJ) – Can I Still Apply?

A County Court Judgment is a type of court order in England, Wales and Northern Ireland that a creditor can apply to have registered against you if you fail to repay money you owe. A CCJ shows on your credit report and can negatively affect your ability to get credit for up to six years.

Unlike some lenders, we do consider lending to members with satisfied CCJs or with low value active CCJs which are being repaid. In such cases, our Loans Team would consider any CCJs as part of the loan assessment and make a decision on an individual basis.

If CCJs are subsequently removed from your record, or if you can provide us with a letter of satisfaction, we would be willing to reassess an application from you.

For more advice on CCJs, click here.

I’m In A Debt Management Plan – Can I Still Apply?

No, our current lending policy does not permit lending to any member who is currently in an active Debt Management Plan.

For further advice on Debt Management Plans, click here.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), Bankruptcy Order Or Trust Deed

Our current lending policy does not permit lending to any member who has an active Individual Voluntary Arrangement, Bankruptcy Order or Trust Deed (in Scotland only) recorded against them.

If you have a Retail CU loan and are struggling with repayments, talk to us before considering any of these options. We may be able to help you, and prevent you from incurring fees charged by an Insolvency Practitioner.

An IVA or Bankruptcy Order will stay on your credit report for 6 years or until you are discharged if it takes longer, and will considerably reduce your chances of getting credit.

Planning & Managing Repayments

Retail CU loans are repaid straight from your pay, on a weekly or monthly (salaries) basis. We will work with you to make sure your repayments are affordable and suit your budget.

If your circumstances change, or you have difficulties in meeting your loan repayments, contact us immediately and explain the situation. We will treat the matter sympathetically and in total confidence. Depending on circumstances, we will work with you and renegotiate the loan if possible. Talk to us, we are here to help if we can.