Unbeatable rates!

Fast, Fair and Flexible Loans from a responsible lender focused exclusively on the financial wellbeing of GMB members.

Piggy Bank
Savings Accounts

Easy Access Savings, helping you plan for your future

General FAQs

What is a Credit Union?

A Credit Union is a not-for-profit organisation owned and operated by members where resource is shared exclusively for the benefit of a community which in this case is GMB Trade Union. Credit Unions provide alternative savings and loans services to those offered by banks and other financial institutions. Credit Unions are non-profit cooperatives owned by their members and entirely focused on their members’ financial wellbeing, rather than financial profit. There are no greedy shareholders or faceless investors and all funds are kept within the member community, rather than being invested or speculated elsewhere.

Can I join GMB Credit Union?

GMBCU is the Credit Union exclusively for all members and staff of GMB Trade Union. GMBCU’s common bond extends to the households and family members of a GMB member.  

What are the benefits of joining GMB Credit Union?

Financial benefits - Credit Unions usually outperform high street interest rates, and all money is retained and shared between members to grow their community. GMB Credit Unions sole purpose is to improve the financial wellbeing of its members by saving them money on borrowing and helping members make best use of their savings. Ethical benefits - Credit Unions are democratic, each member has a vote and a say in how the Credit Union operates. GMB Credit Union has no greedy shareholders or faceless investors, we are a transparent organisation which shares its trading surpluses with members and circulates money for the sole benefit of the GMB community. Community benefits - Credit Unions are owned and run by their members and are committed to social investment in their community’s. They offer a fast, fair and flexible service which treats members as individuals.

How do I get involved in the GMB Members Prize Draw?

In our blog, here, we detail what our Prize Draw is, where you can find the T&Cs and how to get involved. In short, you can apply through a quick and easy form on Nivo!

Member Loan FAQs

Can I apply for a GMBCU loan straight away?

If you are a GMB member or family member and you are over 18 and under the age of 70, you can apply for a loan whenever you want. You don’t have to save first. With an easy online application process and quick decisions, GMB Credit Union doesn’t apply any loan fees or early repayment charges. Paperwork is kept to a minimum and members can request top-up loans later if needed.

Why should I consider GMB Credit Union as a lender in preference to Banks or other lenders?

GMBCU is a responsible lender providing a range of fast, fair flexible loans from £200 to £20,000 focused exclusively on the financial wellbeing of GMB members. Our key objectives are to save our members money and assist them with managing their household budgets. Members pay interest on the reducing loan balance. This means that we only charge you interest on how much you have left to pay, not on how much you borrowed in the first place. Members can repay their loans early without charge and we have no hidden fees or charges on any of our member loans. Most of our larger loans come with a three month repayment break to help our members level out those unexpected events which we all experience. These payment breaks can be taken one month at a time, or in one go. To date, GMB members have borrowed over £60 million from their Credit Union and we regularly compare our loan rates against the market and offer our members a price match promise to ensure that our members pay less for their borrowing.

What is the process for getting a Credit Union member loan?

Applying for a member loan is easy. It’s a three stage process as follows: Complete your application online via our Nivo App or on the Web site. We then assess your application complete a credit reference check in most cases and advise you via Nivo of our loan offer. On receipt of your signed loan agreement we will transfer funds by faster payment to your nominated bank account. We aim to keep paperwork to a minimum with loan applications signed electronically via our Nivo app and we will get back to you with an offer within two working days in the case on new applications or one working day in the case of top up loans and save secure loans. We are committed to providing fast, fair and flexible member loans.

Why do I need to provide additional information such as proof of income when applying for a loan?

All GMBCU loans are based on affordability, so as a responsible lender, it is important that we ask you to confirm your income. We may also ask you to connect your bank statement through Open Banking, so we understand your household expenditure.

This ensures that we do not take unnecessary risks with the Credit Union’s funds and do not overburden our members financially. This additional information also means that we can make a fairer loan decision and not rely exclusively on the credit reference report.

Why did you ask me about my household income when applying for a loan?

GMBCU is always concerned that a member is comfortable with their loan and can afford the monthly repayments. We ask for information on household income as it is a key factor in understanding how much disposable income they have. This means we will take into consideration a partner’s income when assessing a loan. However, the loan will be in the individual applicant’s name and a member’s partner is not liable for loan repayments. If members prefer a joint loan application this can be arranged. 

How do Top Up loans work?

When you top up a loan, we simply set up a new loan for the remaining loan balance plus the extra amount you want to borrow and then we pay off your old loan. The new loan may have a different interest rate from your initial loan, the term might be different, and you may have a different monthly repayment - all of this will be explained at the time.

Top-up loans are a very popular, convenient and flexible way for members to increase an existing Credit Union loan. They are available at the discretion of GMBCU and, of course, you will need to be fully up to date with your existing loan repayments to apply. 

When and how can I apply for a Top Up Loan?

You can request a top-up loan after you have repaid a minimum of 1/3 of the loan balance on a first-time loan. Thereafter top-up loans are limited to a maximum of 3 in one year. Members can apply for a top-up via our website on a short application form. We may ask you for additional information, all top-up loans are based on the individual circumstances of members and are at the discretion of the GMBCU. 

What if I’m struggling to repay my loan?

Don’t ignore the problem of missed loan repayments and arrears as missed payments can affect your credit rating and make it more difficult for you to obtain credit in the future.

We understand that members can be adversely impacted by many life events, usually not of their own making. So, please speak to us as soon as possible and we will take time to discuss options to help you pay back your loan and stabilise your financial wellbeing. 

These options could include a pause on loan repayments for an agreed period or a reduction in your agreed regular repayments. Members should be aware that reductions or deferral of loan repayments will result in taking longer and possibly costing more to repay a loan. These agreed measures may also be reflected in your credit file. 

Does GMBCU offer any loan protection?

Our members are covered by our loan protection benevolent fund when they need it most. Members are normally protected until the day of their 70th birthday for outstanding loan balances up to a maximum of £5,000. For more information and conditions applying to the Loan Protection Scheme please contact us on 0161 486 1777, email us at or message us via Nivo. 

Family Credit Loan FAQs

What is a Family Credit Loan?

This is an exclusive loan service for established members of the GMB Trade Union (i.e. those with minimum trade union membership of three months) in receipt of Child Benefit. If you are an immediate family member of an established GMB Trade Union member (e.g. a partner) and in receipt of Child Benefit, you are also eligible to apply. 

Family Credit loans allow GMB Trade Union members in receipt of Child Benefit access to a revolving loan of up to £1,200 conditional upon Child Benefit being paid directly to a savings account with GMB Credit Union. The maximum repayment period for Family Credit Loans is 18 months and after 1/3 of your family loan has been repaid you will be eligible to top up your loan. We encourage all members to save whenever possible, all Family Credit members must retain a minimum savings balance of £5.00 to cover membership of the GMBCU. Interest is charged at 30% (34.5% APR) and there are no fees or charges. You can settle your loan at any time with no charge.

How do I apply for Family Credit Loan?

You must be an active member of the GMB Trade Union with a minimum trade union membership of three months or an immediate family member of an active GMB Trade Union member. You must also be in receipt of Child Benefit and can apply for Family Credit via Nivo our secure messaging app.

To complete the application, you will need proof of identity (a driving licence or passport) and proof that you are in receipt of child benefit (copy of the award letter from Child Benefit Dept or a bank statement)     

Do you carry out credit checks and will a low credit score prevent me from obtaining a Family Credit loan?

As a responsible lender we will complete a credit reference check. However, our objective with Family Credit loans is to support as many members as possible, including those with lower credit scores. If you are in Bankruptcy, have a Debt Relief Order, IVA or Debt Management Plan, or CCJs in the past 6 months, then we will be unable to offer you Family Credit.

How do I arrange for Child Benefit to be transferred to the Credit Union?

When we have agreed your loan please contact the Child Benefit office on 0300 200 3100 and request for your child benefit to be transferred to your GMB Credit Union account. We will provide you with all the details including your Credit Union account number and our bank account details.

How long will it take to process my Family Credit loan?

Once your loan application is complete and you have arranged for your Child Benefit to be transferred to us, we will contact you immediately the first benefit payment hits your Credit Union savings account which we open automatically when you apply for a loan. We will then process your loan by faster payments to your nominated bank account.

Can I Top Up my Family loan?

You can request a top-up on your Family Credit loan when you have repaid a minimum of 1/3 of your original Family Credit loan balance. Top-up loans are then limited to a maximum of 4 in any one year. We may ask you for additional information if your circumstances have changed. Top-up loans are based on the individual circumstances of members and are at the discretion of GMBCU. Family Credit top-up requests should be made through our Nivo app.

Can I have another type of loan from the Credit Union?

You can top-up your existing Family Loan however, if you have established a good working relationship and account record with the Credit Union and meet our lending criteria, we may be able to accommodate higher levels of borrowing with a Member Loan.

How can I access my savings?

You can request a savings withdrawal through Nivo or by requesting a withdrawal through the My Account area of our website. Withdrawal requests submitted before 2:00 pm on a working day will be transferred to your nominated bank account the same day.

We encourage all members to save whenever possible and all Family Credit members must retain a minimum savings balance of £5.00 to cover membership of GMBCU. The balance will of course be returned when an account is closed.

What happens if my Child Benefit stops or is no longer paid into the Credit Union?

You will still be liable to make your loan repayments and will need to contact us and select an alternative method of repayment such as Direct Debit or standing order.

Save & Borrow FAQs

What is a Save & Borrow Loan?

Members who have a poor credit rating and therefore cannot access our standard member loan package can demonstrate their creditworthiness and in turn improve their credit rating by saving with the Credit Union for five consecutive months before they borrow.

GMB will at first provide Save & Borrow loans based on 2 x a member’s savings balance and will use the savings as security and proof that a member can comfortably afford the monthly loan repayments.

The table below shows the cost of a Save & Borrow loan over 12 months and the minimum amount required to save for five consecutive months to be eligible for a Save & Borrow loan.

S&B Loan Amount

Level of savings



Rate 34.5%

Cost of S&B Loan over 12 months

Five months of consecutive savings are required paid by direct debit to demonstrate affordability for a S&B loan





£25.00 pm





£50.00 pm





£100.00 pm





£150.00 pm


Depending upon individual circumstances future top-up loans or subsequent loans may be considered at 3 x a member’s savings balance. When we have established a good working relationship and ideally an improving credit rating, we would then look to move a member to our standard member loan package where they can benefit from lower interest rates.  

Savings accumulated belong to the member and access to savings is only locked to support a members borrowing.  

Save & Borrow T&C's



  • Min loan £250 - Max loan £1,500.
  • Members must save for 5 consecutive months.
  • The minimum savings amount is £25.00 pm.
  • S&B members will be expected to pay by direct debit.
  • The first S&B loan will be 2 x savings.
  • Lump-sum deposits can be made but will not normally be considered as contributing to the loan amount available.
  • Subsequent top-ups or new S&B loans may be 3 x savings depending on individual circumstances.
  • We will review S&B accounts every 12 months and look to move members to our standard loans.

Member Savings FAQs

Is my money safe with you?

Like all major financial institutions, Credit Union savings are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS will in the unlikely event that we cannot meet our financial obligations pay compensation up to a current level of £85,000. We are also authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and are required to report to them on a regular basis.

What is the interest rate on your easy access savings?

Rather than a fixed interest Credit Unions pay an annual dividend which is based on the trading surplus generated in our financial year ending 31 December. The level of dividend is recommended by the board of directors and then agreed at our Annual General Meeting in March. The level of dividend will normally vary from year to year, depending on how successful the Credit Union has been. Our dividend is paid annually and was 0.75% for easy access savings accounts, and 1.5% for Christmas clubs/junior accounts year ending 2022.

Is there a limit to how much I can save and how do you withdraw funds?

Due to the popularity of our savings accounts there is currently a £20,000 maximum savings limit per member. All our savings accounts are easy access which can be withdrawn without condition with transfer by faster payments to a nominated bank account. Request for withdrawal can be made by Nivo, the My Account area of the web site or email. You can also check your balance anytime via the My Account area of the website. 

What does it mean when you say my savings are locked?

We are keen to encourage the savings habit to provide members with a safety net during times of crisis. Savings can also act as security for member loans for example in the case of a Save Secure, Family, Cash Flow and Save& Borrow loans all of which have an element of locked savings. If locked savings apply to a loan you will be advised at the time of application and the savings remain yours to be accessed when your loan balance falls or is repaid. You will receive a dividend on locked savings and if you grow your savings this will enable us to lend at a finer rate.

Open Banking FAQs

What is Open Banking?

Open Banking is a series of reforms to the way providers (such as budgeting apps or banks) can view your financial information or assess your risk. It gives them more meaningful insight, leading to better support and fairer, more affordable deals.  

What is the biggest benefit?

Access to in-depth, meaningful financial data allows for more responsible lending. While customers benefit from better deals and rates.  

Is Open Banking safe?

Very - providers can only access the data with your permission and must comply with data protection rules such as GDPR regulation. They also only have access to the data required for the service you’ve signed up for. You should always be careful who you share your data with, though.  

How can you check if a provider is authorised?

Use the FCA Register or the Open Banking Directory to check if a provider is authorised. It should also be clear on a provider's website or app if they are authorised. Be wary of third-party providers that aren’t regulated, you might not be fully protected against fraud.  BCU loans are based on affordability, so as a responsible lender, it is important that we ask you to confirm your income. We may also ask you to connect your bank statement through Open Banking, so we understand your household expenditure.

This ensures that we do not take unnecessary risks with the Credit Union’s funds and do not overburden our members financially. This additional information also means that we can make a fairer loan decision and not rely exclusively on the credit reference report.

Do you have to use Open Banking?

No, It's completely up to you. But weigh up the benefits before dismissing it - Open Banking can revolutionise the way you manage your money and help you unlock much better loan deals and rates.  

Is it easy to opt-out?

Yes, you can cancel at any time. Your data is accessible to the lender for 90 days, but you can revoke their access during that period if you change your mind. 

How will GMB Credit Union access your data?

We’ll use Credit Kudos to access your data. This third party uses government-backed Open Banking technology to help us transform complex data sets into an easy-to-use, comprehensive view of a borrower’s creditworthiness. 

Will Open Banking take over credit scores?

No. Lenders currently use credit scores in conjunction with Open Banking to make more informed lending decisions. Open Banking is a key element of the decision-making process because it provides more meaningful information on a borrower’s affordability.  

Does Open Banking impact your credit score?

Using Open Banking has no impact your credit score. Rather, it’s the loan application itself that can impact your score (learn more).  

How has Brexit impacted Open Banking?

Technical changes have been made to the Open Banking infrastructure due to the UK’s exit from the EU. But these changes don’t affect most providers. We will update our members if the situation alters.