We’re a finalist in the affordable credit challenge

Central Liverpool Credit Union is one of six organisations to have won the first round of the Affordable Credit Challenge.

The Affordable Credit Challenge award enables the credit union to build software that will help members make a successful loan application.

Currently when a member is turned down for a loan, we can’t tell them precisely why.

It might be because there are missed payments on other loans. Maybe there’s a recent County Court Judgment. Perhaps there’s just too much debt. In some cases the proposed loan payments aren’t affordable.

To solve this a new mobile app will show borrowers more of the information that’s used to make lending decisions.

About Financial Health Indicators

We know that credit scoring isn’t easy to understand. And, to be honest, it’s not something we particularly like either. Instead we will be working with our software partner to develop Financial Health Indicators (FHIs).

Covering spending, borrowing and saving, FHIs will be shared with the Credit Union’s borrowers. The indicators will be used to let applicants know how to improve their credit profile, increasing the chances of getting a loan.

FHIs will show movement from red through amber to green. Borrowers will be provided with tips, making it more likely that loan decisions move from ‘no’ to ‘yes’. Then, when the lending criteria is likely to be met, a ‘one click’ loan application is sent to your Credit Union.

Helping you budget

As well as credit reference agency information we offer an Open Banking service, enabling members to provide temporary access to a bank account so the Credit Union can retrieve 90 days of bank transactions. We have around 200 members using Open Banking each month.

Read more about how we use Open Banking.

Subsequently, the 90 days of transactions are presented back as an income and expenditure budget using the 50/30/20 rule.

The method is simple. Households split their income into three different categories: essentials (needs: 50%). Flexible spending (wants: 30%). And financial plans (goals: 20%).

Housekeeping, bills and transport fall into the first category. General shopping, restaurants, hotels and holidays are not essential. They’re classified as ‘wants’. Finally, 20% is spent on financial goals. Paying down debt, saving for the future.

Of course, everyone’s spending habits present an opportunity to save money. This information will help borrowers find ways to improve their budget.

Furthermore, all this information will be provided to members free of charge.

Importantly, there will be no obligation to apply for a loan from the app. Its an additional opt-in service. The Credit Union will be providing financial education for its members and helping applicants make better loan decisions.

The app will be ready early next year. We’ll let members know when early access is available.

Get involved

In the meantime, the Credit Union and our software partner – NestEgg, want to hear what you think about our ideas.

We are keen to ensure that the app meets member needs. So we’re looking for feedback on our plans and for members to answer a few survey questions. We’ll give every participant a £10 Marks and Spencer voucher in return for their help which shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours in November and December.

Please complete the form below if you’re able to help.

Credit Union Prize Saver – an opportunity to win £5,000 every month

Central Liverpool Credit Union has launched a Credit Union Prize Saver Account.

The Credit Union Prize Saver is the savings account with monthly prizes.

We’ve long been aware of the contrast where people on limited incomes buy lottery tickets but don’t manage to save for future needs. Despite the chances of winning the lottery being so remote, people keep playing.

Prize linked savings are an alternative to lotteries, with one key feature; a lottery loss means losing money. Not winning on a prize linked savings account doesn’t cost a penny. All money deposited remains untouched.

How it works

The way the PrizeSaver account works is simple: every £1 in a member’s account at the end of each month gives them one automatic entry into the following month’s prize draw, up to £200.

There are 21 prizes up for grabs every month: one headline prize of £5,000, and 20 smaller prizes of £20.

For example, if you have £50 in the account, you have 50 chances of winning. The value of the entries is calculated at the end of each month for the draw that takes place the following month.

So, if you had £25 in the account on 31 January and deposited £5 on the 1 February, you will have 25 entries in the February draw and 30 entries in the March draw.

Like all of our other savings account you can withdraw the money at any time. Deposits attract a dividend and are covered by savings protection insurance.

A pilot programme

The Prize Saver is funded by HM Treasury has agreed to provide a prize draw facility to 15 participating credit unions on a trial basis until April 2021.The prize draw is offered as part of a pilot scheme only. It could be withdrawn at short notice.

It’s an extremely attractive offer. Why put money in a normal savings account and earn next to no interest when you can put your money in an account where you have a chance to win money to buy a new TV?

Before you apply you must read the terms and conditions.

New members click below to open an account:

Existing members who want to open an account, please complete this short form:

Free training courses

The Women’s Organisation is the largest developer and deliverer of training and support for women in the UK.

They offer FREE personal development courses.

Change it: Progress to Success

Looking to boost your confidence and overcome barriers for a positive future? 

‘Change it: Progress to Success’ is helping Liverpool women build their confidence and make the positive changes in their lives that they want.  Whatever age, background or stage of life you are at, this programme will help build a positive future.

It’s FREE and open to all women living in Liverpool. Places are available on these dates:

  • 54 St James Street: Monday 16 September 2019 10am-3pm (4 Sessions)
  • Belle Vale Childrens Centre: Wednesday 25 September 2019, 12:30pm-2:30pm (8 Sessions)
  • Yewtree Childrens Centre, Dovecot: Thursday 26 September 2019, 12:45pm-2:45pm (8 Sessions)

My Turn: 1 day personal development course

A joint initiative with Citizens Advice and RAISE this is a FREE programme  for unemployed men and women looking to boost their confidence for a brighter future.

There are places available across the Liverpool City Region with a free lunch included:

  • 54 St James Street: Thursday 12 September 2019, 10am-3pm
  • St Helens Millennium Centre: Thursday 5 September, 10am-3pm
  • The Venue, Huyton: Monday 9 September 2019, 10am-3pm

Full list of dates available

For more information or to book on contact 0151 706 8111 or [email protected]

Prize Linked Savings Accounts – coming soon!

In 2018 the Government announced it would be piloting a Prize-Linked Savings Scheme for credit unions.

Central Liverpool Credit Union is delighted to announce that it will be one of 15 credit unions piloting this initiative.

We’ve long been aware of the contrast where people on limited incomes buy lottery tickets but don’t manage to save for future needs. Despite the chances of winning the lottery being so remote, people keep playing.

Prize linked savings are an alternative to lotteries, with one key feature; a lottery loss means losing money. Not winning on a prize linked savings account doesn’t cost a penny. All money deposited remains untouched.

It’s an extremely attractive offer. Why put money in a normal savings account and earn next to no interest when you can put your money in an account where you have a chance to win money to buy a new TV?

Any member who joins the the Credit Union for a prize linked savings account will receive the same benefits as other members in relation to dividends, low interest loans and free life and loan insurance.

Register your interest: Prized Linked Savings

If you meet our common bond requirements you can join the waiting list by completing the form below. We’ll let you know as soon as the scheme is up and running.

We work with several employers offering payroll deduction. If you would like to bring Prize Linked Savings to your work force, use the form below to let us know.

I never had savings before joining the Credit Union.  Just a small amount saved regularly soon builds up and it feels good to know I have money set aside for the future or in case of emergency.  I also feel proud that my savings are helping to fund loans in my neighbourhood and helping others to start saving too.


Annual General Meeting



If the weather is nice the Annual General Meeting will be held in our garden. If not we’ll hold in in the foyer at Head Office, 141 Park Street, Liverpool L8 6QF.

All our members are invited to the AGM of Central Liverpool Credit Union.

There will be light refreshments after the AGM which starts at 5.30pm, concluding no later than 6.30pm.


  1. Agree the Standing Orders for the meeting;
  2. The receipt of the accounts and balance sheet and of the reports of the Board of Directors and the auditor;
  3. The appointment of auditors;
  4. The election or ratification of the Board of Directors;
  5. The application of surplus;

Only members can vote at the AGM.

Please use the form below to tell us if you can attend:

A big thank you to our volunteers

Central Liverpool Credit Union wouldn’t function if it wasn’t for our hard-working volunteers.

In fact, the Credit Union wouldn’t have got off the ground at all without unpaid help. Our founders spent hundreds – if not thousands – of hours planning, training, applying and setting up Central Liverpool Credit Union.

Today our volunteers help us staff our branches and run the office. All of our Directors are unpaid volunteers as well.

It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help people gain valuable new skills and experiences, boosting confidence.

Over 70% of volunteers would recommend the experience to a friend.

In 2017/18, 20.1 million people in the UK volunteered formally at least once a year. 11.8 million people did so at least once a month.

Our volunteers

At the beginning of June, we celebrate this hard work through volunteers week. Everyone that’s helped us out is invited to our garden party later this week.

And we continue to look for volunteers. We always need help running reception and teller positions.

You don’t need to be retired to help out! Over one third of people aged 16 to 40 volunteer on a regular basis.

If you’re interested in helping your local credit union, contact us. We can’t do it without you!

We are simplifying our loans

Later this week – and before launching online loan applications – we are simplifying our loan products.

Member loans

We want to reward savers with a reduced rate of interest.

If you’ve been a member of the Credit Union for more than two years AND have more than £500 in savings you can apply for a Member Loan.

You can apply to borrow up to three times your savings balance.

If you need more than three times your savings you should apply for an Opportunity Loan.

Opportunity Loans

You can apply for an Opportunity Loan, regardless of your savings balance or length of membership. New members can apply as they join.

Loans are based on affordability, but as a rule of thumb you can apply to borrow up to one month’s income. We will always take into account your personal circumstances and prior borrowing history.

The interest rate charged depends on the amount you borrow. You can  top up a loan after six months’ payments.

To apply for more than £5,000 you must be a homeowner.

You do not have to use the loan for home improvements. However, if you want to undertake expensive renovations in your home – perhaps to cater for a growing family – then a homeowner loan can help fund this work. Improving your flat or house can also make the property more attractive to potential buyers as well as increasing its value.

Business loans

For members who own businesses needing working capital or help with cashflow. Our business loans are available for sole traders and limited companies, including social enterprises.

We’ll be introducing online applications for business lending later in the year. In the meantime if you want to find out more contact us.

Applying for loans online

From April you will be able to apply for a loan online.

We will always welcome people into our offices. But from April you will be able to apply at a time and place of your choosing, including from your mobile without the need to download an app.

We’ve made this process as simple as possible. And to reduce paperwork, we will be using Open Banking.

Open Banking is a secure way to securely grant a regulated financial services organisation time-limited access to your bank account transactions. If you choose to provide this access, you no longer need to send in your bank statements to the Credit Union. Loan applications can be made entirely online. Decisions are quicker.

You’re protected

We’ve been taught to never share our account details. That’s still good advice in many ways, however the difference with Open Banking is that software and security systems give you the option to share your account information securely. Data is encrypted and usage is tracked. Only companies regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority can access your information.

How it works

When you apply online for a loan you may be asked to provide your bank statement. You still have the option to bring these into the office, but that will delay your application. Alternatively, if you have an online account, you can select to provide this added secure information over the internet. This enables us to provide a much quicker decision.

If you choose to do provide online access you will arrive at a secure portal where you select your bank account and log in using your usual online banking credentials. Your log in details are not shared and remain secure. No one will see them, they are not accessed by the Credit Union or stored in any way. They are fully encrypted.

How we use your data

We receive a summary of your income and expenditure in the form of a monthly budget. This covers the previous 90-day period. The connection to your account remains open for 90 days. If you apply for a top up loan within three months, we do not need to get you to logon again.

More information

The Money Advice Service has more information about Open Banking.

If you have any questions, contact us

International women’s day

On International Women’s Day, please vote for your favourite Liverpool social campaigner.

We are hosting the poll on our Facebook page. You can read about the entries here.

When considering all of the entries below, we want to also give credit to all those that have inspired us at the credit union. Here’s a selection of the Women that have inspired the credit union’s CEO, Eileen Halligan.

 Margaret Aspinall

Photo credit: Paul Francis Cooper

Hillsborough campaigner and Liverpool mum, Margaret Aspinall, fought for decades to get justice for her son James’s death.

Margaret not only led the Hillsborough campaign with dignity, determination and bravery, she supported other familiesm, becoming the chairwoman of the official support group. Finally winning her battle the original verdicts were overturned in April 2016.

Quoted on ITV.com as part of a Granada Reports interview, Margaret said: “There’s no such thing as victory for those who lost their loved ones at Hillsborough on 15 April 1989. But hopefully we have done something in remembrance of our 96 that will be good for the future of this country.”

Denise Barrett-Baxendale

Denise Barrett-Baxendale’s reputation as a dynamo is deserved. Conscientious and innovative, her work at Everton in the Community was ground-breaking.

In 2018 she was appointed as the Club’s new CEO. On a daily basis Denise asks staff at Goodison Park and Finch Farm “What have you done for your club today?”

In addition to her business credentials, which are considerable – BA (Hons), MBA, PhD, Denise is the only representative from the world of football to sit on the board of Sport England. She ‘gets’ Everton.

“I am an Evertonian I feel the pain Evertonians feel when this football club isn’t performing in the way I would want them to perform. But the pain is twice as hard when you are a professional in that area because the responsibility you have to deliver the results the fans want is huge, it’s massive.”

“You have got to be great at your job. You have got to be the best practitioner or professional and that is what is required to run the football club. But while skills, knowledge and qualifications are important, the sentiment and understanding of what our football club requires and what our fans expect is crucial too.”

Bessie Braddock

An ardent socialist and fiery campaigner, Bessie was the daughter of the social reformer William Rathbone VI. She fought as an MP to improve people’s lives particularly in the areas of maternity, child welfare and youth crime.

Lucy Cradock

Lucy Cradock was the first woman doctor to practise in Liverpool at a surgery at 52 Huskisson Street. Lucy became the only female doctor associated with The Liverpool Medical Institute, one of the oldest medical societies in the world.

Lucy Cradock served as Medical Officer to the Female Staff of the Liverpool Post Office, became House Physician to the Women’s Hospital in Shaw Street and served on the Dispensary Board of the Victoria Settlement.  She was also a medical attendant to the School for the Blind, and medical officer to the women students of the University Training School. She remained in Liverpool until her death in 1903, at the age of fifty-three.

Claire Dove

Claire Dove OBE, DL, has been a key player in the social enterprise movement since the early 1980s and has led the award-winning Blackburne House Group, one of the leading providers of adult and community education in the country, since its inception.

Blackburne House is a Beacon status college with a wide training remit for the women of Merseyside. The School for Social Entrepreneurs provides services across the Northwest of England. Over the past 30 years, the Blackburne House Group has successfully established a number of highly acclaimed, award winning social enterprises, whose products and services are sought throughout the country.

Claire was awarded an MBE for her work in the mid-nineties. She received an OBE in 2013 and was given the Queens Lifetime Achievement Award for Enterprise Promotion. She has an Honorary Fellowship of Liverpool John Moores University, a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts and was voted nationally as an exemplary leader in Regeneration. Claire is Deputy Lieutenant for Merseyside.

Gina McDonagh

One of the Credit Union’s own, Gina has been nominated by Anne Halligan.

“The woman I really want to celebrate today is our very own Gina McDonagh.

She amazes me regularly with her resilience and ‘can do’ attitude.  I have known her for longer than either of us care to remember and in my mind,  she has always been the scaffold that Eileen builds her dreams on.

When she first entered the office, it was as a single mum of 3 kids, looking for assistance as a member. My mum, Eileen Snr., somehow snared her as a volunteer and here we are some decades later and she is now the manager of 2 offices and acting manager for the 3rd covering sick leave. I don’t know what my mum saw in the first instance, but she recognised talent when she saw it.

I’m not sure Gina fully realises how valuable she is not only to the Central Liverpool Credit Union but to her family and friends. There have been times when her support has been the only thing keeping others’ heads above water. Despite some hardships and despite some tragedies she remains steadfast, caring and loyal. I marvel at how she is undefeated by anything life throws at her. Through Gina we are lucky enough to know her family and they are a testament; her example shines through them.

I have a lot to thank her for; her presence has saved the day both personally and professionally many times. She has kept this ship sailing through some very rocky waters and always brought us out the other side. It may seem strange that I praise Gina instead of Eileen our CEO, but I think Eileen’s achievements are plain to see, Gina is an unsung hero.

As with any real heroes, she doesn’t think she does anything special, but I and many others can attest that that is not true. Her unwavering presence is a comfort because you know you’re in safe hands if Gina is in your corner.”

Michelle Langan

Michelle Langan is a campaigner for Liverpool’s homeless community.

Rallying volunteers and local businesses to provide hot meals and essentials for those in need, Michelle also lends an ear and words of advice. Or, sometimes, even just a handshake and a hug.

Founder of the Paper Cup Project, Michelle, who is also a writer, columnist, social commentator and lover of wicked boots and trainers, works hard to give the homeless community a voice. And she is determined to make it one that is heard by people who are instrumental in making policy decisions that effect us all.

Hannah Lightbody

Hannah Lightbody was the daughter of Adam Lightbody, a Unitarian cotton merchant from Liverpool. Orphaned at the age of 12, Hannah was sent to school in London where she studied maths, Latin, history, French, German and philosophy before returning to Liverpool at the age of 18.

In early 1787 Liverpool was being rocked by campaigns to abolish the slave trade. Hannah and her friends were among the tiny minority voicing their opposition to the lucrative trade.

In 1789 she married Samuel Greg. Samual was a Manchester textile merchant who, to guarantee a supply of cotton yarn, decided to build his own textile mill. It’s then that Hannah turned her attention to the pauper children in the mill factories. Her passion for education meant she started teaching the children and introduced thinking, music and better diets for the mill families. Hannah is thought to have been instrumental in the establishment of a Women’s Club and Sick Club for the growing community of families in the Mill’s factory community.

Catherine Meredith

Catherine Meredith MBE died on 27 November 2017. She spent 25 years at the organisation, which later became Plus Housing and then Plus Dane Housing, after helping to establish it in 1975.

She had previously studied architecture at the University of Nottingham and had worked in the planning department at Liverpool City Council.

Under her leadership, CDS gained a reputation for a strong commitment to tenant participation, and focused on involving tenants and community groups in developments.

Ms Meredith retired from the organisation in 2000, but continued to work in several non-executive roles. From 2003 to 2009, she served as an independent non-executive director and member of the audit committee at the National Energy Savings Trust.

More recently she was chair of trustees at the Westbourne Hall Community Trust, where her work helped to establish a viable and thriving resource for the West Kirby community.

Maggie O’Carroll

In 1996, Maggie O’Carroll started The Women’s Organisation to promote female enterprise. Over the last 22 years, the organisation has grown into one of the country’s biggest women’s economic development social enterprises.

Through her work with The Women’s Organisation, Maggie has been able to make a real, positive impact on women’s lives.

From nurturing new businesses to pushing for changes to legislation or contributing to social awareness, The Women’s Organisation is a world-leader in creating opportunities for women.

Eleanor Florence Rathbone

Eleanor Florence Rathbone was born on 12 May 1872 she was the daughter of the social reformer William Rathbone VI and his second wife, Emily Lyle.

Her family encouraged her to concentrate on social issues. Eleanor went to Kensington High School, London, and later studied in Somerville College Oxford.  However, she was not allowed to graduate as graduation was not allowed for women at Oxford until after October 1920.

She began working alongside her father to investigate social and industrial conditions in Liverpool until William Rathbone died in 1902. Eleanor was without doubt one of  Liverpool’s foremost pioneering daughters, campaigning to improve the lives of other women she was  a self confessed “whole-hearted feminist”, is one of six women to appear on a commemorative set of stamps.

She represented Granby ward for 25 years, from 1909 to 1934 and her family home, Greenbank House, is now marked with a blue plaque bearing her name.

Margaret Simey

Margaret Simey was a political and social campaigner who was a force for good amongst local communities, notably in the aftermath of the Toxteth riots in 1981.

Kitty Wilkinson

Catherine “Kitty” Wilkinson became the superintendant of the first wash-house for poor people in Liverpool (and Britain) on Upper Frederick Street in 1842.

Kitty was born Catherine Seaward in Londonderry, in 1786. When she was only a few years old, her working class parents took the Irish ferry to Liverpool in order to better themselves. Dubbed ‘the Saint of the Slums’, Kitty Wilkinson was responsible for saving many lives.

In 1832, during a cholera epidemic, Kitty took the initiative to offer the use of her house and yard to neighbours to wash their clothes, at a charge of 1 penny per week. She showed them how to use a chloride of lime to get them clean. Kitty was supported by the District Provident Society and William Rathbone. In 1832 a cholera epidemic was sweeping Liverpool , Kitty and Tom Wilkinson were in the fortunate position of having the only hot water boiler in their street so they invited their neighbours down to their cellar to wash their clothes and bed-linen, hoping to offer some measure of protection against the cholera.

When the cholera epidemic passed, there were many fatherless motherless children who were neglected and even living rough. Kitty took in twenty of them every morning and read stories to them and taught them hymns in her bedroom. They enjoyed themselves so much that Kitty was forced to hire a room and employ another woman to teach them.

Kitty lost her husband Tom who died in 1848.  She outlived him by twelve years and died aged 73.  This was considered to be a great age, in a time when people did not live far beyond their 40th birthday.

Women’s Health, Information and Support Centre

Not strictly one woman but run by women for women.

The Centre was started in 1984 by a group of women in the Vauxhall area. They weren’t satisfied with the information available to women about their health and bodies so they ran a health training course in order to help themselves and others.

The Centre’s moved a few times over the years. They were even based in a bus at one time! But now they have a permanent address in Bold Street offering complementary therapies, training courses, listening ear and information about many health problems.

The Centre’s faced a lot of funding cuts recently. The City needs this valuable resource.






Prize draw winners

Congratulations to our 30th anniversary prize draw winners.

Every month between January and our 30th Annual General Meeting in June there will be a prize draw.

We’re giving away £1,000 for each of our 30 years to adult members and £100 for each of our 30 years to young savers.

There will be five monthly prizes of £1,000 for adults and five monthly prizes of £100 for junior savers.