Community Lenders

Find out about affordable ways to borrow money at a more competitive rate.

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An affordable way to borrow

Most of us need to take out credit at some point. It could be for a sudden expense like car troubles or a broken washing machine. Sometimes extra money is needed just to last us until payday. If you need to borrow money just now, a community lender might be the best option.  Community lenders are not there to make a profit, and providers often loan money in smaller amounts than banks. This usually means you can borrow amounts from as little as £100. They might also be able to lend you money when some banks won't.  As well as providing affordable loans, community lenders can offer you financial support and advice to help you keep on track of your finances. 

Where to find a community lender

Types of community lenders

There are two main community lenders - Credit Unions and Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs). Both credit unions and CDFIs are run for the benefit of their members and are mostly not for profit. 

They can help both people on lower incomes or people who are having financial difficulties. And both lend money at lower interest rates than high interest lenders. They will help you create a repayment plan that works for you. They also don't have steep penalties for missed payments or if you are able to pay the money back early. 


Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFI's)

CDFIs provide loans for people who need them at a lower cost than might be available elsewhere. If you have a low-income and/or on benefits, and have had trouble with credit in the past, you might still be able to take out a loan from a CDFI. They usually lend nationally online, as well as having branches near you that can offer a range of other services including advice on benefits and debt. 

Finding Finance will help you find your nearest CFDI.

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Credit Unions

Credit unions operate in a similar way to banks, offering affordable loans and savings within their local areas. They offer a range of loans, from small short-term loans to debt consolidation loans. The maximum rate of interest a credit union can charge is capped by law and is often much lower than other high interest lenders, so they may offer more affordable loans than other companies. If you have had trouble with credit in the past, you might still be able to take out a loan from a credit union.

Find your Credit Union can help you find a credit union near you.

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Organisations that can help

Finding Finance

Finding Finance represent a national body of responsible lenders, they can help you find your nearest CFDI. 


  • community development finance institution

Find your Credit Union

Credit unions offer affordable loans in communities across Scotland. Find your Credit Union can help you find out more. 


  • credit unions
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