Credit Union

Great advice for students needing a loan

Here’s how Ayrshire College and the Ayrshire and Sovereign Credit Union can help you!

Are you a student who would benefit from a small loan to help manage your finances?  Have you thought about how you could afford to repay a loan and the implications if you take a loan from a provider who expects you to repay an excessively high interest rate on top of your loan?

If you haven’t then you need to take time to consider all your options and the consequences of how you can end up in serious debt if you make the wrong choices.

Ayrshire College, working in Partnership with Ayrshire and Sovereign Credit Union want to help you make the right choices by raising awareness of the dangers of high interest rate loans and by helping you explore your options so you can make informed decisions and be a responsible borrower in times of financial necessity.

Ayrshire and Sovereign Credit Union have also developed a student loan agreement that gives you the following benefits which private and high street providers do not:

  • No joining fee
  • No annual fee for lifetime of your course
  • Life Saving Insurance at no extra cost
  • Loan Insurance at no extra cost
  • Low interest rate
  • Save while you borrow

What is the Ayrshire Credit Union?

A credit union is a community savings and loans provider that exists to provide financial services to a common group of members – in our case anyone who either lives in Ayrshire or works in Ayrshire. Unlike banks and other commercial finance providers, a credit union does not operate to generate a profit – it exists solely for the benefit of its members.

Members pool their savings to lend to one another.  Members own the credit union.

If there is a surplus at the end of the trading year the credit union may pay a dividend to members.

Credit unions aim to help you take control of your money by encouraging you to save what you can, and borrow only what you can afford to repay.

What is the benefit to Ayrshire College students?

  • We can help you get a loan safely with affordable rates of credit.
  • You can pay it off early with no penalty.
  • Your College bursary can go straight into your loan so you would have no worries about accidently spending any repayments. Or you can set up a standing order to suit your income and expenditure.
  • You will start to save a small amount regularly which can go towards books/kit for next year’s course.

How does it work?

It’s easy to access by completing an online application form, or by visiting our office in Kilmarnock or Cumnock and speaking to our friendly, approachable staff.

All you need to do is provide your College ID which includes your bursary award letter and student card.

You decide on the amount you need to borrow. For example, your washing machine breaks down unexpectedly, you need to replace it, but can’t afford to pay for one outright. Contact the Credit Union and borrow £300 and spend what you need, and put the rest into your savings to continue growing for the future.

They can offer you flexible payment terms to suit your circumstances, e.g weekly, monthly etc.

There are no joining fees. You will pay 2.5% monthly which works out at 30% annually and 34.70% APR. There is no extra cost for life savings insurance or loan insurance.

Can you show me an example?

A loan of £300 at 30% annual interest

Interest total is £90

Repayments of £30 per month for 12 months, plus £3 per month to a savings account totalling £36 at the end of the year.

Total repayment would be £426 (£36 of this would be in your savings account)

What’s the advantage to getting a loan from a Credit Union compared to a high street store loan or a private loan company?

If it’s a loan from the shop where you purchased your item, you are only getting the loan based on the price of the goods. The payment terms may be restricted and not as flexible as you need, there is possibly an early pay off penalty, and direct debits can be increased if there are changes to interest rates.

If you go to a private loan company the interest rates are extremely high – for example if you borrow £300 you could end up paying 299.3% in interest! A Credit Union will offer you much better rates of interest and encourage you to save what you can for future purchases.

How can I get in touch with the Ayrshire Credit Union?



In person: We are based next to the bus station at 24 The Foregate, Kilmarnock, KA1 1LU

By phone: 01563 555858



In person: Near the bus station at 11 The Square, Cumnock, Scotland, KA18 1BG

By phone: 01290 420044

You need to let us know you are an Ayrshire College student.

Are you looking for a volunteering opportunity?

Our volunteers play a vital role in both the day-to-day running of the Ayrshire Credit Union and their continued growth within the local community.  We would be more than happy to hear from you if you have time to spare for volunteering.  In return we can help you with:

  • Developing your existing skills
  • Learning new skills
  • Building your confidence
  • Giving back to the community
  • Enhancing your CV with real work experience
  • Flexible hours to suit you

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