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Member Community – FAQs

By January 20, 2021August 23rd, 2021No Comments

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a credit union operate?

A credit union accepts deposits from its members and offers to them a range of financial services. Members elect a board of directors at their annual general meeting. The board in turn employs a general manager/CEO to manage the day-to-day operations of the credit union. Credit Union members are elected to serve on committees in the credit union including the supervisory committee and the credit committee.

 

Who regulates Credit Unions?

Currently credit unions are regulated by the Department of Co-operatives & Friendly Societies on behalf of the Government of Jamaica. In the near future credit unions will be regulated by the Bank of Jamaica. JCCUL also has a self-regulatory mechanism in place for credit unions. As the national association for credit unions JCCUL will continue to serve credit unions as mandated by the members.

Is my money safe in a Credit Union?

  • The Co-operative Societies Act and Regulations require that all persons handling cash in a Credit Union be bonded.
  • The Credit Union must lodge moneys collected within 48 hours of the collection. The dates of entries are in the bank account and on the Credit Union’s records.
  • There must be a monthly report of the financial institution 
  • The Supervisory Committee must make a monthly audit and report to the Board of Directors.
  • There is an annual external audit by a professional auditor who is not a member of the Credit Union and who is appointed by the Registrar of Co-operatives Societies. 
  • The Credit Unions must put aside 20% of its annual surplus to a reserve account.
  • The Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League Limited conducts audits and assessments of Credit Unions and has the authority to place a Credit Union under supervision if the members’ funds are impaired or the Board of Directors of the Credit Union are operating the Credit Union in an unsound manner.
  • The Registrar of Co-operative Societies conducts regular inspections of Credit Unions’ operations

How can I access Credit Union services?

You must be a member to access credit union services. You can also contact the nearest Credit Union or the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League for more information.

What are the requirements for membership in a Credit Union?

The applicant must fall within the credit union common bond of association.

Can I join more than one Credit Union?

Yes. An individual can be a member of as many Credit Union, once they fall within the Credit Unions common bond of association.

Can children join the Credit Union?

Yes. If the child is 16 years of age or older. If the child is younger than 16, you can open a Youth Savers Account for him or her.

Do credit unions offer savings plans?

Yes. The Credit Unions offer a wide array of savings plans at great interest rates and terms. In fact credit unions encourages savings.

How does a credit union savings plan differ from other financial institution savings plans?

Credit Unions offer competitive rates and terms to members. Your savings work harder with your Credit Union as every member receives automatic life insurance on their savings. The more members save, the more insurance they have.

How can I apply for a loan?

You can apply only if you are a credit union member and by visiting your nearest credit union branch or website to complete a loan application form. By filling out a loan application form, giving full information as to the amount required, purpose of the loan, duration of the loan, security offered etc.

How long do I have to be a member of a Credit Union to apply for a loan?

For some credit unions on average 3 – 6 months. However, for other credit unions once you are a member, you can apply for a loan right away.

How much can I borrow?

The amount of the loan is dependent on several factors such as the security or collateral, the member’s share capital, overall member risk assessment. Contact your credit union and schedule an appointment with a credit union loan officer to find out your risk profile to determine what size loan you are eligible for.

What about interest rates charged on the loan?

Credit Unions interest rates are sometimes lower than rates charged by other financial institutions. Members also only pay interest on the balance of money they owe and not the full loan amount called Reducing Balance. Interest rates vary across all credit unions and loan products. Contact your credit union and schedule an appointment with a credit union loan officer to be advised on their loan rates.

What if I do not have security, can I still apply for a loan?

Yes. This is called an unsecured loan. You will need to visit your credit union branch or website to find out the requirements for taking out an unsecured loan.

Do my loans need a guarantor?

Some Credit Unions require a guarantor for your loans. In the event that your loan exceeds the amount in your shares, the loan must be co-made, guaranteed, or endorsed. This means that you must have someone undertake to answer for the payment of a debt or agree “to back a paper” on your loan agreement. This is done to make sure in the event you cannot cover your debt, your guarantor does.

What is loan protection Insurance and do I pay for it?

This is the insurance that the credit union takes out on the lives of the borrowers. When a borrower dies or becomes permanently disabled, the credit union pays off the rest of the member’s loan debt (Conditions Apply)*.

The loan protection insurance gives protection up to $600,000.00. This premium is paid by the Credit Union and not the member and provided through CUNA Mutual Insurance.

Click here to learn more

What does the life insurance on my savings mean?

This is the life insurance purchased by the Credit Union on the lives of its members, at no cost to the members. Credit Union members are automatically insured so your family can feel safe in the event of a members’ death or dismemberment.

The amount of the insurance on each member is in proportion to the amount of their savings. The amount is matched with an equal amount of life insurance up to the maximum that the members save up to the age of 55. Contract limits vary across Credit Unions and are facilitated through CUNA Mutual Insurance.

Click here to learn more.

Tell me about the Family Indemnity Plan?

The Family Indemnity plan (F.I.P) has been a staple insurance coverage for Credit Union members through CUNA Mutual Insurance. It protects your loved ones whenever there’s a death in the family by helping to cover the expenses, so you and your loved ones have less to worry about. This plan covers up to six (6) family members starting at a very low monthly premium. CUNA offers seven (7) coverage options through your Credit Unions. 

BENEFITS

  • You can now enjoy up to One Million dollars coverage with the new PLAN G*
  • One monthly premium covers final expenses for you and up to five eligible family members (including any two persons you choose from your parents and parents-in-law)
  • No medical examination required
  • You are eligible to receive the full benefit (per person) where valid claims are made*
  • You get lifetime insurance coverage once you enroll before age 76

Who is covered?

  • The plan you select can cover you and any combination of the following persons:
  • Your spouse or significant other
  • Or any combination of up to two persons from your parents or parents-in-law. These persons must be enrolled before age 76
  • Your children (aged 1 through 25 and who are not yet married). Children who are permanently disabled are covered for the duration of their lives once they are enrolled before age 26.

Contact any Credit Union today and ask about the F.I.P. Plan!