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Credit Union

The Council is working with 1st Alliance Credit Union to offer residents an alternative to mainstream banking.

The new partnership between the Council and 1st Alliance provides access to a wide range of essential, day-to-day banking services – not always available for some people from normal High Street banks.

These include:

  • opening a current account
  • saving and budgeting
  • low-cost loans
  • managing your money, paying bills and rent
  • preparing for changes to benefit such as Universal Credit.

Joining the Credit Union provides access to a number of banking facilities, including saving accounts and low cost loans.

One of the most popular accounts available is the budgeting account – which is sometimes referred to as a ‘jam jar’ account. The budgeting account is the ideal way to help you manage your money and stay on top of your bills.

It’s based on the idea of dividing your account into different budgets or ‘jars’ – for example, one for rent, one for bills, one for spending. You then set up how much money goes into each one every month to cover your payments.

This sets your rent and bill money aside, so you can relax in the knowledge that the money will be there when it’s needed, which will make a big difference.

The credit union can offer a pre-paid debit card, to make paying for goods and services safer and more convenient and you can use it to withdraw money at cashpoint machines. You can also deposit money into your account at any of our Customer Service Centres – Ayr, Girvan, Maybole, Prestwick and Troon.

The budgeting account will help anyone not used to budgeting, or who finds it hard to manage their money throughout the month. It will be especially useful for anyone affected by benefit changes such as the introduction of Universal Credit.

Universal Credit will see a number of different benefits rolled into one single monthly payment, which will be paid each month, in arrears, to only one person in the household. It must be paid into a bank account, which the credit union can offer.

This means some households will have to plan ahead to make their money last between payments – which will be monthly rather than weekly or fortnightly. Households will then be responsible for paying all bills – including rent.

This will be a big change for some and we’re here to help you manage your money – whether you’re in work, receive benefits or have an existing bank account.

Becoming a member is easy. You’ll need one proof of ID and a proof of address to become a member and open an account. If you‘re facing any financial difficulties, we can also offer support and assistance.

For more information and to complete an application, contact us on 0300 123 0900 or drop into one of our customer service centres in Ayr, Girvan, Maybole, Prestwick and Troon.

Alternatively, you can visit 1st Alliance directly at 147 Main Street, Kilwinning, KA13 6EQ, call them on 01294 557123 or visit, where you can find out more about the products and services and download a membership form.