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Bananacoast Credit Union

 

Bananacoast Credit Union

 
 

Bananacoast Credit Union, or BCU, is a regional credit union in New South Wales with a large internet presence which has enabled it to offer personal loans across Australia. 

As a credit unions it is owned by its customers and all profits are put back into the business.  It was founded in 1970 by members of the Banana growers federation who were concerned over the lack of credit in their industry.  As a result it has always had a rural tilt and has had more of a focus on small business owners, particularly farmers.    With 23 branches it is a medium sized credit union, but it has a large number of “remote members” who joined due to its internet marketing. Its regional focus is highlighted by its motto “local people, local money”. 

BCU offers a single type of personal loan.  It is a variable rate loan with a maximum term of ten years.  It has a minimum loan value of $2,500 and no set maximum, although they will not lend above what they judge to be affordable. Affordability is decided on a case by case basis. 

Overpayments are allowed without any penalty, which can significantly reduce interest over the long term.  Interest is calculated on a daily basis which means that the overpayments are counted immediately with regard to saving interest.  If the overpayments need to be borrowed back there is a redraw facility so the sums can be borrowed with the minimum of paperwork.

BCU allows for either secured or unsecured loans, with secured loans attracting discounts on the interest rates.  A car can be used as security for a personal loan if the borrower does not or cannot use a house. 

The purpose of the loan is required on the documentation and they do not allow personal loans to be used for business purposes, referring these borrowers to their business lending department.

The personal loans also cover loans for motor cars.  They lend for second hand cars although the car can not be more than three years old.  Car loans have a shorter maximum term of seven years.  Cars borrowed using these loans cannot be primarily used for business purposes.

Another option that BCU offers its members is the use of a personal overdraft.  This is for current account users, and there is a minimum overdraft of $500.  The overdraft can be accessed through a number of ways including cheque book and ATM. 


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