How is Hoot different from other loan companies?

How is Hoot different from other loan companies?

Here at Hoot, we talk about the ‘credit union difference’, but what does it mean? We say we are different to regular loan companies because we are!

We are owned by our community

Hoot, like all credit unions, is owned by its savers and borrowers – our members. Members are represented by elected Board members who lead the development of the business in the interest of members. Profit is shared amongst the members, so everyone who saves benefits from our success.

We promote good savings habits

Loan companies are driven by profit. We care about helping our members access fair and affordable credit; and build savings for the future. That is why all of our members save. When someone takes a loan, a minimum saving amount builds up and acts as collateral against the loan. Account holders have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly this pot can build up.

But you can save without borrowing!

More than just a credit score

We aim to provide fair and affordable loans. This means that we look at individual circumstances when assessing a loan application. Whilst we do take a person’s credit score into account, we also look at affordability and any previous borrowing with us.

Your Money Matters

Making the most of your money as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite is more important than ever. Credit unions are committed to financial education, offering hints, tips and tools to help people manage their finances better

If you open a Hoot account or take out a loan you will be able to manage your account online and be reassured that, as a regulated, member-focused co-operative, we have your interests at heart; and run the business for the sake of the community.

Or as we like to call it Profit for Purpose.

How is Hoot different from other loan companies?

Andy Burnham Pledges Support for Credit Unions

Andy Burnham has made an election pledge to help residents who can’t afford the upfront costs of an annual Bee Network pass to get the discount by paying by weekly interest-free payments through a credit union.

Andy says “It annoys me how people on low incomes often pay more for energy and transport because they can’t buy upfront. So, working with  GMCreditUnions, we will help people to buy an annual  BeeNetwork pass via weekly interest-free repayments – and make big savings on travel costs”

This will offer a great scheme for Hoot members in Bury, and we hope eventually in Bolton.

Are You Asking The Right Questions When You Apply For A Loan?

Are You Asking The Right Questions When You Apply For A Loan?

At Hoot we want to make applying for a loan as easy as possible, but we feel it is important that you understand what getting a loan with us means.

If you are accepted for a loan you will be asked to sign a loan agreement. This includes the terms of the loan and what will happen if you don’t make the repayments. It is important that you ALWAYS read the terms and conditions of the agreement before you sign. Here are some of the things you should check when you apply.

Are you borrowing what you need?

Is what you want to spend the money on essential? Could you wait and save for what you want? Better to ask what you need to borrow than how much you can borrow.

Can you afford the repayments?

Your repayments will depend on how much the loan is for, how long you agree to repay it over, the agreed interest. You should make sure that by taking out the loan you are not overstretched and can afford the repayments.

How long will it take to repay?

Your loan repayments will include interest payments (This is called Cost of Credit) and is the amount you pay as your charge for getting the loan. Add this amount to your original loan and this is what you will repay altogether.

Are there any extras?

With a credit union loan there is no setup fee, early repayment or late payment charges. So if you want to make extra payments or want to pay early you can with no charges. In fact, if you pay your loan off early you will save on interest!

Are you comparing like with like?

APR% will help you compare loans but you should remember to compare only loans that you would be eligible to get. For example, if you have a poor credit history, comparing with a bank loan with a low APR% that you would need an excellent credit rating for, wouldn’t give you a true picture of what your options are.

What do we look for?

When we look at a loan application, we always take three things into consideration

Affordability – Credit Worthiness – Individual Circumstances

Every loan is looked at by a person. There are no automatic machine made decisions and your circumstances are always taken into account.

We know that comparing loans can be a bit of a minefield. Take a look at our guide before you begin your borrowing journey.

How is Hoot different from other loan companies?

Mayor of GM Pledges Support

Mayor of GM pledges support for Enterprising Communities Fund at official launch

Hoot has joined with other Greater Manchester Credit Unions Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and GMVCO to deliver local investment with real impact.

The launch took place in Manchester in January and included a speech from GM Mayor, Andy Burnham, who spoke about the value of social investment for our communities and his support for the fund. He also spoke about the vital role of credit unions in the Greater Manchester social economy and how important it is that this fund enables people saving with their local credit union to invest in local organisations creating social impact. This means keeping Greater Manchester’s wealth in the city region and using it for social good.

Who is this investment fund for?

Any organisation or business trading for social good and working in Greater Manchester (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan) that is looking to grow their trading activity and has been trading for at least 6 months.

What’s on offer:

  • Unsecured investments between £20,000 and £100,000.
  • Blended finance; this means the investment includes a grant of an average of 20% of your total investment.
  • An initial interest-only period of up to 6 months may be available.

Social investment is a loan given to organisations and businesses that are trading for a social, cultural or environmental benefit to bring about positive change. This could include addressing social needs, strengthening communities, improving people’s life chances, enhancing culture or protecting the environment.

To find out more go to

How is Hoot different from other loan companies?

CASH Recovered from Illegal Money Lenders

CASH recovered from illegal money lenders in the North West is to be used to help savers working in Bolton and Bury

Employees of Carrs Pasties and Bury Council are being offered a cash boost to help them save more as part of a new credit union initiative in partnership with Stop Loan Sharks,

Employees who join Hoot Credit Union between February and May this year, and start saving via their payroll, will qualify for a £10 matched savings bonus after four weeks of saving. There is also a chance to get a further £200 savings boost if they carry on saving until May.

The bonus is being paid by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), also known as Stop Loan Sharks, and funded by money confiscated from illegal money lenders under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Chris Canham, Community Engagement Manager at Hoot, said: “Hoot has been providing ethical savings and loans services to the people of Bolton and Bury since 2005, and work with a number of local employers encouraging employees to save through payroll. Building savings is the first line of defence to be able to cope with financial emergencies, and Hoot has 6,000 savers from a wide range of the community.

Sadly, many people in the Borough are falling into the hands of loan sharks.

Many loan sharks will resort to bullying tactics, such as intimidation, threats and even violence to enforce repayment, and often won’t set an interest figure or have any form of paperwork.

“We want to make loan sharks history in our borough, so we’re delighted to work in partnership with England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) to offer this incentive to payroll savers and show people there is a better, safer and more affordable way to manage their money.”

Anyone who thinks they, or someone they know, may have been targeted by an illegal lender in the area is urged to contact the Stop Loan Sharks team’s specialist officers for help and advice.

There is a 24-hour confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222 and a Live Chat facility available on the website Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. For more information visit 

To find out more about payroll saving with Hoot Credit Union go to