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.

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

How is Hoot different from other loan companies?

Owlbert, the Hoot Owl cheers on Bolton Wanderers

Owlbert, our Hoot owl was delighted to attend a Bolton Wanders match and support the team alongside Lofty the Wanderers Lion.

Along with Hoot staff he greeted supporters and told them all about the benefits of joining Hoot Credit Union.

If you want Owlbert to come to your group or school to tell you about Hoot, or to help you learn about money contact

How is Hoot different from other loan companies?

Hoot features on BBC North West Tonight

Hoot was featured on BBC NorthWest Tonight on February 9th talking about the benefits of joining a credit union. The piece was part of a bigger story about the dangers of loan sharks and illegal money lenders, and was done in conjunction with the Illegal Money Lending Team.

Filming at our Bolton Town Centre Branch, Chris Canham – Community Engagement Manager talked about the lack of options for affordable credit for people with a poor credit rating or a low income. She went on to say that many people had come to Hoot as their last option for legal and affordable loans, and in doing so, has avoided the clutches of illegal money lenders.

It is estimated that around 8,000 people in Bolton alone may be in the hands of a loan shark. Hoot is one of the many organisations in Bolton working to eradicate this illegal and erroneous activity. These people are paying enormous rates of interest on their loans, with no paperwork and often threats when they miss payments.

If you think you are, or know someone who is the victim of an illegal money lender, contact to find out how to report confidentially.