Beginning in 1972, the Fire Service Credit Union now has over 3,000 members.
While fire and emergency service staff spend their days and nights saving lives, the Fire Service Credit Union takes on the task of ensuring their members’ financial well-being.
What do I need to know about the Fire Service Credit Union?
The Fire Service Credit Union (FSCU) was founded on principle of camaraderie within the fire service and helping the community in difficult situations. What started as a small group of firemen lending a colleague a hand is now a legitimate credit co-operative counting 3,000 members in its ranks.
As with all credit unions, each member owns a share equal to $10 (payable when joining up). The FSCU membership is limited to South Australia’s Emergency Services staff and their families. They offer members home loans, personal loans, savings and transactional accounts and comprehensive insurance products. They also assist members experiencing difficulty thanks to reduced hours, injury or illness, as well as financial counselling to get them back on their feet.
Compare Fire Service Credit Union Home Loans
What kinds of home loans are offered by the FSCU?
Mortgage Secured Home Loan
This loan is the bells-and-whistles option for members who want access to a full set of features during the home loan period. You can borrow for up to 30 years, but being able to make additional payments goes a long way to reducing the loan period and saving on interest. Reimbursing the amount in full can be done without penalty. You’re also allowed a redraw facility to access extra payments, as well as a top-up facility if necessary. Members with a deposit smaller than 20% of the property value enjoy the same benefits, but at a slightly higher interest rate.
Flexi Credit Mortgage Secured Overdraft
Owning your home means that you’re able to borrow against the equity you’ve built up since starting to pay it off. The FSCU offers members an overdraft facility at a competitive rate for a minimum of $25,000. You can withdraw from this line of credit whenever you like and as often you need it. This loan can be repaid in instalments or all at once without the risk of penalty charges. While it’s convenient to have access to seemingly unlimited funds, members should practice responsibility and spend within their means.
Interest Only Home Loan
Members can secure this loan and then only pay the interest on the loan amount. The idea is that property value increases over time and automatically generates equity. If taken out over a long period - the maximum is 30 years - this option can yield big rewards for members who’d like to invest. The loan be repaid in instalments or in full without penalty fees charged. Besides a one off establishment fee and possible property conveyance fees, there are no monthly ongoing fees.
Things you should think about when borrowing with the Fire Service Credit Union
The FSCU offers its members a number of attractive advantages.
- Financial assistance. Members in financial trouble can apply for assistance from the FSCU in times of injury, illness or cut hours.
- Low fees. The FSCU charges a relatively low establishment fee and waives monthly ongoing fees for all their home loans.
- Spending limits. As with all open lines of credit, it’s imperative to keep a close watch on how much you spend. You’re borrowing against your home, so failure to make repayments could mean eventually losing it.
How to apply for a Fire Service Credit Union home loan
Documents needed to apply for a Fire Service Credit Union home loan
You’ll be providing all of your personal details on the loan application form, but FSCU will require additional documentation to prove your identity. Birth certificates, a driver’s licence and a passport should be sufficient to meet the requirements of the 100-point check.
- Contract of sale. A complete home loan application requires a signed contract of sale. This proves that you and the seller have agreed on terms and are ready to settle the purchase.
- Deposit receipt. If you’ve paid a deposit (usually between 5% and 20% of the price), include a receipt as proof of payment.
- Inspection reports. This proves that the property has been inspected by building experts.
Before granting a loan, the FSCU needs to know that you’re able to honour the financial commitment.
- Income. You have to prove that you can afford the fees and repayments associated with the desired loan product. Include recent pay slips, tax returns and proof of your annual income.
- Assets. Anything that adds to your income is considered an asset. Alert your broker if you own valuable collections, shares in other properties or stock options.
- Liabilities. Here you should list all your expenses like rent, credit-card payments, personal or car loans, other home loans and child-support payments.
The FSCU’s members work hard at demanding job, often putting their lives on the line to keep their communities safe. The FSCU repays their commitment by making sure that managing their finances is a simple, hassle-free affair.