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Loans Business Loans

Do I have to be a member before applying for a business loan?

While applicants do not have to be a member to apply, they will need to become a Business Member to receive and repay any loan and administer the savings element.

Do I qualify to apply for a business loan?

Business loan applicants need to meet the following criteria:

All applicants must be based within Brighton & Hove & East Sussex and be either:

  • UK Businesses - either limited companies, LLP ( Limited Liability Partnerships) or partnerships
  • Social enterprises

A corporate member is defined in our rule book as:

  • a body corporate which is a member of the credit union;
  • an individual who is a member of a credit union in his capacity as partner in a partnership; or
  • an individual who is a member of the credit union in his capacity as an officer or member of the governing body of an unincorporated association.

Unincorporated associations must be operating within Brighton & Hove and East Sussex. These include a wide range of bodies such as:

  • charities
  • co-operatives
  • social enterprises
  • clubs
  • other bodies

Do I have to save with ESCU before I can apply for a loan?

While East Sussex Credit Union is committed to encouraging members to save as they repay any loan, this will be at the loan underwriter's discretion. Directors/partners may be asked to save personally with the credit union.

What rate of interest can I expect to pay?

Our annual interest rates for business loans are pitched to be competitive and affordable. The amount we can charge is governed by our regulator.

Loan amount
Annual Rate
Interest (APR)

£10,000 +*



£4000 to £9,999*



£2,500 to £3,999



£1000 to £2,499



£0 to £999




*These loans may require a Strong Guarantor or an Agreed Notice (East Sussex Credit Union registers by consent a charge on the applicants and/or guarantors property as further security for the loan).

The term annual percentage rate of charge (APR) describes the interest rate for a whole year (annualized), rather than just a monthly fee/rate, as applied on a loan, mortgage loan, credit card, etc. It is a finance charge expressed as an annual rate.

· Loans up to £10,000 will be over a maximum of 3 years. There is sometimes discretion to increase the period of these loans up to 5 years where appropriate.

· Loans over £10,000 will be for a maximum of 5 years


What is the business loan application process?

We will require the following supporting documentation:

  • Business Loan Application Form
  1. Either download and complete this form - Click to DownloadDownload Business loan application form (405.5kb)
  2. Or use this version if you would like to send us your loan application via email.- Click to DownloadDownload Editable version - Business loan application form (133.8kb)
  • Latest audited, draft and management accounts.
  • Separate Director/Partner Loan application forms. We normally require personal guarantees to support loans to business entities except in the case of Partnership/Sole Traders where business owners remain personally responsible for loan repayment. Please note that partners will still need to complete a Business Loan application form.
  • Proof of income (most recent 3 months of bank statements) with full details of any guarantors on the Loan Application Form (including 3 months bank statements)
  • Proof of address/registered office.
  • An interview, either in person, at the business premises or over the phone, with a Credit Committee member will be required. This interview is to discuss the affordability of any loan.

Need more help? Here are our Business Loan Frequently Asked Questions -  Click to DownloadDownload Business loans FAQs (137kb)

What other evidence is required?

  • Proof of all other credit commitments
  • Other relevant information to confirm status and credit worthiness including tax records.
  • In normal circumstances, we will also ask applicants to provide a guarantor for all Business Loans. However, if an applicant cannot provide a guarantor we may still consider the loan application.
  • If the applicant/guarantor is a homeowner and it is appropriate, we may ask for an Agreed Notice (AN1)* on the property.


How does the Credit Union make a business loan decision?

Decisions on Business Loans will be made by members of the Credit Union's Credit Committee.

The Credit Committee will consider the following criteria when making a loan decision:

  • Affordability - A credit score will calculate a monthly disposable income based primarily on accounting information supplied. If there is negative disposable income the loan will be declined. We will take into account the monthly loan and savings repayments required to repay the loan when assessing affordability. If a loan is for debt consolidation we will take into account the potential for increased disposable income when assessing affordability.
  • Credit Scoring - The credit scoring system assesses factors such as length of time trading, accounting information, payment method etc. This is a guideline and the Credit Committee will use their experience to offer alternative terms where appropriate.
  • Credit Check - A credit check will show how many accounts, lenders and any court history the applicant might have. it will also establish if an applicant is on the electoral roll for their current property. No loans can be considered for applicants who have County Court judgements or have been in voluntary administration (IVA) in the previous 24 months
  • Guarantors - Where appropriate we shall seek Guarantors for the loan from the business owners
  • Payment record - Applicants must have a clean repayment record with ESCU (if any)
  • Company search - Where appropriate we may carry out a company search at Companies House. 
  • Further information - To consider a loan application, it may be necessary to request further, more detailed information from the applicant.


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  • East Sussex Credit Union
  • Tel: 0300 303 3188
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Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority