Frequently Asked Questions

Are savings pool loans truly interest-free?

Yes, that's right: no interest.

What is reciprocity?

'Reciprocity' is the practice of accounting for how long it takes someone to repay a loan and asking them to make savings available to others for the same length of time. In Living Economies' experience with pools throughout the country, reciprocity is essential to keep savings pools going beyond the initial enthusiasm that accompanies a start-up. It's worth reading about this in more detail.

Are savings pools legal?

Yes, provided you follow a few very simple rules. Living Economies can provide information about applicable legislation, but our advice is necessarily general, and pools are advised to seek their own legal advice when necessary.

In general, pools might wish to remember that third-party savings and loans are especially likely to be subject to legislation on financial advice, as are any services that are offered as a business activity. This is one reason why savings pools maintain direct, personal relationships among members, with all members having a say in each loan request, and with administration carried out by pool members on a voluntary basis.

Who can set up a savings pool?

Anyone can. Savings pools can be formed by a group a friends, a family, or any group of like-minded people. Living Economies can offer assistance.

How can I join a pool?

Living Economies might be able to provide contact information for savings pools in your area, but it does not recommend or endorse any particular savings pool, and it is for each savings pool to decide whether to invite new people to join.

Living Economies Educational Trust (LE) promotes exchange systems and investment models that build community strength and well-being, offer interest-free alternatives to 'business as usual', and respect both people and our living planet. Our network of volunteers can recommend resources and provide educational support for community initiatives. LE (CC 38114) is a registered educational charity, and we do not provide financial or legal advice.

© 2018 Living Economies