Save up to 40% on the cost of Your Personal Loan!

The Competition & Consumer Protection Commission have a very handy tool on their website that allows you to make many financial product comparisons. It’s well worth using when you’re thinking about making personal finance decisions. Check it out here.

We just had a look to see what kind of savings a person living in our catchment area of Cork City could make by taking out a loan with The Lough Credit Union instead of one of the highstreet banks.

 

We took a €5,000 over 3 years (36 monthly repayments) as our example and the results are very interesting. Contrary to popular belief a Credit Union loan from The Lough at 9.9% APR over the 3 years is:

€303.44 cheaper than AIB (27.5%)
€87.83 cheaper than BOI (9.9%)
€303.56 cheaper than PTSB (27.5%)
€280.46 cheaper than KBC (26%)
€41.40 cheaper than Ulster Bank (4.9%)

In fact, if you haven’t borrowed from our Credit Union before, or in the past 24 months, then you’d be eligible for our special reduced First Time Borrower rate of 8.3% APR, which would be:

€437.72 cheaper than AIB (39.7%)
€222.11 cheaper than BOI (25%)
€437.84 cheaper than PTSB (39.7%)
€414.74 cheaper than KBC (38.4%)
€175.68 cheaper than Ulster Bank (20.9%)

We’re all about flexibility so why not check out how we can help you help yourself by making a loan query on our loan calculator today. Whether you’re borrowing for a new or used car, home improvements or even just a nice holiday to get away, we’ve got the loan for you.

 

How The Rates Stack Up

Institution Product APR Monthly Repayments Total Cost of Credit
AIB Personal Loan 13% €166.75 1003.04
KBC Personal Loan 14% 168.89 1080.06
BOI* Personal Loan 11.5% 163.54 887.43
PTSB Personal Loan – variable 14.3% 169.53 1103.16
Ulster Bank Personal Loans 10.9% 162.25 841.16
The Lough CU Personal Loan 9.9% 161.10 799.60
The Lough CU First Time Borrower 8.3% 157.37 €665.32

The information in the above table was retrieved from consumerhelp.ie on the 14/03/2016.

* BOI customers can avail of an APR of 7.5% if they currently hold a BOI personal current account, and meet the bank’s specified criteria. BOI rates depend on individual circumstances and may differ from advertised APR. Where applicants do not meet this criteria, their standard variable rate of 11.5% APR will apply to online and phone applications and a variable rate of 12.8% APR to in-branch applications. [As the criteria for 7.5% APR is not made publically available we used the 11.5% rate as the most appropriate comparison]

The Lough CU launches Personal Micro Credit pilot.

 ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-Please note: Unfortunately, we are prevented by law from offering this loan to any person who is not eligible for membership of our Credit Union, so to avoid disappointment we would advise anyone interested in applying to verify if you can join by checking out the map on our Membership page – if you live or work within our catchment area you can join. We are the only Cork City based Credit Union participating in this pilot.                  ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

We’re delighted to announce the launch of a new Personal Micro Credit Project (PMC) which will be piloted initially in our Credit Union along with over 30 other credit unions across the country. The aim of the project is to make small affordable loans available to those on social welfare in our area and is a concerted effort to combat moneylenders. All applications will be subject to approval and an assessment of affordability.

 

The project will be run in partnership with the Department of Social Protection, the Citizens Information Board, the Social Finance Foundation and An Post and is open to social welfare recipients. Those who would like to avail of this type of loan will need to join The Lough Credit Union (if not already a member) and sign up for repayments to be made to the loan via the Household Budget Scheme which is run by An Post.

 

As a Credit Union we’re delighted to take part in this pilot scheme. We are all well aware of the penal interest rates charged by moneylenders, both legal and illegal, in local communities. This pilot scheme will highlight that The Lough Credit Union is a real option for people who are on social welfare in The Lough and Togher areas of the city.

 

The target audience for the scheme are those who are excluded from mainstream credit. Essentially, the aim is to offer small loans to those using or considering using a moneylending service. The project is working to create a realistic offering to counter the ‘convenience and ease’ advantage that moneylenders have in this country. An eligible person can apply for a loan of between €100 and €2,000. This type of loan will be distinct from a standard Credit Union loan.

 

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The Central Bank estimates that about 360,000 (2013 Report on Licensed Moneylending Industry) people are using moneylending services in Ireland. This does not take into account those using unlicensed operators. Interest charged on loans from moneylenders can be 290% or even higher. The maximum interest rate which credit unions can charge is 12% (12.68% APR).Credit unions have been particularly vocal throughout the recession years about the dangers of using moneylending services as in many cases, those who avail of this type of credit are getting trapped in a cycle of debt which is very hard to break free from.

 

Information on the pilot scheme will be available in Money Advice and Budgeting Services (MABS) and St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) offices.

 

Commenting on the initiative, John-Mark McCafferty, Head of Social Justice with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, said:
“We have been advocating for an alternative to high cost moneylenders for some time and we warmly welcome the leadership shown by credit unions in the pilot to provide this product for people on social welfare who are eligible. We are working with our credit union colleagues locally throughout the pilot sites in order to ensure take-up of the scheme and more affordable credit for the households we assist”.

 

For more information please download The “It Makes Sense” Loan leaflet on our downloads page.

* Specific terms and conditions apply. Loans are subject to approval. The Lough Credit Union is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Our Charity with a Difference

For many years our credit union and our members’ have helped some of the poorest people in the world to have access to their own credit union. Through our support of the ILCU Foundation we are making a difference the world over.

 

Why our credit union & our members’ support the ILCU Foundation: 
In Cork City, we know the positive effects that The Lough Credit Union has made in our community. The work of ILCU Foundation in the developing world is hugely important as it supports credit unions to provide credit and saving facilities for poverty-stricken communities. Credit unions in low-income and developing countries can serve poor and marginalised people in society, who are normally overlooked by banks.

 

The history of the ILCU Foundation:
The ILCU Foundation was founded in 1980 and its mission is “to alleviate poverty in developing countries by supporting credit unions, their representative bodies and other co-operative type organisations as a means for socio-economic development through the provision of financial and technical assistance”.

The ILCU Foundation was set up out of a responsibility to share the success of the Irish credit union movement with similar movements in developing and low-income countries.

 

What type of work does the ILCU Foundation undertake?
The ILCU Foundation provides training for staff, directors and volunteers in credit unions in developing countries to ensure that the credit union is run in the best possible manner. It also helps to develop grassroots credit unions and guide more mature credit union movements through legislation and regulation.

Ted O'Sullivan sharing his knowledge with the attendants of a training course in Ethiopia.
Ted O’Sullivan, Douglas Credit Union, sharing his knowledge with the attendants of a training course in Ethiopia.

 

The Credit Union Effect – Shifine Mamo – Member of Gerda Busa Credit Union
Profit earned from trading vegetables that she produced on her small farm has allowed widowed mum -of- four Shifine Mamo to send all of her children to school. And following the recent graduation of her son from technical college, she is determined that her other children will also finish their education. 45-year-old Shifine is a founder member of the village credit union established with support from the ILCU Foundation in Gerda Busa village, Ethiopia, eight years ago.

Widowed mum of four Shifine on her farm in Gerda Busa village, Ethiopia
Widowed mum of four Shifine on her farm in Gerda Busa village, Ethiopia

She has received several loans from the credit union, and has used them to buy two half acre plots of land close to the village. She has bought a pump and other equipment to irrigate the crops, and now has two productive vegetable plots. Shifine is now able to grow and sell several crops of onion, tomato and other vegetables, each year. Last year she borrowed 6,000 Ethiopian Birr (€ 250) to invest in farm improvements, and at her most recent harvest sold her produce for five times that amount. ‘It is hard to raise your children without their father, but it would have been much harder for me if I hadn’t been able to start this business with help from the credit union,’ she said. Shifine Mamo sells some of the produce that she grows to local traders, but uses it also for her family. ‘We now have a much better diet,’ she said.

Shifine is optimistic about the future, and believes that her role as a member of her local savings and credit cooperative can benefit others in her community. ‘It is pleasing to see others saving and borrowing from our group, and getting the chance to increase their income and make better lives for themselves,’ she adds.

Our support of the ILCU Foundation will ensure that people like Shifine will continue to have access to a credit union to develop her farm and improve the standard of living for her family.

 

If you would like to read more about this life changing work please visit www.ilcufoundation.ie