How to get a credit union loan in Ireland
Joining a credit union could give you access to lower loan rates and other benefits. Here’s how they work, what loans you can get and how to apply.
Why choose a credit union loan?
Getting a loan from a credit union offers different benefits to borrowing from a bank:
How much can you borrow?
It varies between each credit union and the loan type, but you could borrow as little as €500 up to €40,000 or €100,000 from a credit union - and anywhere in between.
The amount you borrow will also depend on your individual financial circumstances, your credit record and your ability to pay the loan back.
How to apply for a credit union loan
Once you’re a member of a credit union, you can apply:
- By phone
- In person at your local credit union branch
If you apply online, you may still have to go into your local branch to finalise the loan terms.
Each credit union works a bit differently and may require different documentation or consent, so it’s best to check their website or give them a call if you need more information.
Will your credit union loan be approved?
This depends on your individual circumstances, but the approval process is slightly different than when you apply for a loan from a bank.
Your application will be assessed individually by a loan officer or member of the credit committee. They will consider things like:
- Past borrowing and any savings you have
- Your Central Credit Register (CCR) report
- Whether you can comfortably afford to repay the loan
Here’s how to check your credit report for free and ways to improve your credit score.
Credit union loan FAQs
How much will my credit union loan repayments be?
The amount you’ll pay depends on things like:
- The frequency of the repayments e.g, monthly or weekly
- The interest rate you’re charged
- The amount you borrow
- The term you borrow over
You can get an idea what your repayments will be by using the loan calculators available on most credit union websites. The interest rate used in the examples may not be the rate you get, so check before you sign up to anything.
Can you get a credit union loan with bad credit or no credit history?
Just because you have bad credit history does not mean you will be refused a loan outright. Each credit union will look at your current capacity to pay and assess every case as it comes.
How are credit unions regulated?
The Central Bank of Ireland has a department called the Registry of Credit Unions that regulates and oversees credit unions.
Being regulated means that the member’s funds are protected and the credit unions themselves remain financially stable.