The “It Makes Sense loan” has been available in 30 Credit Unions, including Core Credit Union, since last November on a pilot basis. Now the Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has confirmed that the scheme, designed to offer low-cost loans to low-income families, is moving to a permanent footing.
The loan is designed to make short-term credit available on a low-cost basis to the people who need it most, and is designed specifically as an alternative to high-cost money-lenders.
To-date more than 1,200 loans have been drawn down with an overall value of over €720,000. The average individual loan is €500. The pilot stage showed that more than half of those using the scheme had previously used a money-lender, and that 22% of those on the scheme were thinking about using a money-lender before they signed up.
This is a tremendous opportunity for credit unions to reach out to and serve over 360,000 people who are paying exorbitant interest rates to licensed moneylenders.
For more information on “It Makes Sense Loans”, contact any one of the Core Credit Union offices. Visit www.corecu.ie for opening hours and contact details.