Credit Union Farm Loans

Community 3 min read

06 May 2020

Irish farmers have seen a large decrease in beef production as export markets remain closed and the closure of restaurants - most notably those such as Supermacs and McDonalds who would have bought in large qualities - remain in place. Although retail sales of beef are up, there’s been a larger decrease in demand from commercial outlets across the EU. Dairy has suffered in the same way, as retail demand plummets and milk prices drop.

Many farmers experiencing a reduced turnover have had to look to government supports. We've outlined these below, as well as credit union financial offerings that could be of help. 

Farming Grants and Supports

 The Irish government are offering farmers who have incurred a substantial loss of income as a result of restrictions, the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. This means that full-time farmers who cannot sell their stock and therefore have no income can claim the payment. Part-time farmers who have lost off-farm employment and who have suffered a substantial loss of income can also qualify. More details here

The EU have pledged an €80 million COVID-19 aid package for farmers across the European Union but many farmers here weren’t enthusiastic about the package, saying it fell short of what was needed. 

Credit Union Farming Supports

As credit unions touch on all parts of their community, many offer specific loans created for the Agri sector, with benefits such as loan protection insurance at no direct cost to the member (subject to eligibility, terms and conditions), tailored repayment plans and a personal service.

If you’re a farmer and have been affected by COVID-19, talk to your local credit union about financial advice, payment breaks or financial support. You can find your local credit union here.

Below are a range financial packages built specifically for farmers. 


1.Cultivate Loan

Twenty-six credit unions across Clare/Limerick, Cork, Galway, Kerry, Offlay/Westmeath and Tipperary launched the Cultivate Loan - an initiative that provides short to medium term loans built specifically around the needs of farming members. The loan, developed under stakeholders from groups such as Teagasc, agri businesses, IFAC and Farm Relief Services, has a competitive interest rate of 6.75% APR*, a swift approval time and flexible repayment options.

The loan seeks to cover areas such as new or second-hand machinery, the upgrade of buildings or facilities the purchase of livestock, working capital and to increase cash flow. In a report conducted in 2019, the initiative found that the average loan amount given was €23,554 over a 5.5 year period, with stocking and working capital hailed as the most popular loan choice. Click here to find out more and how to apply.

We've listed some more credit union financial supports for farmers below. 


2. Link Credit Union Farm Loan

Link credit union have an easy loan application process with a 24-48 hour decision turnaround time. Click here to read about their farm loan.


3. St. Colmcille's (Kells) Credit Union Farm Loan

Kell’s has a dedicated farm lending team who will talk to you about tailored repayments. Click here to see their farm loan.


4. Carlow Credit Union Farm Loan

Carlow offer a competitive rate of 6.71%. Find out more about their farm loan here.


5. Claremorris Credit Union Farm Loan

Claremorris CU farm loan repayments can be tailored to suit your needs and will have free loan protection insurance, which is one of many Credit Union benefits. There are no arrangement fees or penalties for early repayment. 


6. St Canice’s Credit Union Farm Loan

St. Canice’s trained Agri Loans team can look at tailored repayment packages and offer a competitive rate of 6.75%. Click here to find out more.  


7. Access Credit Union Farm Loan

Access Credit Union aims to support local businesses and Farmers with their Acre Farming Package. Find out more here.

8. Dungarvan Credit Union Farm Loan

Dungarvan, Tallow, Lismore & Cappoquin Credit Unions also offer an agri farm finance package. More information here.

9. Kilmallock Credit Union Farm Loan

Killmallock’s loan is designed with farmers in mind, and with a very competitive interest rate. Find out more here.

10. Westport Credit Union Farm Loan

Westport Credit Union’s Farm loan is designed to support local farming. Click here for more information.

*If you borrow €50,000 @ 6.55% (6.75%APR) over 5 years and have 60 monthly repayments of €979.38 per month. The total amount to repay would be €58,762.80  with a total cost of credit of €8,762.80.