Home Improvement Loans: Your Questions Answered

House 3 min read

23 Oct 2019

‘Well - the variable home improvement loan interest on the surmountable equity is a ratio of my asset to loan, a percentage value of my overall shares - in quintessential terms… obviously.’ Jack sips his Moroccan tea and looks at you questionably over his half-moon glasses.

We’ve all met a person like Jack in our lives: a jargon-tongued converser who enjoys the sound of his own voice and likes to use big words when talking all things finance and loans.  

If you’ve decided you want a home improvement loan without all the complexities and gobbledygook, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve noted all the questions you’ve asked us around home improvement loans and answered them below in a normal, down-to-earth way, so you’re armed with all the important knowledge before embarking on your loan journey. 

If we’ve missed anything simply pop us a home improvement loan enquiry today - we’d be more than happy to chat.

1.      Why get a home improvement loan with the credit union?
2.      How can I apply for a home improvement loan?
3.      How long does it take to get a home improvement loan?
4.      How much can I borrow for my home improvements?
5.      How much will a home improvement loan cost me?
6.      Can I apply online for my home improvement loan?
7.      Can I get a credit union loan without savings?
8.      Do I need to be a member for a particular amount of time before applying for a loan?
9.      Can I get a home improvement loan if I’m still paying off another loan?
10.      Can I get a home improvement loan with bad credit or no credit history?
11.      Can I get a home improvement loan with my mortgage?
 

1. Why get a home improvement loan with the credit union?

Credit unions are owned by their members - (that’s you by the way) – the people from the community. We don’t make a profit and like to give back to our members at the end of each year.  The level of customer experience at the credit union is unparalleled (we’ve won the Customer Experience Awards five years in a row, a global first). With some really attractive loan rates  and approval turn-around times, we’re pretty much the best place to get loans – loans with no jargon, no complexity. Just plain, simple service. 
 

2. How can I apply for a home improvement loan?

First and foremost you must be a member of a credit union to apply for a loan. Click here to read how to become a credit union member and all the documents you need to apply. Once you are a member, most offices will let you apply for a loan right away. With many credit unions, you can apply online or over the phone - whichever might suit you!
 

3. How long does it take to get a home improvement loan?

95%* of all credit unions loans are approved. (We like saying yes) Almost 80%** of standard loans are approved within 24 hours with just 8%** of loans taking longer than two days.
 

4. How much can I borrow for my home improvements?

Again, it does depend on your local credit union - (You will hear us say that quite a bit, as every office is different!) - you can borrow as little as €3,000 up to €30,000 or €75,000 and everywhere in between. No matter how big or small your home improvement needs, your credit union will try to meet them. If you have a certain amount in mind, why not submit a loan enquiry today.
 

5.How much will a home improvement loan cost me?

The annual percentage rate, which is the annualised cost of the loan, will vary from credit union to credit union. But for credit unions in the Republic of Ireland with a dedicated home improvement loan rate***, the average loan rate was 7.7% APR and the lowest rate was 4.33% APR. So if you took out €15,000 with an APR of 4.3%, you would pay a total of €16,948: That’s an extra €1,948 of interest on top of your loan. That would be €54 a month for three years.

 

6.Can I apply online for my home improvement loan?

The majority of credit unions will allow you to go online to begin the loan application process with a quick visit to the branch to complete it – but many credit unions now offer the complete loan application process online, from start to finish.
 

7.Can I get a home improvement loan without savings?

Yes, you can. We’re going to say the line again - (it depends on which credit union) – but almost 80% of credit unions in ROI and almost 60% in NI** now enable a person to join the credit union and apply immediately for a loan, without having any savings with the branch.
In terms of restrictions on first loans 79%** of credit unions do not place a restriction on the value of a loan to a first time borrower.
 

8.Do I need to be a member for a particular amount of time before applying for a home improvement loan?

Not necessarily – once you become a member of a credit union you can pretty much apply for your loan straight away. As mentioned, almost 80% of credit unions in ROI and almost 60% in NI now enable a person to join the credit union and apply immediately for a loan.
 

9.Can I get a home improvement loan if I'm still paying off another loan?

If you have credit card debt or a loan with another financial institution, you can still apply for a home improvement loan with the credit union. Your credit union may suggest you merge your loans together. Some credit unions call this a switcher loan or a consolidation loan – which could end up costing you less than paying off separate loans, if the interest rate is lower with your credit union.
 

10.Can I get a home improvement loan with bad credit or no credit history?

At the credit union, we like to look at things differently and will assess each individual case – just because you have bad credit history does not necessarily 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. We’ve also introduced the Personal Microcredit Scheme, which offers low costs loans to people on social welfare payment who might have difficulty getting credit elsewhere. The loan is called the ‘It Makes Sense’ loan.
 

11.Can I get a home improvement loan with my mortgage?

Remortgaging or essentially topping up your mortgage to pay for home improvements might be an option but there is a lot of paperwork and fees involved to do this. Taking out a straightforward low cost home improvement loan with the credit union could be better option, ensuring you have the capacity to repay.
Also if you are over a certain age, a lot of banks will not allow you to remortgage. At the credit union, we are more than happy to lend to people up to the age of 85.

If that hasn’t answered all your questions, our loan officers are on hand to listen to any queries, comments feedback or chats – simply click below to get in touch!
 


 Submit an Online Loan Enquiry
 

*ILCU Marketing and Lending Survey 2019, refers to standard loan applications which were completed in full. 91.7% were in full and 3.8% approved were not full amount.
**ILCU Marketing and Lending Survey 2019, based on a typical unsecured €/ £3,000 loan application from receipt of application.
***This data was provided to the ILCU by its affiliated credit unions in the Republic of Ireland. It relates to financial year end September 2018.