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Five Reasons to Consider a Credit Union Loan

House 4 min read

18 Oct 2019

You’re boldly going where many a fed-up homeowner has gone before. You’re embarking on a home renovation. And nothing is going to stand in your way this time. You’ve worked out how much it’s going to cost and you know you’re going to need a loan. And you won’t have done your homework properly unless you’re considering a credit union loan at this stage.

Home improvements are o-so worth-it. (Yes, Declan, they are. And we’ll thank you to keep your naysaying about partition walls and whatnot to yourself). But they are costly, and they have an annoying tendency to run over-budget. With that in mind, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the best value for your home improvement loan.

So you’ll definitely want to be considering that credit union loan. And here’s why.

1. Discounted loan rates

couple-planning-home-improvementsThis is one of the main reasons you’ll want to consider a credit union loan. Credit unions regularly offer discounted and promotional loan rates. And home improvement loans are no exception. It’s well worth enquiring about discounted rates with your local credit union. Here are just a few examples of discounted rates available around the country.


  • St Dominic’s Credit Union, Waterford: Offer a discounted rate of 6.5% APR on loans of more than €25,000. If you borrow €25,000 and pay it back over three years, in total you will pay €2,584.10 in interest.

  • Donore Credit Union, Dublin: Offer a discounted APR rate of 6.9% for first time borrowers, i.e. those who have never borrowed from the credit union before. If you take out €10,000 and pay it back over two years in monthly instalments, you will pay €1,298 interest.

  • Castleblayney Credit Union, Monaghan: A discounted APR rate of 5.75% applies to small loans (amounts under €5,000). Say you needed €2,500 for a new boiler, and wanted to pay it back in one year in monthly instalments, you would pay €97.19 in interest.

  • Portarlington Credit Union, Laois: Home improvement loans of between €40,000 and €75,000 are available at a discounted APR of 7.3%. If you borrow €50,000 and pay it back over 5 years each month, you will pay a total of €9,389.44 in interest.

This is just an example of the discounted rates you can avail of. As we said above, it’s well worth checking with your local credit union. They may have a new offer at the moment or might be planning one in the near future.


2. High loan approval rates

Another reason to consider a credit union home improvement loan is the high approval rate. Are you a little nervous that your loan application might be turned down? Do you have your heart set on doing up the house but you’re unsure you can get the loan. The good news is that credit unions are in the business of saying ‘yes’. According to the most recent statistics we have, 95.5% of credit union loans are approved.* A credit union’s mandate is to make life easier for their members and to financially assist them in achieving their goals and dreams. This is why credit union loan officers will go above and beyond to say ‘yes’ to your loan application.

Of course, as with any loan, key to the loan approval decision is your ability to repay the loan. Credit unions are ethical (and not-for-profit) lenders. So, they will never approve a loan that will put you under financial strain and make life difficult for you. There may be circumstances where a credit union will decide not to give you the full amount requested. In this situation, they will do everything in their power however to grant as close to the desired figure as possible. Again, they will carefully take into consideration your ability to repay.


3. Flexibility on loan repayments

A top reason to consider a credit union loan is the flexible approach to loan repayments. Credit unions understand that life can get in the way of your finances. Borrowers can find themselves in a situation where they are unable to meet their loan repayments for a time. This is not a problem at the credit union. Your loan officer will work with you to restructure your repayments to make life easier on you. You’ll have the option to increase your repayment amounts again if you wish.

On the flip side, maybe you’ll find that you want to pay off your loan earlier than scheduled. Or you may even have a lump sum you want to use to clear the loan. Again, never a problem at the credit union. And there will never be a financial penalty for doing so. Either way, the credit union is happy to work with every borrower to restructure loan repayments to ensure the loan is stress-free. And you’ll need as little stress as possible when you’re trying to do up the house!


4. Loan protection insurance

living-room-being-renovatedLoan protection insurance is yet another reason why you should consider a credit union loan for your home improvements. The premium for this insurance on your loan is paid for by the credit union (provided you are an eligible member of the credit union).

This enables you to borrow from your credit union in the confidence that your dependents won’t have to repay the outstanding balance in the unlikely event of your death. You can check with your local credit union upon borrowing for full details of their loan protection policy. You can read further information on eligible credit union members here.


5. Top up loans

We’re running out of space to list the reasons why you should consider a credit union loan! Here’s one last one before you go. Top up loans are a popular and flexible option offered by numerous credit unions. With the top-up option, you can decide to increase an existing loan. Of course, you will need to be fully up to date with your existing loan repayments.

Depending on your circumstances, this might be more convenient than waiting to pay off an original loan. Say you have a €15,000 car loan. You’ve been doing some home improvements but they’ve run over budget. You need €2,000 quickly to finish them before the winter sets in. Here is where a top-up loan comes in really handy. You may be paying the original loan at a different interest rate to the top-up loan. Your credit union loan officer will explain all of the terms and conditions in plain English for you.

It’s a great option to add to an existing loan, especially if you have emergency home improvements. Your credit union loan officer will of course carry out a ‘financial health check’ first to ensure you won’t be taking on too much debt.

Leaning towards a credit union loan for those dream home improvements? Why not click below to send a quick loan enquiry. Your credit union will be back to you will all the info you need!
 Submit an Online Loan Enquiry


*ILCU Marketing and Lending Survey 2019, refers to standard loan applications which were completed in full.