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How to Get a Credit Union Christmas Loan

Community 3 min read

14 Dec 2021

Christmastime - mistletoe, wine, logs on the fire, and... more restrictions to see? Hopefully not. This year, as we shakily dust ourselves off and try to brave the festive season with a smile - many of us may still be apprehensive about what's ahead. Given that, recent research by Retail Ireland estimates that Irish households will spend €832 this year, a 5% increase from last year.

At the credit union, we love Christmas but we understand it can be a hard season for many. There can be never-ending to-do lists, stress and enormous costs involved. So, if you think you might be in need of a loan (and you’re looking for the stress-free kind) – look no further than your local credit union. Below, we've listed the main queries we get when applying for a Christmas Loan.

This  year, as SMEs still struggle, and a lack of office goers, tourists and closing bars and restaurants has led to a drop in footfall for many shops, we encourage you to shop (and borrow!) local - and support your local community. 

Submit an Online Loan Enquiry

How can I Apply for a Credit Union Christmas loan?

First and most importantly, to apply for a loan you need be a member of a credit union. If you’re not already a member it’s easy to join. You will need the usual documents including I.D and address verification. Check out our blog on for everything you need to know about opening a credit union account.
Once you become a member of a credit union you can pretty much apply for your loan straight away. Almost 80% of credit unions in the Republic of Ireland, and almost 60% in Northern Ireland*, allow you to join the credit union and apply immediately for a loan (without having any savings there).
With many credit unions, you can apply online or over the phone - whichever suits you better. See, we’re all about doing things stress-free!

What Documentation do I Need to Apply for a Credit Union Christmas loan?

Every credit union is independent, so the documents you need might vary slightly from one to the other. It’s best to always check with your local credit union before applying. You can pop in to your local office, pick up the phone or send an email. You can find contact details for your local credit union here.

How Long does it Take to Get a Credit Union Christmas loan?

There is a short enough window for Christmas shopping. So, it’s good news that almost 80%* of standard credit union loans are approved within 24 hours. Ensure you have all the documentation you need ready before you apply for a loan to make the process as quick as possible!

How Much can I Borrow for a Credit Union Christmas loan?

In terms of first loans, 79%** of credit unions do not place a restriction on the value of a loan if you’re a first time borrower. However, we would never advise that you borrow more than you need or can afford. Christmas is an annual event and ideally the term (how long you are paying the loan back) and value of the loan should reflect that.


Can I get a Credit Union Christmas Loan with Bad or No Credit History?


Your credit union will assess your loan application on an individual basis. Just because you might have bad credit history does not necessarily mean you will be refused a loan. Your loan officer will look at your current capacity to pay, and assess every case as it comes. Some credit unions also offer 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 – and you can find the full list of participating credit unions here.
Even if your local credit union is not on the list, it is worth contacting them. You can enquiring about loan products they might offer to those who are unemployed.

Why is a Credit Union Christmas Loan Better than a Moneylender/Payday Loan Company?

Christmas is expensive enough without paying exorbitant interest rates on top of everything else. According to the Central Bank of Ireland’s Moneylender Index, licenced moneylenders in the Republic of Ireland are charging interest rates as high as 288%!***
In Northern Ireland, for a loan of £750, the amount payable would be £1,237.50. The average APR for high-cost, short-term credit hovers around 1,250% according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).**** Yikes!
Compare that with the maximum 12.68% APR a credit union can charge. You can see why it makes more sense to speak with your local credit union. In practice, most credit unions have Christmas loan interest rates which are significantly lower than that. (You can find more detailed information on credit union loan rates here).
 And not only that, many credit unions will also offer a loan interest rebate at the end of the year, making credit union loans even more appealing!
So if you are in need of a credit union Christmas loan, just send a loan enquiry to your local credit union below! And have yourself a merry and stress-free Christmas.

Submit an Online Loan Enquiry


*ILCU Marketing and Lending Survey 2019, refers to standard loan applications which were completed in full.
**ILCU Marketing and Lending Survey 2019, based on a typical unsecured €/£3,000 loan application from receipt of application.
***Central Bank of Ireland Moneylender Register, July 2019, inclusive of collection charge
*****Financial Conduct Authority, UK January 2019 Consumer Credit-High Cost Short-term Credit Lending Data