How to Apply for a Back to School Credit Union Loan
No one wants to have to borrow to cover back to school costs. The reality however is that many have no choice, due to the scale of the costs. In fact, our June 2019 survey showed that over a third of parents are getting into debt funding back to school. This is not surprising when parents are spending €1,399 per child at second level (£1,067 in Northern Ireland). At primary school, parents are forking out €949 (£776 in Northern Ireland) per child.*
Our top back to school money saving tips should hopefully take some sting out of the costs. You may still find however that your household budget will not stretch to cover all the costs. So, where should you turn if you need to borrow?
Not all forms of credit are created equal! For instance, credit unions are ethical and not-for-profit lenders. We provide quick and convenient access to affordable credit. We ensure that what you borrow will not put you in unnecessary debt. See more on how a credit union works.
So, if you need financial assistance at back to school time, but want to borrow in a prudent way that won’t put your household in a lot of debt, then the credit union is probably the best option for you.
What is a Credit Union Back to School Loan?
A Back to School Loan from your local credit union is a more human loan. Credit unions are not here to profit from those who borrow from them, but to make life easier for them. Credit union loan officers will take the time to assess your loan application fairly and in full. A credit union loan officer will take into consideration your ability to repay. They will go above and beyond to ensure that you are approved for the loan. Importantly however, they will ensure that the loan amount you apply for will not put you in unnecessary debt. They will ensure that the repayments are structured in a way that suit your individual circumstances best.
Credit unions are very flexible, and will be happy to work with you restructure the back to school loan if you need. You can also pay back the loan earlier than agreed without any financial penalty. In fact, there are never any hidden fees or charges with a credit union loan. For full information, see our blog on the benefits of a credit union loan.
You can also talk to your local credit union for more specific information, or submit an online loan enquiry. In short, you can be assured that a credit union loan will take the stress out of the financial side of back to school!
Why is a Back to School Credit Union Loan Better than a Credit Card?
According to our survey, 13% of parents in the Republic of Ireland and 22% in Northern Ireland will opt for the credit card to cover the back to school shopping list. The credit card might seem easy and convenient. The minimum repayments may seem manageable. The reality however is that you are getting into long-term, unnecessary debt. The average interest charged by credit card companies in Ireland typically run between 13% and 23%. These are hefty interest rates. Especially when you consider that credit union loans are capped at 12.68% APR, and in reality, most credit unions charge significantly lower rates than this.
In addition, the majority of people in Ireland are not actually fully aware of how credit card interest works. Research we carried out showed that six in ten said they didn’t even know what interest rate they paid on their credit card! Find out more about the lack of knowledge surrounding credit cards in our blog on the topic.
In short, credit cards are complex financial products that can result in high levels of unnecessary debt. Not to mention the fact that if you miss a repayment, it will go on your credit record on the Central Credit Register.
Why is a Back to School Credit Union Loan Better than a Moneylender/Payday Loan Company?
Avoid moneylenders at all costs. According to the Central Bank of Ireland’s Moneylender Index, licenced moneylenders in this country are charging interest rates as high as 288%!** Compare that with the max 12.68% a credit union charges and you can see why it makes more sense to speak with your local, friendly credit union. In addition, credit unions are far more flexible, and can work with you to restructure repayments if you are having issues repaying the loan.
How to Apply for A Credit Union Back to School Loan
To get a credit union loan, you first need to be a member of a credit union. Becoming a member is a very straightforward, quick and easy process. In the majority of credit unions, as soon as you are a member you can apply for a loan straight away. You can either talk to one of the friendly loan officers face-to-face as soon as you join, pick up the phone or send an online loan enquiry.
As with any financial institution, there are a number of documents you’ll need in order to become a member. You can see those documents here, and for full details, see our blog on how to apply for a credit union loan.
Or Submit an Online Loan Enquiry
*ILCU 2019 ROI and NI Back to School Costs Survey
**Central Bank of Ireland Moneylender Register, July 2019, inclusive of collection charge