Irish League of Credit Unions Report Christmas Loans in Demand

Credit unions in Ireland are seeing a significant increase in applications for €500 and €600 loans, reflective of households trying to fund their Christmas spending.

Families have also been asking for loans for their home-heating oil, as the cost for 1,000 litres has increase by more than €150.

An Irish League of Credit Unions spokeswoman said consumers didn’t have much choice but to borrow funds to handle the season. Since November, credit unions have seen a rise in small loans, as the members prepared themselves for the holiday season.

“Credit unions have noticed a significant growth in demand for small loans since mid-November as members prepare for Christmas.

“This has accelerated considerably in the last week. We believe that this is not confined to any particular group of credit unions, as the same reports are coming from credit unions all over the country.”

The Irish League of Credit Unions has asked sector regulator James O’Brien to ease lending restrictions during the month of December. Roughly 300 credit unions have some kind of lending restriction placed on them. There are more than 400 credit unions across the state.

It is reported there are some cases where credit unions are allowed to only loan €100,000 each month, meaning members who have good repayment histories might be turned down for any additional loans.

The Irish League of Credit Unions sent out a warning about moneylenders taking advantage of folks who are unable to obtain loans through their community lender due to the present lending rules.

According to research compiled by the League of Credit Unions, four in 10 adults could be in debt to pay for all Christmas celebrations, which coincides with reports of an extremely high demand for the loans. In fact, it could take some people nearly seven months to repay the money they borrowed to purchase presents, drinks and food. And, women are likely to spend more money than men are, running their debts up.

Many people dip into their savings to pay for the holiday season, with one in ten using their credit cards, according to the league. Other people will look to borrow the money from credit unions or moneylenders.

Article by Loans information and tools in Ireland.

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