Troops or Teachers: Who Pays More for Loans?
A new survey has revealed serious disparities in loan repayments across a range of professions.
The research, carried out by the Irish Sun on Sunday, looked at the typical monthly repayments of a three-year €10,000 personal loan for those working in different industries, and the discoveries made are concerning, to say the least.
The newspaper studied the repayment rates of four public sector industries – health workers, primary school teachers, the Gardai and Defence Forces members – to see which group got the best deal on their loans.
There was little difference between those working in the Gardai and health. Health workers can expect to pay an 8.9% interest rate, while gardas are looking at interest rates of 8.25% though the St. Raphael’s Garda Credit Union.
The real surprise comes from the vast difference between the money repaid by troops and teachers. Since their interest rate sits at just 7.8%, monthly repayments for members of the Comhar INTO Credit Union total €311.15.
Defence Forces troops, on the other hand, will pay a staggering €331.90 per month. That’s because Ansac Credit Union provides interest rates of a colossal 11.95% to troops. And that’s despite profits of €675,507 for the company. Needless to say, when pushed, Ansac declined the comment on the glaring discrepancy.
This comes at a time when people are swimming in an average debt of €46,700, according to a new report from the Citizens Information Board. The report studied not just the major concerns of those visiting the board, but who were having those concerns, in order to build up an accurate picture of the state of debt: Just over half of those in need were aged between 41 and 65 years of age, more than a third were aged between 26 and 40.
The report also suggests that issues surrounding mortgage debts are down, accounting for 16.2%; meanwhile money-lending, sub-prime loans and overdue rent and fines were chief among the reasons why people were becoming indebted. This, according to the board’s chief executive Angela Black, shows that the areas where citizens needed the most help had shifted over time: An assertion backed up by the fact that while unemployment and redundancy were originally a major factor in needing financial aid, the focus now appears to be on mortgage arrears and unsustainable debt.
Housing issues, in particular, dominate, with the report outlining how many are facing homelessness for the first time in their lives – indeed, many citizens have shown themselves to be alarmed about rent supplements in particular. Mix in increasingly and unnecessarily complicated social welfare payments and you have what could prove to be a financial time-bomb.
The board explained: ‘People often face a wide range of financial and personal challenges when choosing services. This makes it critical that they can easily access information and advice about the full range of public services.’
Because of the complexities involved, social welfare was the number one topic when citizens discussed their issues with advisers on the Money Advice and Budgeting Service. The other four areas where advice and help were most requested were health, employment, money and tax.
Highlighted in the report were the root causes for much of our debt, chief among them were overdue credit card repayments, utility bills and personal loans – and considering the gulf in interest rates among troops and teachers alone much less the wider population, that will surprise precisely no-one.