The scheme is being made available in participating credit unions across the country and is open to those in receipt of social welfare who are over 18 years of age. Being in receipt of social welfare does not entitle a potential borrower to a loan. The decision to grant a loan remains with the credit union.
To join a credit union, you must belong to the common bond. For community credit unions, this would mean that you need to live or work in the local area. For a work place credit union, this generally means that you need to be an employee or related to an employee of the organisation or company.
For those who receive social welfare in cash (in a post office), the repayment for this loan must be made via the Household Budget Scheme (see here for more information on the HBS), which is run by An Post. Borrowers must be willing to sign up to and use the Household Budget Scheme to enable loan repayments to be made.
For those who receive social welfare electronically (into a bank or credit union account), repayments for THE “It Makes Sense” LOAN must be made by standing order or direct debit, directly from the account which receives the social welfare payment. Please note that some credit unions will only grant a loan if the repayment can be made via the Household Budget Scheme. Please check with your local credit union.
The loan can be for any purpose including to repay an outstanding debt and can be approved quickly. Loans can be granted quickly after making the loan application. As with any loan scheme, potential borrowers must be able to show a capacity and willingness to repay the loan. The minimum loan amount is €100 and the maximum amount which can be borrowed under this scheme is €2,000. Some credit unions only offer a certain loan amount such as €500. Please discuss this with your local credit union.
Note: Each credit union implements the scheme in a manner which works best for their local situation. This may include certain controls such as offering the loan for a lower amount or asking a member to save for a certain amount of time before applying for a loan. Please discuss the local rules of the scheme with each participating credit union.