Credit Union warns over high interest loans

Irish League of Credit Unions Director Rosemary O'Doherty at the Irish League of Credit Union Annual General Meeting in the INEC, Gleneagle, Killarney on Saturday.'Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin.
Irish League of Credit Unions Director Rosemary O'Doherty at the Irish League of Credit Union Annual General Meeting in the INEC, Gleneagle, Killarney on Saturday.'Photo by Michelle Cooper Galvin.

Derry Credit Union has advised people to think of the cost of high interest loans.

The warning comes amid claims high cost lenders have been targeting new housing estates in Derry.

Rosemary O’Doherty, one of the directors of Derry Credit Union, said that high cost lenders have been targeting new housing developments because moving home involves a lot of expense.

“It is a normal thing for everyone to want to make their home livable and comfortable. Sometimes people can be enticed to take out these loans because someone is there handing it you, rather than actually thinking about the cost.”

She advised people to look at the overall repayment cost.

“We would always advise people not to borrow from high cost lenders, because Derry Credit Union is a much better option for people. The loans we offer are much better value and there are other benefits for members which they don’t have to pay for.”

She said these include loan protection insurance, a death benefit and life savings insurance. In the last year, Derry Credit Union approved over £18m in loans. Between October 2018 and September 2019, 17,662 loans were issued to the value of £18,222,347.91, an increase of £613,164 on the previous year.

Derry Credit Union, which celebrates its 60th anniversary next year, has paid out £600m in loans during that time. Ms. O’Doherty said: “We are so different to other banks or building societies as it is the community coming together, saving together and borrowing from each other before paying it back.

“You can see the benefits throughout the city as the money is used here.”