Friday 30 September 2016

Up to 30 credit unions sought for microloan pilot scheme

Niall O'Connor and Charlie Weston

Published 24/06/2015 | 02:30

Kevin Humphreys
Kevin Humphreys

The Government plans to roll out its new microloan scheme in up to 30 credit unions from September as talks continue with the Central Bank over a nationwide rollout.

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Six credit unions have expressed an interest in being part of the scheme, which will see loans of up to €1,000 being provided to thousands of families per year.

The plan, revealed by the Irish Independent, has been warmly welcomed by charities and other interest groups.

The Government is hopeful it can sign up 30 credit unions ahead of the pilot scheme, which will focus on working-class, urban areas.

Interest rates of up to 12pc would be charged, compared with 188pc charged by some moneylenders, and MABS and St Vincent de Paul will be involved.

Labour minister Kevin Humphreys who is leading the initiative, said it had been needed for decades.

"It's vitally important, particular given the huge numbers of people that turn to moneylenders," he said.

The Household Budgeting Scheme would ensure that those who take out a loan have the necessary support to ensure they can meet repayments. It is understood the scheme may be expanded once the loans are introduced.

Irish Independent

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