Fans will finance trek to finals with help of credit union cash
FANS travelling to Eastern Europe for Euro 2012 are expected to flood credit unions with loan applications to finance their trips.
Credit unions have loan rates for holidays as low as 5.75pc -- one-third of the charge imposed by some banks.
It is expected that it will cost around €3,000 to fund the trip, although this figure does not include a budget for booze.
Working out costs is complicated by the fact that it is not yet known if Ireland's group games will be played in Poland or Ukraine. If Ireland ends up in a group whose games are played in Ukraine there could be huge logistical difficulties. This is because there is reported to be a shortage of hotel accommodation and there are vast distances between some of the cities hosting group games.
Two of the host cities -- Lviv and Donetsk -- are more than 1,000km apart.
Personal finance experts said with just six months to go, many fans who intend travelling will not have enough time to save the money needed to fund it.
The group games are expected to be played over 10 days.
The fact that it is too late to save up the money will mean credit unions are likely to be the first port of call.
A spokeswoman for the Irish League of Credit Unions said the average interest rate charged by member unions for holiday loans last year was 5.75pc. This was lower than the average personal loan rate of around 10pc.
Credit unions offer some of their cheapest loans for car purchases, but people getting these have to prove that they bought a car.
Banks, in contrast, charge from 11.5pc at National Irish Bank and 15.9pc at Bank of Ireland for a one-year personal loan of €3,000.
The League spokeswoman said loans are offered to creditworthy members. "All loans are subject to relevant checks being completed," she said.