The It Makes Sense loan
What is the 'It Makes Sense' loan?
The It Makes Sense loan (also known as the Personal Microcredit Scheme) is a small credit union loan at a low interest rate for people who are getting a social welfare payment. The scheme aims to reduce dependence on moneylenders that charge very high interest rates.
You can apply to borrow between €100 and €2,000. A maximum interest rate of 12% (12.74% APR) will apply.
If you are not a member of your local credit union, you can join and apply immediately for an It Makes Sense loan.
Who can apply?
You can apply for an It Makes Sense loan if you:
- Are aged over 18
- Are getting a social welfare payment
- Agree to repay the loan through the Household Budget Scheme if you get your social welfare payment at a post office
If your social welfare payment is paid into a bank or credit union account, you must repay the loan by standing order or direct debit. Check with your credit union whether it provides this option.
You can apply for a loan for any purpose, including to repay an outstanding debt.
How to apply
You apply for an It Makes Sense loan through your credit union. If you are not a member, you will need to apply to join.
Not all credit unions take part in the scheme – view a list of participating credit unions where you can apply.
The scheme rules may differ between credit unions. For example, some credit unions may offer loans at lower amounts or ask a member to save for a certain amount of time before applying for a loan. Contact your credit union for details.
Joining the credit union
If you are not already a member of the credit union you will need to provide:
- Proof of your identity – for example, a current passport or driving licence
- Proof of your address – for example, a recent household bill or a recent document issued by a government department
- Your PPS number
Applying for an It Makes Sense loan
If you collect your weekly social welfare payment at the post office, when you apply for the loan you need to bring 2 consecutive social welfare slips (from within the previous 4 weeks).
If you get your social welfare payment into a bank or credit union account, you need to bring recent statements for the account. Check with the credit union how many statements you need to bring.
Your local credit union can help you fill out a loan application form.
The credit union will decide whether to grant a loan and the amount of the loan.
Repaying the loan
You must repay your loan each week from your social welfare payment through the Household Budget Scheme or, if your credit union agrees, by direct debit or standing order from your bank or credit union account.
The maximum deduction from your payment that is allowed under the Household Budget Scheme is 25% of your weekly social welfare payment. This includes any other deductions that you may already have under the Household Budget Scheme (for example, for rent or for household bills).
The maximum interest rate you will be charged for an It Makes Sense loan is 12% a year (12.74% APR).