NAAS Credit Union is encouraging people to borrow money – at a time when bank branches have closed in the town and others are either unable or unwilling to lend.
In a departure with tradition, the Naas Credit Union is dealing with loan requests from people who are currently non-members and those without an established savings record.
Prudent financial management at NCU has seen the amount of money available to loan exceed €30m and householders have been leafleted urging then to consider NCU for a loan.
According the leaflet it takes only 15 minutes to become a member and to apply for a loan.
General Manager Sean Murray conceded that “it is unusual” for a financial institution to have a sizeable sum to lend and added that as a community-based organsiation, it’s part of NCU’s role to take savings and give loans.
He also told the Leader that demand for credit is low and people aren’t as interested in borrowing as in the past.
“Still, some people have a need to borrow and we will work to facilitiate them,” Mr. Murray added.
NCU will be no easy touch however and loans will be given only those who can repay.
“We are conservative but where we can facilitate people we will,” Mr. Murray said.
He stressed that the NCU interest rate of 9.5% (apr 9.93%) is very competitive when compared with other lenders. At the other end of the scale moneylenders can demand interest rates of up to 182%.
Like any other institution, he said NCU takes in money from people who can afford to save and lend it to those who need to borrow.
“Because we are not-for-profit entity any surplus goes back into the Credit Union.”
The NCU currently has 21,000 members.