It Makes Sense scheme
‘It Makes Sense’ is a scheme which offers loans of small amounts of money at low interest rates. It is run through participating credit unions and it aims to reduce people’s dependence on money lenders, who often charge very high interest rates.
What is an It Makes Sense loan?
It Makes Sense loans are available to anyone who receives a social welfare payment who may not be able to get loans or credit from other sources.
- The loans offered are between €100 and €2,000
- The minimum repayment time is one month and goes up to a maximum of two years
- The maximum interest rate that can be applied is 12% (12.68% APR)
You can apply for a loan for any purpose, including repayment of an outstanding debt.
What do you need to apply?
To apply for an It Makes Sense loan, you must be:
- over 18 and
- receiving a social welfare payment
You must agree to repay the loan through the Household Budget Scheme or by standing order/direct debit if your social welfare payment is paid into a bank or credit union account. The Household Budget Scheme allows you to spread the cost of your household bills by paying regular amounts towards your bills, directly from your weekly social welfare payments. The maximum deduction allowed under the Household Budget Scheme is 25% of your weekly social welfare payment (this includes any other deductions, such as rent or bills).
If you have no flexibility under the Household Budget Scheme and are already using 25% of your social welfare payment for other expenses, you will not be able to get an It Makes Sense loan. In this case, you may wish to contact the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) to discuss your other options.
How do you apply?
You apply for an It Makes Sense loan through your local credit union. A list of participating credit unions is available on the It Makes Sense website.
If you are not a member of your local credit union you should contact them to ask how to become a member. You may need to provide evidence of your name, address and PPS number. Once you join, you can be considered immediately for an It Makes Sense loan. Usually loans will be granted within 24 hours of becoming a credit union member and making the loan application.
When you apply you will need to bring two consecutive social welfare slips (from within the previous four weeks) if you collect your weekly payment at the post office. If you receive your social welfare payment into a bank or credit union account, you will need two months’ bank/credit union statements.