SPONSORED: Back to school or off to college – Thomastown Credit Union can help share the cost burden
THE exam results are out and the CAO offers are coming in. It is an exciting time for students and their families – a major milestone on the road to adult life.
But for many parents this occasion, which should be so happy, is marred by financial stress. Anxiety over how to meet the costs of third level education too often spoils this moment of pleasure and pride.
A Credit Union survey has found almost 80 per cent of parents struggle to cope with the costs. And for many families there is an added burden, because the demands of third level education come on top of the annual cost of getting their children back to school.
Nobody can banish these worries entirely, but Thomastown Credit Union can do a lot to reduce them with Back to School Loans and Third Level Loans.
The Back to School Loan helps parents manage such costs as bus tickets, uniforms, and books. It allows parents to spread the cost over a year with repayments that are manageable. For example, on a loan of €1,000, the weekly repayment will be €20.43 and the total amount repayable is €1,062.10. So total interest payable is just €62.10.
Third Level Education Loans are spread over a five-year period. That means lower repayments which can be particularly important for parents who have a number of children attending college at the same time.
On a Third Level Loan of €10,000, weekly repayments will be €46.13. Over five years, the total amount repaid will be just €11,990.66.
Applications are accepted on personal loans of up to €50,000 above shares and all applications are assessed on the individual circumstances of the member.
It is that personal touch that makes Thomastown Credit Union special. It knows its members and cares about them.
“We are a financial co-operative, “ says CEO Anne Marie Daly. “Our ethos is not to make a profit but to look after all our members.”
Thomastown Credit Union has more than 5,000 members in a catchment area that includes Thomastown, Bennettsbridge, Dungarvan, Ballyhale, Knocktopher, Stoneyford and Inistioge.
It makes a distinctive contribution to the funding of third level education in the form of the Canon Carrol Scholarship.
This is an education fund worth €10,000 annually. The fund is divided between five lucky students! It is decided by lottery draw so any member has a chance to win.
Applicants must be in third level education and working for a certificate, diploma, degree or masters. This year, for the first time, apprentices attending a college under the terms of their apprenticeship can also be included. Application forms will be available at the end of September and the draw will take place at the Annual General Meeting in December.
Thomastown Credit Union is proud of its role in helping fund education locally. But it does much more:
*Members can borrow up to €50,000 for personal loans;
*It offers competitive loan rates and flexible repayments;
*Online banking is available to all members overt the age of 16;
*The Thomastown office is open every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday;
*There is late opening on Friday nights, from 7pm to 9pm;
*The Bennettsbridge office is open every Wednesday.
“We focus on always having friendly staff – Maria, Theresa, Deirdre and Laura – who are available to assist the members,” says Anne Marie Daly.
The objective of Thomastown Credit Union is to provide a great service for its members. All of the surplus at the end of the year is allocated to reserves for the future of the credit union and disturbed to members in the form of a dividend and interest rebate.
As part of that service, Thomastown Credit union supports the local community.
“We lend to clubs in the community,” adds Anne Marie. “This helps the clubs to develop better facilities for the community.
“We provide sponsorship for community groups and clubs. We run a school savings scheme for primary schools. A member of staff, Maria Maher, visits the schools weekly where children lodge to their accounts. This is a great service and teaches the children the importance of saving.”
To make an appointment with the Thomastown Credit Union team, call 056 772 4445 or log on to: https://www.thomastowncreditunion.ie/