SPONSORED: Serving the community – Thomastown Credit Union provided €4m in loans to members over past year
A good credit union is part of the community it serves – indeed, it is at the very heart of the community.
In the past 12 months alone, Thomastown Credit Union has issued almost €4 million in loans to members. People have borrowed for home improvements, cars, medical expenses, education, communions, confirmations and holidays.
What goes around comes around. Much of this money circulates locally, boosting the economy of the area served by Thomastown Credit Union. This district or Common Bond area includes Ballyhale, Knocktopher, Inistioge, Stoneyford, Dungarvan, Bennettsbridge and, of course, Thomastown itself.
“More members than ever are joining Thomastown Credit Union to borrow from us,” explains CEO Anne Marie Daly.
“Our loan book is currently €6.6 million and we have seen an increase of 12% in loan applications in the last financial year.”
When you apply for a loan through Thomastown Credit Union you can be sure of a fair hearing and an honest and transparent process.
The Thomastown team take time to understand the reasons behind each loan application, and will do their utmost to approve the loan.
Members can apply for loans at the offices in Thomastown or Bennettsbridge or online at: https://www.thomastowncreditunion.ie/secure.asp?section=104&bgc=&sbgc=
Thomastown Credit Union’s loan terms and conditions are straightforward. There are no hidden fees or administration charges and there are no penalties for early repayment. Staff will work with the borrower to ensure loan repayments are structured in a way that best suit their circumstances.
“We are a not for profit organisation,” explains Anne Marie. “Our aim is to look after the interests of our members. We lend at competitive rates starting from 6% APR for secured loans.
“Our best unsecured rate is 6.4% (6.6%APR). The Board of Directors have allocated €2 million at this rate. There has been a high demand with only €600,000 remaining.”
This month, for the fifth year in a row, the Irish Credit Union movement topped a survey of customer experience.
Credit Unions were the only representative from the financial sector to even make the top 100 of the survey, conducted by Amárach Research on behalf of the CX Company.
It is the staff and the people in the front line who really drive perceptions of good customer experience, said Gerard O’Neil, Chairman of Amárach Research.
He said that while technology is important, the credit unions have managed to combine the best of positive technology, which helps the digital experience, with the personal, human interaction that is important to people.
And that’s how it works at Thomastown Credit Union. “We do our best to make sure someone gets the loan they need,” says Anne Marie Daly. “It’s a small community, so we know how much a loan can mean.”
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 distributed to members in the form of a dividend and/or interest rebate.
As part of that service, Thomastown Credit Union supports the local community. “We lend to clubs in the community,” says Anne Marie. “This helps the clubs to develop better facilities for the community.
“We provide sponsorship for community groups and clubs and we run a school savings scheme for primary schools. A member of staff visits the schools each week where children lodge to their accounts. This is a great service, and teaches the children the importance of saving.”
As we said, what goes around comes around. And it starts with Thomastown Credit Union, part of the community and at the heart of the community.
Its Thomastown office is open every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Bennettsbridge office is open every Wednesday and there is late opening on Friday nights, from 7 to 9pm.
To make an appointment, call 056 772 445 or log on to: http://www.thomastowncreditunion.ie