Sadhbh’s Experience

Sadhbh’s Experience

At the start of this year’s Age Action, Computer and Device Classes the students from Ursulines were asked to write about their experiences. The first student to submit her piece on her experiences was Sadhbh Casey.

A Unique Opportunity

In transition year our school was given a unique opportunity to team up with and work alongside Age Action. It is an organisation that helps to integrate the young and older members of our community. Our task as tutors was to meet every Monday afternoon for six weeks with Age Action and our learners at St. Michael’s Credit Union. We would spend time with our learners, teaching them the IT skills they wanted to learn. Each person brought along the device they wanted to learn about, such as smartphones, laptops or tablets. For us, they are everyday things but for many members of the older generation, they’re simply mind-boggling devices.

We proceeded to teach them new skills every week like sending emails, booking flights and even shopping online. When each of us was assigned a partner on the first day we were a little nervous but as time went on it became just like chatting with friends. What we saw as a small thing to do was often a much bigger deal for the learner but it was great to share our knowledge. This experience was unforgettable and definitely life-changing for the older people who’ve learned new skills. Technology is becoming so important that it is key that not only young people grow with it!

We would like to thank Sadhb for expressing her experiences of being part of the Age Action classes. Also a big thank you to the volunteers, leaners and other tutors for making the classes so educational but also enjoyable.

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No Tricks With A Credit Union Loan

No Tricks With A Credit Union Loan

Over the coming days, children and adults alike will be dressing up for Halloween. Children will be going door to door trick or treating as is Halloween tradition. At St. Michael’s Credit Union, there are no tricks attached to our loans or the application process! As of the end of October 2017, we have approved 97% of loan applications.

Loans With No Tricks

However, there are plenty of treats available to members when borrowing from their Credit Union;

  • With a Credit Union loan, there are no administration charges, hidden fees or transactions charges.
  • Repayments are calculated on your reducing balance, so you pay less interest with each repayment.
  • You can pay off your personal loan early, make additional lump sum repayments or increase your regular repayments, without a penalty. Other lenders could charge you extra for paying them back faster!
  • In the unfortunate event of your death, your credit union loan is insured – subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria – at no direct cost to you the member.
  • St. Michael’s Credit Union offers a variety of interest rates that are fair and reasonable.
  • We strive to make our loans process as straightforward and easy to understand as possible for members.

Our friendly staff are here to assist members through the loans process. No matter the size of the loan or the kind of question you have they are happy to help. At your credit union, you are in a position to talk with a familiar face.

Also, Credit Unions are democratically run and accountable to their members and not outside shareholders and every member has one vote, it does not matter how many shares they have.

halloween

 

Raffle in Support of Dylan

Raffle in Support of Dylan

Dylan Mc Carthy is a 16 year old from Mahon, who was born with a condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). This is an inherited condition that affects the body’s connective tissues. Connective tissue is responsible for supporting and structuring our skin, blood vessels, bones, and organs. This is a progressive condition that is caused by a defect in collagen production. Which means that Dylan has no collagen in his ligaments, therefore, he dislocates his joints on a regular basis and unfortunately, this is happening more regularly. As you can imagine this is extremely painful and the more often it happens the more pain Dylan is in.

Dylan loves sports and especially athletics where he competes in the discus, javelin and shot putt. To date, Dylan has represented Ireland twice at international competitions in Prague and Holland. Taking home the silver medal on both occasions in the shot putt. Dylan has also won several awards in Ireland for his sporting achievements, including coming second in the overall athlete of the year in 2016’s Grand Prix season. Dylan has been training for an upcoming International competition in Portugal this coming December.

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Up to the end of 2016 athletics season, Dylan competed as a standing athlete but by the start of 2017, his condition had deteriorated. He is now in a wheelchair full time and has to compete as a seated athlete. As a result, different equipment has to be sourced to ensure Dylan can keep competing in the sports he loves to the best of his ability as a seated athlete. Recently Dylan has received his own personalised throwing frame that is built specifically for him along with other equipment, including a special protective case for the frame. All of these expenses add up and make it difficult for Dylan’s parents Sandra and Michael Mc Marthy to cover the costs.

We’re proud to be involved in helping this young man to fulfill his love of sports and to represent Ireland on the international stage. Raffle tickets will be available from St. Michael’s on Thursday 21st to Saturday 23rd of September to help raise money to cover the costs. The prize is for a fantastic hamper!

 

 

College Costs

College Costs

As Leaving Certificate students mull over their CAO offers, they can take heart that the majority of third level students are now highly optimistic about their future job prospects. A new survey, commissioned by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), has examined the attitudes and concerns of 474 third level students and 539 parents of college-going students.

What the Students Say;

75% of students expect to find work in Ireland when they finish third level, compared with just 39% in 2011 at the height of the economic recession. Less than a third of students (30%) expect to have to emigrate to find work, compared with a huge 75% in 2011. 10% of students now say they will actively look for a job overseas – down significantly from 32% six years ago. Over two thirds of students (65%) say they are looking forward to a bright future in Ireland – compared with just 21% in 2011.

In 2011, two thirds of students (64%) said their biggest concern was not finding a job – that figure has dropped considerably with just over one third (35%) now reporting this to be their biggest worry.

Money Concerns

While confidence levels have improved hugely and the outlook in 2017 is largely optimistic, the attitude towards college-related finance and money issues has remained broadly the same. Students continue to struggle to cope with the pressure of third level costs – with two thirds (66%) saying financial worries are negatively impacting their overall college experience in 2017. This is almost on a par with 67% at the height of the recession in 2011. Almost six in ten students (59%) say that finance and debt is their biggest concern in 2017, a fall of just 9% on 2011 figures (68%).

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There has been a notable increase in the numbers saying they have to work throughout the college term to help make ends meet. Two thirds (66%) now say they are working compared with 55% in 2011. Students are also working longer hours in 2017 – reporting an average of 21 hours a week for a weekly wage of €231, compared with 14.5 hours per week for a wage of €145 in 2011. Almost a quarter of students who work in 2017 say they are skipping lectures to do so (22%).

Commenting on the findings, ILCU Head of Marketing and Communications Emmet Oliver said: “It’s very heartening to see such optimism for the future amongst our younger generations. It remains clear however that the day-to-day reality of coping with the cost of third level is putting a significant strain on students with such large numbers reporting that it negatively impacts their college experience and with many having to work and skip lectures to help make ends meet.”

“We would encourage all students, and their parents, who may need financial support for third level, or who simply need some advice with finance, to seek assistance. We would like to reassure them that they are always welcome to contact their local credit union to avail of guidance with budgeting and personal finance. Credit unions also offer some of the most competitive student and education loans on the market.”

Accommodation Issues

Accommodation is a source of major concern for students in 2017 with rental costs the main obstacle in finding somewhere suitable to live. Four in ten had not yet sourced accommodation at the time of the survey (July 2017). Of these, 68% said they were worried that they may not be able to find accommodation for the coming college year. Over half of the same group (54%) said it was because accommodation was too expensive, while well over a quarter (29%) said it was because they were unable to find anything suitable

Of all students surveyed, nine in ten view rental costs as being extremely or very high. 58% plan on living at home for the approaching college term in 2017, rising to 66% for the 2018 college term.

What The Parents Say;

The survey found that parents are also more optimistic about the prospects of employment for their children after college. In 2011, 41% of parents said their child finding a job was this was their biggest worry, this figure has almost halved to 20% in 2017.

Money Concerns

However, on a less positive note, the numbers saying that money issues are their biggest worry has risen considerably. In 2011, 25% of parents reported this to be their greatest college-related concern, now one third of parents (33%) say it is their biggest worry. It comes in well ahead of worrying about misuse of drugs and alcohol (15%) and their children passing exams (14%). Previous increases in college registration fees (to a maximum rate of €3,000) could be one of the reasons why money is now the biggest worry for third level parents.

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Indeed, when asked about the effect of the increased registration fees, 75% said family budgets had been adversely impacted by this. Almost eight in ten parents surveyed in 2017 (79%) said they will struggle to cover the cost of their child’s third level education.

Accommodation Issues

Parents are also finding accommodation a significant worry with 56% saying they are particularly stressed about rental costs. Just 9% believe there is an adequate supply of rental accommodation for students.

Financial Support

The numbers of parents supporting their children with college related costs has increased slightly since 2011 with 92% now saying they financially support their children through third level, up from 90%. More parents are now in a position to help finance third level costs through their savings and monthly income than in 2011. The most common method of funding third level is now savings (43%) up from 38% in 2011. 42% of parents are using their monthly income, up from 39% in 2011.

Your Credit Union Here For You!

To help with the financial challenges of attending college we have introduced a new Student Loan rate of 6% (6.2%APR). This is one of the most competitive rates currently available. The Student Loan can be used to cover registration costs, course materials, a new laptop and accommodation costs.

We would also encourage all Leaving Cert students to apply for our €1,500 Student Bursary to help with college costs. Application forms can be picked up from our office or download it here.

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Back To School Costs

Back To School Costs

It may still be the summer holidays but many parents are already preparing for the back to school time of year. The Irish League of Credit Unions has recently released the results from their annual survey of the costs of sending children back to school. 72% of parents feel the back to school spend is a financial burden, with more than a quarter (27%) saying the costs will impact negatively on household bills. However, more parents than ever are now in a position to finance back to school costs through their monthly income 71% compared to previous years.

Borrowing

From the survey, 29% of parents said they will borrow to fund the back to school costs. Of those who said they would have to borrow, the average amount borrowed is €345 this year. Primary school parents on average borrow €310, this is significantly less than secondary school parents who borrow €415.

A rise in the numbers using moneylender was small, we would find any increase like this concerning and would really encourage parents to instead talk to their local credit union, where interest rates are fair and capped by law. We would encourage all members borrowing to come and talk to us first. Your credit union is here to help! You can now make a loan enquiry through our website here at any time and anywhere!

Borrowing (1)

The vast majority of parents believe that Irish schools aren’t doing enough to support them in helping to keep costs down. With more than three quarters holding this view. The figure is even higher for parents of secondary school students at 85%! A clear indication that parents don’t think that schools are doing enough!

Other Highlights

Back 2 School Costs (2)

From the survey, it is good to see that more parents than ever are able to cover the back to school costs through their monthly income! However, it is still very clear that back to school costs are a financial burden on families. It forces parents to make tough choices on basic items and sacrifice spending on family holidays and even food.

For more information on back to school costs can be found on the ILCU website.

Jimmy Brohan

Jimmy Brohan

With the opening of the Rockies Hurling Alleys this weekend we took a look at the man they’re named after, Jimmy Brohan. Jimmy was a founding member of St. Michael’s Credit Union. In the beginning, we only had a temporary office at the Confraternity Hall.

Jimmy was an extremely active member of St. Michaels and served on the Board of Directors and as a volunteer from 1969 onwards.  As you can see below in our Annual Report from 1974 Jimmy served as the Vice Chair. For many years Jimmy could be found on a Friday serving his fellow members at the counter as well as fulfilling his other duties. Today Jimmy is still coming into the credit union he helped to found and chatting with staff who always enjoy seeing him.

Our partnership with the Rockies Academy is another demonstration of local organisations working together to best serve our members. The naming of the hurling alleys after Jimmy is a fitting tribute to a club legend, a man of the community and one of the great Cork corner backs. We would like to thank the Rockies for the invitation to the Opening Ceremony this Saturday at 11.30 am. Our Chair Person; Declan Lynch will be saying a few words and presenting the cheque to the Rockies Academy. More details on the opening ceremony can be found here; Rockies.

Thinking of a new 172?

Thinking of a new 172?

Thinking of a new 172? A Credit Union Car Loan has benefits that you simply don’t get elsewhere! We’ve highlighted the difference between a loan with our Credit Union and PCP finance.

PCP Pitfalls (1)

  • Unlike a PCP you own the car from the outset.
  • You can sell the car on at any time.
  • You can borrow for the full amount.
  • There are no hidden fees, admin charges, transaction charges, set up costs or balloon payments.
  • Repayments are calculated on your reducing balance, so you pay less interest with each repayment
  • The interest you pay on a credit union loan is the full cost of the loan so it is fully transparent.
  • Your credit union loan is insured in the event of your death – subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria – at no direct cost to you.
  • You can pay off your loan early, make additional lump sum repayments or increase your regular repayments, without a penalty. Other lenders may charge you extra for paying them back faster!

These benefits aren’t only for people buying a new car. They apply to many different types of loans.

PCP Pitfalls

  • You don’t own your car until the final payment is made
  • Most PCP’s require a large balloon payment at the end to terminate the agreement
  • Most PCP’s have restrictions in respect to the condition of the car and/or the mileage you incur. A lot of wear and tear may also mean you do not get the full value of the car agreed at the start of the deal. High mileage can mean a lower minimum guaranteed value.
  • PCP’s are a way of trying to ensure that you will come back and buy another car from the same dealer or manufacturer. All well and good, but what if you don’t like the brand of car or range they have to offer anymore?
  • If you have a crash and the cost of the repairs is greater than 66% of the original list price then you may also not get the minimum value you were hoping for.
  • Because a lot of the repayments are deferred, the interest costs may be low initially, but the total ends up being high over the full length of the agreement.
  • Dealers and car-company banks are able to offer lower interests rates on the deals for the first three to five years because they retain ownership of the vehicle, lowering their risk.

Example of a Car Loan

Rate: 7% (7.23% APR)   Amount: €15,000

Loan Period: 5 Years

Weekly Repayments: €68.38

Total Repaid: €17,777.75

You can get your own loan estimate by using our Loan Calculator.

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