Cultivate has announced that its credit union farm lending product is now available in 11 new locations, bringing to 88 the number of credit unions offering Cultivate loans nationwide.
Cultivate is the collaborative credit union finance lending platform for farmers.
The four new credit unions, with 11 offices, which are joining the initiative are: Athlone Credit Union in Co. Westmeath; Connect Credit Union in Co. Louth; Drogheda Credit Union; and Glanmire Credit Union in Co. Cork.
Need for farm finance
Cultivate said that the announcement is an indication of the growing need for farmer friendly finance from credit unions.
Speaking on behalf of Cultivate, John Doyle, CEO of St. Jarlath’s Credit Union in Tuam, Co. Galway and board member of Cultivate said:
“We are delighted to welcome four new credit unions into the Cultivate family. With these additional credit unions joining Cultivate, Irish farmers in counties Cork, Louth, Meath, and Westmeath now have better access to farm finance from people who really understand farming.
“As a specialist provider of finance to farmers, Cultivate credit unions are holding onto and nurturing everything that our farming members value; we spend time with our members, we listen to them, and ultimately, we try to solve their problems and meet their needs.
“The feedback we have received from farmers who took out a Cultivate loan over the last three years has been very positive, and we are looking forward to helping farming members in new parts of the country to grow their enterprises,” he added.
Participating credit unions
Participating credit union offices make decisions locally. Local loans officers have the discretion to take a farmer’s circumstances into account.
The staff can reflect the farmer’s financial circumstances, personal circumstances, needs and track record, as part of the loan review process.
In 2020, the average loan application from farmers in all sectors was up 5% year-on-year to €24,800 and this was mainly used for a number of key on-farm activities including, stocking and working capital (25%), farm buildings (20%) and tractor purchase (16%).
Commenting further, John Doyle said:
“As today’s announcement reflects, the demand we have from farmers for an alternative flexible finance lender is strong.
“Our member feedback and an increased interest in other credit unions to join Cultivate, gives us confidence in the future and we will continue to enhance the service we provide to farmer members as we grow the presence of Cultivate nationally.”
Cultivate credit unions offer flexible unsecured loans up to €50,000 over a seven-year period.
Cultivate is the brand name of Collaborative Finance CLG, representing 30 credit unions in Ireland.
On a regular basis, the Cultivate credit union farm finance team analyses the applications that they receive to understand what farmers are borrowing for, and how loan applications compare from one period to the next.
This analysis feeds into an annual report completed by Cultivate.