Lenders make ‘farmer-targeted’ loans available

The Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme, provided by Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and AIB, proved to be very popular among farmers.

The scheme, also known as the low-cost loan scheme, aimed to allow farmers and agri-businesses (small and medium-sized enterprises) to borrow up to €150,000 at interest rates of 2.95%.

Some €150m worth of funding was made available under the scheme and, given its popularity, it quickly became exhausted.

However, to meet the demand from the farming community for cost-competitive loans, a number of other institutions have brought ‘farmer-targeted’ loans to the market.

One such lender is St. Colmcilles Credit Union in Kells, Co. Meath.

Margaret Smith, Manager of St. Colmcilles Credit Union, explained that the credit union wanted to reach out to farmers in the local community.

We are now offering agri loans for a variety of farming purposes such as stocking, farm machinery and general farm investment.

“Our agri loans are from €10,000 to €100,000 and the interest rate applicable is 7.24% APR,” she said.

Smith added that the uptake of the loans has been very positive and customers can open an account and apply for a loan on the same day.

“Your loan repayments can be tailored to suit your needs and will have free loan-protection insurance for eligible members, which is one of the many credit union benefits.

“There are no arrangement or set-up fees or penalties for early redemption,” Smith added.

In addition, she said, interest is charged on a reducing-balance basis and all applications will be handled by the experienced agri-lending team. This team is headed by Pat Leneghan.

We promise you a friendly personal service, competitive rates and an easy loan application process with quick turnaround times.

“That has to be a welcome contrast to completing multi-page applications and posting to anonymous call centres,” she said.