FAQ’s

About the Credit Union

credit union emblemAbout the Credit Union

Q. What is a Credit Union?

A. A financial cooperative, owned, and controlled by its members for its members.

Q. Why do Credit Unions exist?

A. To service the financial needs of their community, on a not for profit basis and to retain members savings in their community for the benefit of all members.

Q. Who owns a Credit Union?

A. The members own the Credit Union.

Q. Who can join a Credit Union?

A. Any person living or working in what we term the ‘Common Bond’ is eligible for membership. Check out our location to see if you are eligible to join or contact us to enquire.

Q. What is the ‘Common Bond’?

A. The Common Bond defines the area within which the Credit Union can operate.  The common bond is the factor which unites all the members of your credit union — it is what all members have in common. Because of the common bond, all members have the good of their credit union at heart; they know and trust each other. The common bond ensures that the savings of members are available to fellow members as loans. It also enables credit judgements to be made on character and personal record as well as on commercial risk factor.

The most usual common bonds are:

  • Community bond (where all the members live, and in some cases work, in a particular locality).
  • Occupational bond (where all members are in the same profession or occupation, or work for the same employer).
  • Associational bond (where all the members are in the same society or association).

Q. Who runs a Credit Union?

A. A voluntary Board of Directors, elected by the members at a general meeting runs the Credit Union. Meet our current Board of Directors

Q. Who regulates Credit Unions?

A. The Credit Unions are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and are affiliated to the Irish League of Credit Unions. Every Credit Union has an appointed Supervisory Committee whose role is to protect the interests of members, and to act as independent watchdog of Credit Unions. Credit Unions are governed by legislation in the 1997 Credit Union Act.

Q. What can a Credit Union do for you?

A. Your Credit Union can help you achieve financial independence through regular savings and fair and affordable access to loans.

Q. What if I live elsewhere but work in within the Tuam common bond area?

A. You are eligible to join if you live or work within the townlands of Tuam, Headford, Dunmore, Turloughmore, Abbeyknockmoy & Corandulla/Annaghdown. If in doubt, please contact us on 093-24645.

Q. Can I transfer my Credit Union account to St Jarlath’s Credit Union Ltd?

A. Provided that you meet the membership criteria of living or working in Tuam, you can transfer your savings and keep you savings history. You can also transfer your loan – subject to approval and relevant terms and condition. You may continue to pay the loan balance to St. Jarlath’s CU.

Q. What are shares?

A. Every €1 saved is equivalent of 1 share in a Credit Union. A minimum saving of 20 shares/€20 is needed to keep the account open. Each share is eligible for a dividend at the end of the year. The more savings held by the Credit Union, the more funds are available for loans to members.

Q. What are Dividends?

A. The surplus of income, once expenses and reserves are met, is returned to members in the form of Dividend. The rate of dividend varies from year to year and the dividend is applied to members account once ratified at the AGM.

Q. Are my savings secure?

  • All Credit Unions are affiliated to the Irish League of Credit Unions and are secured in the following ways:
  • All savings are protected by Free Life Savings Insurance *
  • All officials of Credit Unions, whether volunteers or staff must be fidelity bonded.
  • All monies received are properly recorded and lodged regularly.
  • Full financial statements are prepared and available to members. These are circulated in advance of the AGM and can be examined by members.
  • Annual independently audited returns are lodged with the Central Bank of Ireland.
  • All Every Credit Union has an appointed supervisory committee whose role is to protect the interests of members, and to act as independent watchdog of Credit Unions.


Not a member?

Not a member? Find out everything you need here?

join usQ. Why join St. Jarlath’s Credit Union?

  • We offer loans at competitive rates to our members. Both loans and savings are covered by FREE life insurance. (Terms and conditions apply). Click here to see details.
  • We do not have any transaction fees either on your cash, electronic or ATM transactions.
    There are no hidden fees.
  • We offer a variety of services such as discounted insurances at favourable rates to Credit Union members.
  • We put people before profit. Our service is personal. We listen. Our members are the centre of everything we do.
  • Our members are our owners. Our members are connected to the common bond area and have a say in our future.
  • Our profits are used to improve products and services as they are re-invested into offering members and our community a full range of flexible, competitive products and services.

Q. How do I join?

  • Click here to find out everything you need to know to become a member.

 


Assurance

Life Saving Assurance

insurance

Q. What is Life Savings Assurance?

A. Life Savings assurance is a life assurance cover St. Jarlath’s Credit Union provides freely to all eligible members as an additional incentive to save regularly and maintain savings in the Credit Union.

Q. What are the benefits of Life Savings Assurance?

A. A nominee elected by a member will receive a financial sum in the event of your death. The amount you receive depend on your age and how much you have saved in Tuam Credit Union Ltd over the years. Life Savings Insurance is provided by Tuam Credit Union Ltd, there is no direct cost to you.

Q. Am I eligible for Life Savings Assurance?

To be eligible for the savings insurance, a Member must be under the age of 70 and be in good health. Once the member fulfills these conditions, cover is automatic.

Q. What is Loan Protection Assurance?

A. We offer free Loan Protection insurance to members. Loan Protection Insurance is the insurance cover, your Credit Union provides on the lives of eligible members with Credit Union loans. Provided you are in good health and engaged in your normal life occupation, your loan is covered by insurance. Should a member with an outstanding loan balance die, the balance is repaid in full, subject to certain cover limits which may apply. You must be under the age of 80 years when applying for the loan to be eligible for Loan Protection Insurance.

Q. What is Death Benefit Insurance?

A. As an additional benefit of membership, St. Jarlath’s Credit Union offer Death Benefit Insurance. If you have €300 or more in your account on the last day of the year and provided you have joined the Credit Union before your 70th birthday, the person who pays your funeral expenses upon your death is entitled to receive Death Benefit Insurance on your behalf. Alternatively if you have less than €300 in your account you can pay €6.82 at one of our branches once a year to qualify.  In St.Jarlath’s Credit Union Ltd, we offer a grant of €1,300 towards the funeral costs of our members. Not all Credit Unions offer this insurance.

Q. How do I claim insurance on behalf of a deceased member?

A. Firstly, an original death certificate is required. Thereafter the claim is processed internally. In order to collect any insurance settlement from the deceased account, a nominee must present acceptable photographic ID at the time of receiving the payment which are subject to the prevailing statutory limits. Death Benefit Insurance (DBI) is usually paid to the Funeral Director and netted against the total funeral bill. If the funeral bill is paid by a third party, an amount can be claimed by them subject to production of a receipt. Deceased Members must have a final balance of greater than €300 in their account and have joined before age 70 before a claim can be made on their behalf as above.


Savings & Account Queries

Savings & Account Queries

Q. Can I withdraw my savings at any time?

savingsA. All Credit Unions shares may be withdrawn on demand, provided that they are not held as security against a loan. Members are encouraged to keep their savings intact thus ensuring that:

  • they continue to benefit from Life Savings Insurance Protection
  • the member can maintain credit worthiness and capacity to borrow
  • they continue to earn a dividend

Members are encouraged to take our loans rather than withdraw their savings as in many cases this is the wiser option, as long as the member can maintain their repayments.

Q. Are my savings secure?

  • All Every Credit Union has an appointed supervisory committee whose role is to protect the interests of members, and to act as independent watchdog of Credit Unions.
  • Annual independently audited returns are lodged with the Central Bank of Ireland.
  • Full financial statements are prepared and available to members. These are circulated in advance of the AGM and can be examined by members.
  • All monies received are properly recorded and lodged regularly.
  • All officials of Credit Unions, whether volunteers or staff must be fidelity bonded.
  • All savings are protected by Free Life Savings Insurance *
  • All Credit Unions are affiliated to the Irish League of Credit Unions and are secured in the following ways:

Q. What are Dividends?

A. The surplus of income, once expenses and reserves are met, is returned to members in the form of Dividend. The rate of dividend varies from year to year and the dividend is applied to members account once ratified at the AGM.

Q. How do I get a statement of my account?

A. Statements are sent out upon request. Please contact us if you wish to receive a statement of your accounts and we will gladly oblige.

Q. How can I make a complaint?

A. St. Jarlath’s Credit Union strive to deliver the best possible service at all times. However things may go wrong from time to time. We welcome feedback and complaints from our members so we may improve our services and learn from our mistakes.

  • If you wish to make a complaint please contact, Catherine Browne, our Operations Manager on 093 24645 or contact us by email or in writing to any of our offices.
  • If you are unhappy you are also entitled to refer the matter to the Financial Services Ombudsman, 3rd Floor Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2. Telephone (01) 6620899 or LoCall 1890 882090.

 


Loans

Loans

broken piggy bankQ. Who can borrow from St. Jarlath’s Credit Union?

A. Only members are eligible to apply for loans with St. Jarlath’s Credit Union. Not a member? Find out more here.

 Q. How long do I have to be a member before I can borrow?

A. There is no strict time limit on being a member to apply for a loan, however as your ability to repay is a deciding factor, establishing a savings pattern with St. Jarlath’s Credit Union is recommended.

Q. How much can I borrow?

A. In general, there are no strict amounts a member can apply for as each application is assessed on its own merit and on the ability of the member to repay the loan in full. The maximum loan amount without requiring extra security is €50,000.

Q. How much savings do I need to be able to borrow?

A. Contrary to popular belief you do not need to have 25% of the amount you wish to borrow in savings/shares. You simply have to show you have the capacity to make repayments as well as having enough left over to live also.

Q. What is your current loan rate?

A. Our interest rate for standard loans is 10% / Our interest rate for College and Community Loans is 5.5%

Q. How do I apply for a loan?

A. St. Jarlath’s Credit Union will consider loan applications from members for any worthwhile purpose. Each application is treated in the utmost confidence and will be considered on its own merits by our team of Lending Officers. 95% of loan applications received are approved.

You may apply a number of ways:

  • Online here
  • Over the phone
  • In person at one of our Branches

Q. How long will it take to get approval on my loan?

A. Generally loans are approved in principle on the day of application. To speed up the process you should have up to date bank statements, pay slips or if you are self-employed a relevant notice of tax assessment. 95% of loan applications received are approved.

Q. What is Loan Protection Insurance?

A. We offer free Loan Protection insurance to members. Loan Protection Insurance is the insurance cover, your Credit Union provides on the lives of eligible members with Credit Union loans. Provided you are in good health and engaged in your normal life occupation, your loan is covered by insurance. Should a member with an outstanding loan balance die, the balance is repaid in full, subject to certain cover limits which may apply. You must be under the age of 80 years when applying for the loan to be eligible for Loan Protection Insurance.

Q. Can I repay off my loan through Salary Deduction?

A. Yes, you can easily switch to repaying your loan by Salary Deduction. Just ask at any of our branches to transfer the payment of your loan to a Salary Deduction Scheme.  For further information on setting up a Salary Deduction scheme click here.

car loan Q. How can I repay a loan?

A. There are a number of ways to repay your loan:

  • Through Salary Deduction
  • By debit card over the phone
  • By direct debit from your bank account
  • In person in one of our branches

Q. What do I do if I miss a payment?

A. We understand there may be instances where a member experiences a traumatic situation in their life such as a job loss or illness that threatens to jeopardise their repayments, the first thing that they should do is to contact the Credit Controller or a member of staff who will deal confidentially with their case.


Salary Deduction

Salary Deduction

payroll Q. What is salary deduction?

A. Salary deduction is when your payroll department or human resources department deducts funds directly from your salary with your permission and lodges this into your designated Credit Union account. This is itemised on your pay slip (you may have deduction already for VHI, Pension etc).

 

Q. What does Salary Deduction cost?

A. We do not charge anything for the administration of the Salary Deduction Scheme for members.

Q. How does Salary Deduction work?

A.       Step 1: Firstly you have to become a member of St.Jarlath’s Credit Union and have a Credit Union account number.

Step 2: You decide how much you want to save every month or if you have a loan with St.Jarlath’s Credit Union Ltd, you can repay it by Salary Deduction also.

Step 3: Contact your Payroll Department and complete a salary deduction form. If your company does not have a Salary Deduction Scheme with St.Jarlath’s Credit Union Ltd, they can contact us on 093-24645 and we will set one up for your company.

Step 4: Your Payroll Department will deduct funds directly from your salary and forward it to St.Jarlath’s Credit Union Ltd. We will lodge these funds directly to your St.Jarlath’s Credit

Q. Can I increase or decrease my Salary Deduction Payments?

A. Yes, contact your Payroll Department and change your deductions by completing a new Salary Deduction Scheme Form. The Payroll Department will then inform St. Jarlath’s Credit Union of the reduction or increase in payments. Please note however, if you are paying a loan, you must continue to repay the agreed repayments amounts. If you are having difficulty repaying your loan, please contact St. Jarlath’s Credit Union Limited directly.

Q. Can I stop Salary Deduction Scheme payments at any time?

A. Yes, contact your Payroll Department in the first instance and they will stop deduction from your payroll to your Credit Union account. However, if you are repaying your loan by Salary Deduction you must contact St. Jarlath’s Credit Union Limited to repay your loan through an alternative method.

Q. Can I repay off my loan through Salary Deduction?

A. Yes, you can easily switch to repaying your loan by Salary Deduction. Just ask at any of our branches to transfer the payment of your loan to a Salary Deduction Scheme.

Q. My company does not operate a Salary Deduction Scheme with St. Jarlath’s Credit Union Limited?

A. If your company does not operate a Salary Deduction Scheme, please ask your payroll manager to contact St. Jarlath’s Credit Union Ltd directly on 093-24645 where we would be delighted to set up a scheme for your company.

Q. How can I make a complaint?

A. St. Jarlath’s Credit Union strive to deliver the best possible service at all times. However things may go wrong from time to time. We welcome feedback and complaints from our members so we may improve our services and learn from our mistakes.

If you wish to make a complaint please contact, Catherine Browne, our Operations Manager on 093 24645 or contact us by email or in writing to any of our offices.

If you are unhappy you are also entitled to refer the matter to the Financial Services Ombudsman, 3rd Floor Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2. Telephone (01) 6620899 or LoCall 1890 882090.

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