I urgently need money and feel I have nowhere else to turn, what can I do?
Suppose you are having difficulty meeting the cost of essentials. In that case, borrowing is usually not the answer, and you may need the support of MABS. We can support you to maximise your income and get you to a position where you can manage your budget on a sustainable basis.
While borrowing from a loan shark might seem to solve the problem, it’s never the answer and could put you or people you care about at serious risk.
If you need money for essential costs like food or utilities, there may be State support available to you, such as the Exceptional Needs Payment from the Department of Social Protection. You can make an appointment to visit your local INTREO office to find out more.
If you have an urgent and immediate need, you could consider charitable support. Many charities provide access to food banks and other supports for people with urgent needs. There is no shame in asking for help. These charities are available to help, and every day they are helping people just like you.
You may be able to talk about what is going on and the pressures you are under with a trusted family member or a friend. They may or may not be able to offer you some financial support, but it’s still good to talk to someone who cares about you and who you trust to help you get a different view of your problem.
If your financial difficulties are caused by debts, you can no longer manage, there are also solutions available through Personal Insolvency. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be able to become debt-free with one of the debt solutions available.
Where you think borrowing is the right thing to do
If you think borrowing is the solution, only ever borrow from a regulated lender and only look for an amount that you can afford to pay back. It’s important to shop around for the cheapest interest rate. Resources such as Bonkers are a really helpful place to start.
If you’re borrowing to meet the cost of a family event, like a religious celebration, back-to-school costs, or Christmas, then consider your options. Creating a spending plan is one way you may be able to cut back on costs. MABS is here to help you with this.
You may also be able to access State or charitable support. Remember, you’re not alone in facing financial difficulties right now. So do things your way, based on what you can afford.
Most households need to have access to credit, and when you enter into a loan agreement with any creditor, it’s important for you and them that you can pay it back. Creditors will use the information on the Central Credit Register (CCR) as part of their assessment in granting you a loan. If you miss payments on a loan, it will be recorded on the CCR and could have an influence on your future access to credit.
Sources of credit
Credit unions may be able to lend to you even if you are a new customer or have a poor credit history.
All credit unions offer small loans, and the maximum loan rate which a credit union can charge is 12% (12.68% APR).
Over 100 credit unions in the Republic offer the ‘It Makes Sense Loan‘, a scheme aimed at credit union members or potential members who receive a social welfare payment. Existing credit union members can contact their participating credit union to apply for the loan. Those who are currently not members will need to join their local credit union before applying for the loan.
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)
This is a relatively new form of finance, and you will see it advertised online and in lots of stores. It allows you to purchase an item and pay it off over an agreed number of monthly instalments. It is convenient and quick. However, for these reasons, there is a risk that you could spend more than you can afford. CCPC have more information about Buy Now Pay Later and in-store credit options. So it is vital that you fully understand the terms and conditions that apply. If you access funds over €500, this will be recorded on the Central Credit Register.
Licenced Money Lenders
There are still many licenced moneylenders operating in Ireland, and while the cost is much higher than other forms of lending, this type of credit may be available to you when other forms are not. However, you should only ever consider high-cost credit when you have explored other options. Always check the Annual Percentage Rate (the APR is the annual rate of interest you will be charged on a loan). Take account of all the costs involved over the loan term, such as any set-up charges and the interest rate – these can be very high and be sure you can afford these very high rates. You can check the Central Bank of Ireland’s register for a list of licenced moneylenders.
Never borrow from a loan shark. Even if it seems safe and the person seems friendly or helpful, it’s never a solution and may cause your debts to spiral out of control.