How is Provident different to a credit union?

Sometimes when you need a loan, you may feel you have limited options, particularly if you’re unable to get a loan from a  bank.  However, there are a few places you could turn. Here, we compare two of these options; a loan from a Credit Union and a loan from Provident. 

How long does it take to get a loan?

Before being able to apply for a credit union loan you must first become a member. Depending on the rules of the credit union you are joining, you may also need to pay an entrance fee and hold a minimum savings of between one and ten shares (Source: 16/12/15). 

Members may have to apply in person at the credit union office which may be open restricted hours.  You may also need to a be a member for a specific length of time before you can apply for a loan.

At Provident, you can start your application online and get a decision in principle straight away. If accepted in principle, your details are then passed to an Agent, who comes to your home to discuss your loan requirements, check your ID and proof of address and, assess your income and outgoings.

If you’re accepted for the loan, your Agent will then deliver the cash at a day and time which suits you.  The whole process is usually much quicker than borrowing from a credit union - you could get the money you need in as little as 48 hours. 

How long do I have to pay back a Provident loan?

Provident has just two repayment periods for customers, 26 weeks or 52 weeks. Your Agent  will be on hand to explain your options and what this will mean for your repayments.

Am I eligible for a Provident loan?

Generally, in order to apply for a loan from a Credit Union, you must satisfy certain requirements such as having savings with the union meaning it can take time to establish eligibility for credit. .

With Provident as long as you are aged 18 – 74 and you are a resident of Ireland you can apply for loan.

Is the loan process discreet?

When you have money worries, you  don’t always want other people to know. Not everyone wants to be seen at a Credit Union, or bumping into someone you know to make your repayments. Provident Agents are flexible; they can work with you to ensure that borrowing money is as comfortable as possible. Some customers prefer to meet away from their home, whilst others have a very specific time or day they can meet which the Agent can usually accommodate. 

How much will I have to pay back?

A loan from a credit union will be cheaper than a loan from Provident as unlike other lenders a credit union cannot charge more that 1% per month.  This equates to a maximum 12.68% APR (Source: Each Credit Union has different interest rates though so your local credit union may have a lower rate.

With a Provident loan, you will agree the amount a term with your Agent so you will know the total amount to be paid upfront. That cost is fixed for the life of your loan. We do not add any additional charges for late  or missed payments but be aware that missing or making late payments may affect your chances of getting credit in the future.