Third level education costs continue to take their toll on students in Ireland. New research shows that more than two thirds struggle financially while at college. Three quarters are working in order to cope with costs. A substantial 55% are skipping lectures in favour of paid work. This is understandable when students living outside of home are spending €1,047 per month. Those living at home also spend a significant €738 each month.

The findings were revealed in a 2019 national survey on third level costs carried out by the Irish League of Credit Unions. Students reported that finance/debt issues are their biggest worry while at college. As many as six in ten said these worries were having a negative impact on their experience at college.*

With finance such a huge aspect of third level life, a large number of students, or their parents, will need to borrow to meet costs. It’s important that they know some lenders are more prudent and cost effective than others. A credit union student loan for example is a far less expensive way to borrow money for college than using the credit card or going to a moneylender. In fact, most credit unions will offer discounted interest rates on their student loans. First Choice Credit Union offer an affordable rate of 6.50% (Typical APR 6.71%)** on their student loan.

First Choice Credit Union’s Michael Boland, Lending and Business Development Manager explains that they want to do as much as possible to ease the financial burden of third level. “We are keenly aware of the huge financial burden that third level education places on students and their families throughout our common bond. We understand that because of the significant costs involved, many have no option but to borrow. We ensure that if they borrow from us, it is a stress-free loan. The loan is typically approved within 24 hours and you can apply online below, drop in to any of our branches in Achill, Balla, Ballyhaunis or Achill or over the phone. We are always happy to work with students to ensure loan repayments are structured in the best way possible for their circumstances. There are never any hidden payments or transaction fees with a student loan. Nor are there any penalties for repaying the loan early.”

Michael continued: “Not only that, but we are ethical lenders at First Choice Credit Union. This means that we will never recommend that the student borrows more than they can repay, or that the loan will put them in unnecessary debt. We are not-for-profit so our only motive is to help the student, and not to profit from their needs. So, we would really encourage students in our common bond to come and chat to us if they are in need of a loan to get them through college.”

*All findings, ILCU Cost of Third Level Survey 2019

**Cost of Finance

For a €6,000, 3 year variable interest rate loan with 156 weekly repayments of €42.35, an interest Rate of 6.50%, a representative APR of 6.71%, the total amount payable by the member is €6,605.06. Information correct as at 20/08/2019.

For further information please contact: First Choice Credit Union on or call 094 9022969.

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