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Calendar Photo Competition

By Latest News

📸 CALENDAR PHOTO COMPETITION 📸

Ballinasloe Credit Union is delighted to announce the launch of the 2024 Calendar Photography Competition.

Showcase the beauty spots around Ballinasloe.

Send in an image that you think captures the beauty of your area.

Each monthly winner will receive €50 and this photo will be included in our 2024 Calendar.

Get snapping and be in with a chance to win.

Enter Competition: https://bit.ly/3W4kp6V

#ballinasloe #creditunion #calendar #competition

Do you really understand how your credit card works?

By Latest News

Recent research has revealed that although more than half of the population on the island of Ireland owns a credit card, a whopping six in ten have no idea what interest rate they are paying. Even among those in the survey who said they do know what interest they were paying, the results proved differently.

For example,

In the Republic of Ireland of those who responded that they are familiar with the credit card interest rate they pay, 26% think they pay between 11% and 17%, while 38% think they pay 18% to 24%. One fifth of these respondents believe they pay less than 5% in interest with over half believing they are paying less than 10%.

In Northern Ireland, those who responded that they are familiar with the credit card interest rate they pay, 21% think they pay between 6% and 10% while 25% think they pay between 18% and 24%. Just over a third (34%) of respondents believe they pay less than 5% in interest.

Overall, the survey highlighted a significant lack of understanding on how interest is applied. The reality with this lack of knowledge is that people will end up paying more than they anticipate when they use their credit card, as they are not factoring in the – often hefty – interest charged. This can throw their household budget out of whack and ensure they remain in a cycle of unnecessary debt.

The best course of action is to clear the balance in full, bin the card and be done with it. However, credit cards have always been hugely popular so, for the majority this is unlikely to happen. Indeed, only 14% in the Repbulic of Ireland and 18% of Northern Ireland credit card users said they have made a New Year’s resolution to throw away their credit card in 2022. So at the very least, credit card users should get to grips with how their credit card works.*

Read on for our top tips on how to manage your credit card.

 

Clear your balance in full and on time every month.

This one is a no-brainer. Note, clearing your balance in full is not the same as  clearing your minimum repayment, which could be significantly lower than the balance. If you only pay the minimum repayment every month, you’ll pay a lot of interest and it could take years to clear the debt. Paying your balance in full is the best, and fail-safe way, to stay out of credit card debt.

If you can’t achieve number one every month, then ensure you pay the minimum payment in full and on time. Aim to pay off more than the minimum repayment – the maximum amount you can afford to pay.

Never miss a credit card payment

This can be a major red flag to potential future lenders if/when you need to borrow for a mortgage, car etc. The Central Credit Register in the Republic of Ireland and th is a centralised system which stores information on all loans of €500 or more, including credit cards and even overdrafts. Lenders are legally obliged to consult this register when making a decision on whether to lend amounts of €2,000 and over to you.  In Northern Ireland, Credit Reference Agencies provide this service to lenders. So if you know you will not have money at the end of the month to pay for a purchase you’re planning to put on your card, then don’t use the card! It’s as simple as that.

Stay below your credit card limit

Stay below your limit as much as you can at all times. Flying to close to your full credit limit on a frequent basis can be another red flag to lenders. A good rule of thumb is to keep your purchases to 30% of your credit limit, so for example, spending just €30/£30 a month on a card with a limit of €100/£100.

Track credit card spending

In order to ensure you don’t miss payments and you are staying under your limit, track your spending every month. Sign up for an online credit card account if you have not already done so, and regularly log in to keep check on your spending. There are also apps you can use if you need more reminders! Getting and staying in this habit is crucial to healthy credit card use.

Keep a close eye on your credit card statements

Whether you receive monthly paper bills or you deal with everything online, ensure you take some time to sit down and really check your statements. Mistakes and errors can and do happen, and you need to be on top of them to protect your credit. If you spot a mistake, contact your card issuer as soon as possible. They will need to investigate the error and ensure it’s rectified. It could also be a sign of fraud, so you really need to report these discrepancies straight away.

Request your credit report

You can ask for a copy of your credit history any time, free of charge from the Central Credit Register. In Northern Ireland, Clearscore and Experian both provide free credit reports. Ensure you exercise this right so you are fully informed on what is on record about your credit history.

Talk to Ballinasloe Credit Union

Yes you heard us! The friendly staff in Ballinasloe Credit Union are always willing to talk through any financial terms you may not understand, and to provide guidance on prudent monthly spending and budgeting.

12 Tips When Buying a New Car in 2023

By Latest News

With the cost of used cars at an all-time high in 2023, some of us are considering making the splash and buying a new car. The scarcity of supply in the used car market means people are increasingly willing to ignore the traditional financial advice of buying a 3 year-old car instead of a new car. This advice proclaims new cars depreciate in value by over 15% after the first year. Many will now accept the loss of new cars value rather than paying more for a used car in todays climate.

If you’re looking at buying a new car in 2023, we’ve collated all the necessary information you should consider during the buying process below.

1. Know your budget & if a used car offers better value

One of the most important considerations when buying a new car is determining your budget. Your budget may mean some models/brands will be out of reach or you may have to sacrifice on additional specs. If you do not have the savings to cover the full price, then Car Finance is another consideration (more on this in tip 12). It might also be worth considering if you can afford the car you really want or if you’d be better off buying a used car. You can view one of our blogs investigating the questions you should ask when buying a used car.

2. Choosing between Diesel, Petrol, Hybrid or Electric (BEV)

The debate is raging amongst new buyers on if now is the time to make the switch to electric vehicles. Such a move would avoid rising fuel costs and future proof their next car purchase. One can read about the advantages and disadvantages of Electric Cars on our recent blog. For those reticent about making the switch to fully electric (BEV’s), then hybrid vehicles are the popular alternative. For the traditionalists, the great electric vehicle switch will take time before reaching mainstream. This is especially true with the government’s goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. In that instance, petrol and diesel vehicles are not going anywhere in the next few years and may offer a more familiar and less risky purchase for some.

3. Select a dealer/brand that will be easy visit/contact post purchase

When at a dealership, don’t rush into a deal. Consider if the dealership is responsive to your concerns and have a great customer service. Both will be important if you run into any issues with the car. The majority of new car manufacturers offer a car warranty. It may be important that there is a recognized brand dealership near you in the event of vehicle issues. This does not mean you need to buy locally. But if you buy a Toyota in Dublin while living in Galway, you should consider if there is a brand dealer in Galway that could provide the regular servicing of the vehicle.

4. Examine running costs & fuel efficiency/range

As fuel increases continue, fuel economy will be important in the choice of your next vehicle . Hybrid vehicles can save up to 30% on fuel costs. Battery vehicles can save 70% on car running costs but can vary in driving range depending on the model. Many new petrol and diesel vehicles also offer improved fuel efficiency. It may be worth noting that larger engines may be increasingly targeted in Government measures aimed at minimizing Carbon emissions.

5. Know the no. of years warranty

Most car manufacturers offer a warranty on new car sales. This means they will repair any major faults/defects to the vehicle. E.g. Kia offer one of the best in class warranties of 7 years or 150,000km whichever is sooner. New cars rarely have major issues during the first 5-7 years off the production line. Yet, if you want peace of mind, keep an eye on the warranty offered by the manufacturer and after care services.

6. Research the price of car insurance

Before buying a new car, you should check what the insurance is likely to be. Larger engine sizes will have higher insurance premiums. Checking before purchase will allow you to avoid any nasty surprises.

7. Investigate if the car specs meet your requirements

Does the car have all the specs you need? Or do some technical specs come at an extra cost such as Cruise control, alloy wheels, sunroof etc. Find out what comes as standard and what specs can’t do without. Also bear in mind other aspects of the car such as interior space or boot room if you have a growing family.

8. Test drive more than one car

Its important to try out a range of different car models to explore car suitability. Its often only when we get in a car that we find out if this car is for us. If you like a car, try to test drive its main competitor as well so you don’t develop “oneitis”. Don’t be clouded by your first new car experience and miss out on a better deal.

9. Negotiate on price

Not everyone realises when buying their first new car that the stated dealer price for new vehicles excludes “delivery and related charges”. This can often add on an extra €1500 to the price. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on price with the Salesperson. They will often move on the mentioned pricetoo get a deal done.

 

10. Trade in your old vehicle to decrease the price

Having a car to trade in against the value of the new car will help in dealer negotiations. Used car sales are booming and dealers know they can shift cars. They may give you a better deal if you trade in your existing car.

11. Factor in the deposit and delivery date in your buying decision

Car dealers may ask for a deposit of greater than €500 to reserve your new vehicle. You often may have to wait to receive your new car as it may not be in the showroom. You will need to factor this into your purchase timeline. If you need the car very soon, new car deliveries usually take over 8 weeks.

12. Identify all of your car finance options (and know the small print)

When buying a new car, most dealers will offer car finance/PCP. While PCP (Personal Contract Plan) can be convenient, it comes with many caveats. One of these is that you won’t fully own the car until the final payment. Essentially, PCP finance is a lease scheme. You may also be constrained by car servicing agreements and caps on mileage.

PCP contrasts with a credit union car loan which is available to people both purchasing a new and used vehicle. With credit union car loans you own the car from the start. You can drive it as much as you want with no mileage caps. Read more about the difference between the two loan types on our blog comparing credit union car loans vs PCP.

Notice of AGM – Updated

By Latest News

We’d like to thank everyone who attended our AGM. We really do appreciate your support.

————————————————————————————————————-

Notice is hereby given of the 56th Annual General Meeting of Ballinasloe Credit Union (Our Lady of Lourdes) Limited. The A.G.M. will be held in the Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe on 14th December 2022 at 8.00pm.

Your annual report will be sent to you well in advance of the AGM or you can download it below.

Download BCU Annual Report 2022.

As one of the owners of the Credit Union, you have a right to know how it is being run and how it is performing. With this right comes the responsibility to contribute to the effective and fair running of the Credit Union. The best way to exercise these rights and responsibilities is to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM), contribute to discussions about Credit Union matters and with care, elect to office, people who will have the general good of the membership at heart. Every member has one vote at the AGM regardless of the number of shares (savings) they hold.

E-AGM Notifications

By Latest News

Help us Go Green

Every year, members are invited to our AGM. In accordance with legislation, we are required to write to every member to invite them to attend, which may lead to as many as 5 notices posted to any one household.

By signing up for electronic AGM notifications you can help us to save money and the environment. The cost of having these booklets printed and posted can cost thousands of euros. Also, it really hurts our environment. We are working hard to reduce the amount of waste we have in Ballinasloe Credit Union and to reduce our footprint.

We would encourage every member to sign up for electronic AGM notifications. These will be delivered straight to your email inbox, which you can easily access whenever you need to.

SIGN UP NOW

Member Notice – Change of Hours

By Latest News

Due to the Ballinasloe Fair & Festival our office opening hours will change from October 1st to October 8th 2022.

  • Saturday Oct 1st: 9:30am – 1pm
  • Monday Oct 3rd: Closed
  • Saturday Oct 8th: 9:30am – 1pm

All other days normal opening hours from 9:30am – 5pm.

June Prize Draw Winners

By Latest News

Congratulations to all our June Prize Draw Winners.

 

Yvonne Hoary Derryhiney, Portumna, Co. Galway

 

Marina Dolan                Knockcroghery

Julianne Farrell              Woodlands

Larry Clarke                  Woodlands

Fergal Mc Kenna           Creagh

Gerard Mitchell             Ballymacward

Patricia Egan                 Kilclooney

Martin Anderson           Menlough

Mary Hearne                 Killimor

John Kenny                   Eyrecourt

Saleha Al Sabahi            Kilgarve

Evelyn Seale                  Loughrea

Marie Jordan                Creagh

Melissa Hogan & Declan Kenny        Eyrecourt

Ann Gately                    Laurencetown

Colm Kenny                  Ahascragh

 

MYCU Upcoming Maintenance

By Latest News

Essential Maintenance Notice

Due to essential maintenance, members may not be able to use their MYCU card or contact the MYCU call centre between 21.30pm on Tuesday 28th June and 02:00am on Wednesday 29th June 2022.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Ballinasloe Credit Union (Our Lady of Lourdes) Limited
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