A pilot microcredit scheme will be launched today. The initiative aims to reduce dependence on money lenders with very high interest rates. The project will be run in partnership with the Department of Social Protection, the Citizens Information Board, the Social Finance Foundation and An Post and is open to social welfare recipients who qualify for the Household Budget Scheme.
Loans under the scheme are called It Makes Sense loans. The scheme will be available in over 30 credit unions across Ireland. It is currently a pilot scheme which will run for 6 months. It is intended to roll it out nationally after evaluation of the pilot.
Small loans of between €100 and €2,000 will be available to people getting certain social welfare payments who may not be able to get credit from other sources. The loans are available at a low variable interest rate and are easy to access.