Credit Union Mortgage Ultimate Review – Ireland 2024

The Credit Union is an Irish Institution, but is it the easiest bank to get a mortgage with? In our Credit Union Mortgage Ultimate Review – Ireland 2024 we will give you the inside track on a Credit Union mortgage, whether you qualify, what Credit Union mortgage rates you can get are and what other options are available.

  • The good news is there are now over 100 Credit Unions across Ireland offering mortgages to their members.
  • The bad news is that the number of mortgages available is limited by the Central Bank, coverage of the country is patchy and sometimes fixed rates aren’t always available.

Credit Union mortgage rates are typically competitive with leading lenders rates, but crucially often have limited fixed rate options and although they have some local flexibility on approvals it’s nowhere near as forgiving as that you would get for a Credit Union personal loan.

Lending rules for Credit Union mortgages laid down by the Central Bank of Ireland limit the number of mortgages Credit Unions can dole out to members and also the who gets them. As Credit Union mortgage rates have become more competitive this has become a problem with demand far exceeding supply in many cases.

That’s why many Credit Unions don’t offer fixed rates, you should be very wary of taking up a variable rate if that’s the case as there is no cap on how high your repayments could go. We almost always advise getting a longer term fixed rate if possible to provide added financial security.

For most people then, the non bank lenders such as Avant Money are still the best option for low fixed rates. You can see how their rates compare to the average Credit Union mortgage rate of around 4.5% APRC here.

Standard Mortgage Average Rate (3-7yr) at LTV 50%
Fixed Term APRC Avant Money MoCo Haven Mortgages AIB Mortgage EBS Mortgage Permanent TSB Bank of Ireland ICS Mortgages Finance Ireland
3 Yr 3.97% 5.21% 4.00% 4.09% 4.20% 4.61% 4.60% 6.64%
4 Yr 3.90% 4.19% 4.28%
5 Yr 3.97% 5.06 4.30% 4.47% 4.50% 4.72% 4.60% 6.35%
7 Yr 3.95% 4.60% 4.58% 4.79% 6.04%
Correct as of 26/04/24. APRC = Average Rate paid across the whole mortgage term, table, excludes Mortgage value >€250,000, excludes Green Mortgages, BoI based on C BER Rating

Read on to find out if a Credit Union mortgage still makes sense for you, Credit Union mortgage rates and the other options for a great rate and easy approval.

Credit Union Mortgage Rate and Product Overview – Credit Union Mortgage Ireland 2024

Pro’s & Con’s – Credit Union Mortgage Ireland 2024

Recommendation – Credit Union Mortgage Ireland 2024

Alternatives – Credit Union Mortgage Ireland 2024

In a Nutshell – Credit Union Mortgage Ireland 2024

Credit Union Mortgage Rates and Product Overview – Credit Union Mortgage Ireland 2024

Credit Union Mortgage Availability

Don’t forget to get a Credit Union mortgage you have to be a member of the Credit Union you want the loan from. Credit Union’s can only accept you if you are covered by their ‘bond’ for regional credit unions this is the area you live in and for occupational credit unions this is where you are employed. Typically you will need to be a member for at least 6 months before you can take out a Credit Union mortgage.

Another thing to watch out for is that a Credit Union mortgage is only available on your principal private residence. In other words if you want a mortgage for anything other than the home you live in most of the time, such as a holiday home, investment property or even a self build, a Credit Union mortgage isn’t an option.

Most Credit Unions also have tighter restrictions than other lenders on the loan to value, looking for 80% or less. This means you would have to find 20% of the house value for a deposit versus 10% with most other lenders.

Credit Union Mortgage Loan Size and Term

Credit Unions limit the size of the mortgages they offer by region due to differences in house valuations and Central Bank rules. Typical limits are,

  • €100,000-€350,000 – Dublin, Louth, Meath, Kildare, Cork, Galway
  • €100,000-€250,000 – Rest of Ireland

Credit Union mortgage terms are typically available from 5 to 35 years.

Credit Union Mortgage Approval Policy

Just like other lenders, the Credit Union has to be sure you have the capacity to repay the mortgage loan before giving approval. This capacity to repay will take into account other loans you may have, dependents and also whether you can still afford the repayments if interest rates rise significantly in future.

If you have an existing savings account and a history of saving or paying your rent or Credit Union personal loans off regularly this will help with approval.

Credit Union Mortgage Rates

So what are the Credit Union mortgage rates right now? Many Credit Unions are now offering both fixed and variable mortgage rates. The actual rates vary by Credit Union, however as they are all working within the same rules and cost constraints our research has shown them to be within 0.1%-0.3% of each other nationwide generally.

To help compare with other lenders, the table below shows the best current fixed mortgage rates available from selected Credit Unions based in Dublin.

Best Credit Union Fixed Rates Dublin
Provider Rate APRC
Members First CU 3 year 4.50% 4.60%
Capital Credit Union 5 year 4.50% 4.11%
Core Credit Union all year 5.00% 5.00%
Typical Credit Union Mortgages Fixed Rates 18/12/2023

Typical Credit Union mortgage rates are therefore around 15% higher than the leading lender rates available. This would cost you an extra €5,000+ on a typical mortgage. You can see how these rates compare to all other lenders on the market here.

Standard Mortgage Average Rate (3-7yr) at LTV 50%
Fixed Term APRC Avant Money MoCo Haven Mortgages AIB Mortgage EBS Mortgage Permanent TSB Bank of Ireland ICS Mortgages Finance Ireland
3 Yr 3.97% 5.21% 4.00% 4.09% 4.20% 4.61% 4.60% 6.64%
4 Yr 3.90% 4.19% 4.28%
5 Yr 3.97% 5.06 4.30% 4.47% 4.50% 4.72% 4.60% 6.35%
7 Yr 3.95% 4.60% 4.58% 4.79% 6.04%
Correct as of 26/04/24. APRC = Average Rate paid across the whole mortgage term, table, excludes Mortgage value >€250,000, excludes Green Mortgages, BoI based on C BER Rating

Annual Percentage Rate Charge (APRC) represents the average rate across the lifetime of a typical mortgage and is recommended as the best rate to use for comparisons by the CCPC. [1]

Pro’s & Con’s – Credit Union Mortgage Ireland 2024

Pro’s

  • Local office ability to talk face to face with an advisor
  • As an existing member your account history might provide evidence you can make the repayments that other lenders might not consider

Con’s

  • Not all Credit Union’s offer fixed rates
  • Limited availability, depends on region, occupation and capacity
  • Limited mortgage product offering, principal private residence only and capped amounts
  • Expensive, Credit Union mortgage rates are typically 15% more than other lenders

Recommendation – Credit Union Mortgage Ireland 2024

Although Credit Unions have a fantastic reputation and for personal loans offer great rates and approval terms when it comes to mortgages we recommend you strongly consider other lenders, due to the more expensive rates and limited availability of long term fixed rates.

If you do choose a Credit Union make sure you pick one with a fixed mortgage rate of at least 5 years as all variable rates are exposed to rate rises, despite what some might claim.

Not choosing a Credit Union doesn’t mean choosing a bank. There are a number of non bank lenders such as Avant Money and Haven that offer better rates than the banks and more flexible approval approaches.

Alternatives – Credit Union Mortgage Ireland 2024

Best Buys

Avant Money Mortage

  • From 3.61% aprc
  • Years Fixed: 3-30
  • Approval Policy: Tight
Best Buys

Haven Mortage

  • From 4.00% aprc
  • Years Fixed: 3
  • Approval Policy: Complex
Best Buys

Bank of Ireland

  • From 3.90% aprc
  • Years Fixed: 4
  • Approval Policy: Flexible

In a Nutshell – Credit Union Mortgage Ireland 2024

The non bank lenders such as Avant Money offer the best combination of rates and approval flexibility for most people looking for a mortgage.

Rates with these lenders are typically 20% lower than the banks and up to 15% lower than with a Credit Union. These lenders are available through a broker or through one our mortgage sherpas.

Rank Mortgage Product Rate Value Repayment Security Ease of Approval Approval Speed Overall Rating
#1. Avant Money Mortgage 10-30 Yr Fixed 4.25 5.0 4.0 5.0 4.58
#2. Avant Money Mortgage 7 Yr Fixed 4.25 3.5 4.0 5.0 4.13
#3. Haven Mortgage 10 Yr Fixed 3.5 4.0 3.5 5.0 3.95
#4. Avant Money Mortgage 5 Yr Fixed 4.5 2.5 4.0 5.0 3.90
#5. Haven Mortgage 7 Yr Fixed 4.0 3.5 3.5 3.0 3.55

Rating Weighting: Rate 30%, Security 30%, Approval 20%, Speed 20%, updated 26/09/2023

The banks are typically more expensive and less forgiving on approvals, whilst the Credit Union only makes sense if you have exhausted your all other options.

Next Steps – Credit Union Mortgage Ireland 2024

If you want to see what you could save by calculating your repayments and see all mortgage provider rates you can click here.

If you want to know more about other mortgage providers you can click here.

Or you can check out our handy switching mortgage guide here.

If you want to get your savings started right now, set up a free no obligation video call with a mortgage sherpa here.

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