Thinking of changing banks? Read our guide on how to Switch your Bank Account  

Switching banks may seem like a lot of work, but with Skibbereen Credit Union's guide to Switching your Bank Account, you only need to worry about which bank has the lowest fees. Our guide has all the steps you need to follow to ensure a hassle-free transfer of your savings to a new bank with lower fees and better savings rates.


Step 1: Pick a new bank

Research the different current account options available to you. There are several websites available which give advice on how to choose an account and compare the fees and charges of various financial institutions(

Once you have decided on a bank, you can contact them directly, either online or in person.  Your new bank may provide you with a switching pack, which is available in the branch or on their website. A switching pack contains information on the current accounts that the bank offers and a guide on how to switch accounts. 

Step 2: Pick a switching date

Your new bank will help you to decide on a date to begin the switching process. It is important to pick a date during the month with the least activity on your account. Try to avoid dates where money is automatically paid in or out of your account.

At this point, you will also need to decide if you want to keep your old account open or to close it. You can keep your old account open if you are not sure that all payment details have been changed to your new account. However, if you keep your old account open, you will be liable for any charges or interest rates that apply.


Step 3: Complete an account transfer form

You will need to complete an account transfer form for your new bank. This involves providing the details of your old bank account and your new bank account, and gives authorisation for your old bank to supply your new bank with details of your direct debits and standing orders, to help make the switching process smoother. The balance on your old account will be also transferred to your new account. 

Your old bank will provide you and your new bank with a copy of your direct debit and standing order details. You can use this to ensure that all payments from your account have been transferred correctly.

You must give your new account details to anyone that pays money into your bank account, e.g. wages. Your new bank cannot do this for you, but may give you information on what details you need to provide.


Step 4: Switch!

Your new account will be up and running within 10 working days of the switching date you selected. If you left your old account open, keep an eye on it for the next 30 days. If there has been no activity on it during this time, i.e. automated payments, then you can have the remaining balance transferred to your new account before closing the old one.

When you do close your old account, avoid using your old cheque books and bank cards after you receive your new ones. Cut your old bank cards in half and return them along with your old cheque books to your old bank. You will receive a refund of Government Duty on any unused cheques.


Remember that banks aren't the only financial institutions around. Skibbereen Credit Union already offers most of the services that a bank does, (including direct debits and online banking) and we are committed to providing a friendly and professional service to all our members. You can visit our website for more information on membership or call into one of our offices in Skibbereen, Schull or Drimoleague to talk about becoming a member.

Skibbereen Credit Union carried out a survey on the average costs of Christmas to get an idea of how much the ‘ basics’ cost and we found that most people under estimate the cost greatly. We found that while people tended to be aware of the costs of presents (approx. €650) and Christmas dinners (€250), other costs such as Christmas nights out, hairdressing appointments and new clothes for the festive period were forgotten. Costs that revolve around socialising can last well into the New Year and if the January sales shopping trips are taken into consideration, the costs can tip up to €1,500.

You can avoid financial pressure this year by using our tips for Christmas savings.

Budget, Budget, Budget

Plan how much you can afford to spend – and stick to it.

Make a list

Decide what you're going to buy in advance. If you decide in the store, you'll end up spending more!

Pay with cash where possible

Avoid loans, credit cards, store cards, catalogues and money lenders – they'll end up costing you more. Leave your credit card at home when shopping and just bring cash. It will be easier to stick to your budget and avoid temptation that way.

Compare prices

Before you buy, compare prices online and between shops. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

Start saving for Christmas now

Saving just €5, €10 or €15 per week can ensure you and your family have a few less expenses to worry about.

Start shopping early

Plenty of shops have already started stocking Christmas items. Spread the cost of this year’s Christmas by buying your chocolates early and putting them away until the festive season actually starts.

Use trustworthy vendors

Buy from reputable websites and check they guarantee delivery before Christmas. Make sure you buy early as delivery can be delayed around the holidays.

Check for Sales

Many shops will have sales before Christmas. Ask around, and maybe you could get those presents for even less!

Read the small print

If you borrow or enter into a buy-now-pay-later deal, be careful. Some lenders will penalise you for paying it back early or, if you do not pay it within the interest free period, you could be subject to hefty interest payments.

Under pressure? Talk to us first

Suffering from debt stress? Already owe money lenders? Call into your local Credit Union to discuss your options.

Friends and Family are priceless

It's easy to say but it's still true – the best gift at Christmas is being together – and that costs nothing. Many families do Kris Kringle or Secret Santa gifts. Some families only give gifts to children. There are many ways of saving money without taking away the magic.

Prepare for next Christmas

This year’s Christmas may not have happened yet, but if you plan even further ahead you can save more next year. Christmas decorations, wrapping paper and cards are usually on sale just after Christmas, so if you stock up in the sales next year will be even cheaper. 

Posted on: December 1st, 2015

Posted in Budgeting, Financial Planning, Skibbereen Credit Union

Tags: , ,

The real secret to controlling your savings successfully is to know where your money is Capturegoing. Keeping track of your spending is vital to your saving ability, we are all aware of necessary big bills to be paid weekly or monthly but it can be the everyday small spending which can play havoc on our ability to save and budget properly. Keeping track of all theses requires discipline and is not easy, which is where our Budget App comes in.  

Skibbereen Credit Union's continuing commitment to providing services that are of real practical value to its members and represent a significant advance in the use of technology allow members to have direct control over their savings at their fingertips. The App can be used online or can be downloaded free to your smart-phone or tablet.

Once you are ready to enter information, you can keep tabs on all your spending under the necessary headings over a certain period of time. After a short period the app builds up an accurate profile of your spending patterns and allows you to see at a glance the strengths and weaknesses of your personal finance plans. Perhaps the amount you hoped to save monthly for the holiday is falling short, or perhaps you can see patterns of spending that you realise you can trim significantly and restore your level of savings. You can check out our online guide for more help.

Tracking your spending in this manner provides a longer view, where goals are planned for. People who adapt this approach also get a clearer picture of their habits or beliefs that they may have developed about money and may provide a much-needed wake-up call.

Posted on: October 8th, 2015

Posted in Budgeting, Financial Planning, Skibbereen Credit Union

The Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) recently published their 2015 ‘Third Level Education Survey'. They asked parents and students about how they plan to meet the costs of third level education.

The results show that 59% of parents expect to get into debt to cover college costs, with €5,030 the average debt per child per college year. The research also shows that parents contribute an average of €453 per child per month, up on last year. With money worries being a big concern for parents and students, we at Skibbereen CU have come up with several tips to help new students to manage their financial needs in this new stage of their lives.


Tip 1: Work out all the new expenses you will have. For many of you, this is your first time living away from home, your first time buying your own groceries, preparing your own meals, paying bills. Without a clear plan in place, you may overspend. It is a good idea to set up a budget to help track your expenses. See our tables below for the average cost of living for college students.


Tip 2: Track your spending and income for a few weeks at the start of the college year. This will give you an idea of your average spending over the year. It will also show you instances where you were overspending and give you opportunities to cut back for the next month.


Tip 3: If you need to borrow, calculate your total borrowing requirement, but don’t draw down the entire loan immediately. This will allow you to maximise your efficiency and avoid overspending. If you are in receipt of a student grant, borrowing each term will also ensure that you need to borrow less.


Tip 4: Always shop around for the best deal. Whether this means doing your shopping in Aldi or Lidl, or buying your textbooks online, it always pays off to look for the best deal. This applies to loans and borrowing too. Always check out the different loans available, the APR and any other charges.


Tip 5: Sometimes, things can be overwhelming and it helps to talk to someone. All colleges have a support structure in place for their students. If you run into any financial difficulties, you can always talk to us at Skibbereen Credit Union.


No Grant Costs


1 Year


Rent incl. Bills


€350 a month by 9 months

Student Contribution (Fees)


Set by government at each budget

Living Expenses


€85 by 36 college weeks made up of bus €20 food €50 and other €15

Books, Printing & Stationery





All figures averaged from a survey on local college students.



With Full Non-adjacent Grant Costs



1 Year


Rent incl. Bills


€350 a month by 9 months

Student Contribution (Fees)


Set by government at each budget.

Fees Grant


Paid by Susi Grant.

Living Expenses


€85 by 36 college weeks made up of bus €20 food €50 and other €15

Books, Printing & Stationeary



Maintenance Grant


Paid by Susi Grant



All figures averaged from a survey on local college students.


Saving for College



Parents need to save…

Over 18 years

College Cost For Four Years

Cost with No Grant

€20 X 2 Parents=  €40

€40 X 52weeks=  €2080

€2080 X 18 years = €37,440



Cost with Full Non-Adjacent Grant

€7.50 X 2 Parents = €15

€15 X 52 Weeks = €780  

€780  X 18 years = €14,040


Cost with Just Fees Paid

€14 X 2 Parents = €28

€28 X 52 Weeks =€1456


€1456 X 18 year =  €26,208





Posted on: September 4th, 2014

Posted in Budgeting, Educational loans, Financial Planning, Skibbereen Credit Union

The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) have said they are very concerned at the reliance of Irish people on legal and illegal moneylenders. Some families use them to keep up with their weekly expenses, while others turn to moneylenders at more expensive times of the year, especially in September when children return to school and December as Christmas approaches.mabsLogo_large

Some of these moneylenders can charge up to 270% annual interest on the money they lend, while illegal moneylenders can charge up to 400%.  Families who borrow from moneylenders face huge repayments, which they sometimes can’t afford without borrowing more money.

MABS has called for struggling families to come to them before they borrow from a moneylender. They can check to see if families are receiving all the entitlements they are eligible for and inform them of other services that they may not be aware of.

Skibbereen Credit Union offers a free and confidential money managing service to our members. We can help you create a plan to tackle debt problems and take the first step towards financial health. For more information, you can visit our website here, or call us on 028 21883. 

We are delighted to launch our new loan product "Tweny Is Plenty".

We understand that finding that extra bit of cash for a special purchase when every cent of your budget is already earmarked is a very difficult task.

With this mind we  developed Twnty is Plenty to enable you keep control over the repayment amount. You will only ever pay up to €20 a week.

This means you can borrow up to €4,000 over 5 years for as little as €20 a week.

For further details :

We are delighted to launch our new "Pay My Bills" annual loan product.
We understand during these challenging times that paying annual bills and once off emergencies can often put a tremdendous strain on your cash flow.

Why not alleviate this pressure by simply totaling your bills and using our "Pay My Bills" loan plan to spread the cost over the year.

For further details check out our website here

Posted on: March 16th, 2012

Posted in Budgeting, Family Finances, Financial Planning

christmas skibbereen credit unionChristmas is just around the corner and while it is a season of fun and laughter it can also be a difficult time for people financially.

We have a number of budgeting and financial services tools online to help you on your way. Why not use one of our many online calculators for help on budgeting in West Cork. We find more often than not that careful financial planing is the key to keeping out of the red during this Christmas.

If you have any additional queries or need advice on how best to budget this season call to us at Skibbereen Credit Union.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year, 2012!

Posted on: November 28th, 2011

Posted in Budgeting, Financial Planning, Financial services

Tags: ,

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