Skibbereen Credit Union is a proud supporter of our local community. Not only do we support the people of West Cork by providing savings and competitive lending, we also support local organisations through sponsorship. This year, we call on all the people of West Cork to continue to support their community by shopping locally, and here we provide our Top 10 Reasons why local is better.

1. It stimulates the local economyShop-local

When you buy something from a local business in West Cork, instead of from an international company or online, your money stays in the community and stimulates the local economy. Local businesses will buy from other local businesses and service providers, which in turn adds to growth and job creation in West Cork.

2. Local Charities Reap the Rewards

Many West Cork charities rely on donations from local businesses. When local businesses are doing well, they are able to donate more to local charities that help our community.

3. Unique West Cork Businesses Create Character

By supporting local businesses, you are creating an opportunity for unique business to grow and prosper. This adds character to our community, and acts as a great incentive for more people to visit and shop in the area.

4. It’s Good for our Environment

Shopping local means less travel over long distances, which means less cars on the road, which reduces the impact on the environment. Many local businesses are situated in a central location, which means you can park the car and still have easy access to everywhere you need to go in one trip!

5. It Generates New Jobs

Supporting local businesses helps to create and maintain job. When we shop in local businesses, local businesses need to hire more people to keep up with demand. Every jobs created in West Cork means one less person emigrating.

6. Excellent Local Customer Service

A local business owner will be far more passionate about their work and serving the needs of the local community than a large company with headquarters overseas. As a result, you will find better customer service and a more personal approach with more familiar faces.

7. Local Business Owners Invest In Local Community

Local businesses are owned and run by people with a vested interest in the community. Supporting local businesses means that they will invest in the community, making West Cork a better place for people to live and work in.

8. Benefits outweigh Costs

Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure compared to the larger chain stores and big businesses. The cost of setting up a small local business to the public is generally a lot less than setting up a large chain store. Smaller stores can set up in existing buildings, meaning less empty premises in our towns, and are far quicker to open than a large store that needs a new building constructed – which also leads to increased traffic and noise during construction.

9. Competition and Diversity Leads To Better Choice

One large shop with a monopoly will have less choice than several smaller ones. A community with a large number of small local businesses allows for more competition to help keep prices fair and provide a wider choice of products and services to local consumers.

10. You Matter

At Skibbereen Credit Union, our members matter. This applies to local businesses too. Each customer is important to a local business, so local businesses value their customers more than large chain stores and will respond to your needs and desires to create a wonderful local shopping experience for the entire community.

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.

When your child develops a saving habit at a young age, it will stay with them for life. Saving provides a sense of responsibility and independence to a child, and gives them decision-making skills and promotes maturity.


Saving money is one of the best ways to teach children to make decisions and act responsibly. Here are our children savings guideline:

Give your child a savings goal

Let your child pick out a toy or game, and work out how long it will take to save for it. That way, they will have a reward to look forward to when they reach their goal, and will be encouraged to continue saving.

Give saving advice to children

but let it up to them to decide how to spend their money

Encourage children to recognise impulse buying

Children do not have the same level of foresight as adults, so explain that a purchase now means they won’t have as much money later.

Link their pocket money to household chores 

Pocket money should be earned, the same way as Mum or Dad earn their money by going to work. By associating money with work, children will be able to put a value on their savings and it might even encourage them to help out around the house more often!

There are many options available to you to help your child save with Skibbereen Credit Union. You can open an account for your child in the same way you opened your own account, or set up a sub-account within your own account. Your child can also use our School Savings Stamps to begin developing their habit. Saving Stamps are available in schools throughout our common bond and cost €1 each. A full book can be exchanged in any of our offices in Skibbereen, Schull and Drimoleague.

Budgeting need not result in stress and debt. Looking at your finances will help you to see exactly where your money is going and put you on the path to managing your money more effectively.

Most of us find budgeting boring, but it is absolutely essential. To put it simply, a budget is a plan of the money you expect to receive and how you expect to spend it.

A proper budget should show you three things:

  1.       How much money you have coming in
  2.       How much money you are spending
  3.       How much money you can afford to repay to those you owe

With these three points in mind, you can now focus on a plan for how to manage your future spending.

Skibbereen Credit Union has put together some tips for Managing Your Money in 2015.


Keep track of your spending. Use our Budget App to record all your spending and income. It will show you where your money is going and help you keep up-to-date with your spending habits.


After using our Budget App to record your income and expenditure for a short time, a personalised budget will be created for you. You can adjust this budget each month if needed, but remember to be realistic and include everything.


Get into the habit of saving. Try to save some of your income for any unexpected spending.

Be Prudent

Shop around to get the best deals. Use cost comparison websites like to get the best deal on your insurance.


Everyone runs a little short sometimes. If you do have to take out a loan, you should only borrow what you can afford to repay. Best advice is to stay away from credit cards and definitely avoid moneylenders. There are many benefits to a loan from Skibbereen Credit Union. Speak to a member of our staff if you have any questions and we’ll help you make the best decision.

Posted on: March 31st, 2016

Posted in Financial services, Repayment Options, Skibbereen Credit Union

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

It’s time again to start preparing your child for the new school year. While your children might be more pre-occupied with the loss of their free time over the Summer holidays and the prospect of homework, parents will have many big purchasing decisions to make. With a recent ILCU survey finding that the cost of a child returning to school to be around €400, and 1 in 20 parents needing to borrow to cover the costs, Skibbereen Credit Union has some tips to help ease the burden and let you focus at getting your child ready without the stress.

The biggest cost any parent will face each year is the school uniform. We all know that there Back-to-School-Savings-Chalkboardis a lot or wear and tear when it comes to our children’s clothes, especially with their uniform that they wear 5 days a week. Reducing the cost involved in a uniform can end up saving you a lot of money.

Most school jumpers have a crest on them, so you will need to buy this from the main suppliers, but shirts and trousers can be bought almost anywhere at a fraction of the cost. Shop around for any of the generic uniform items. Ties can also be part of a school uniform, but should last longer as it won’t need to be replaced as your child grows.

Buy a high quality schoolbag. It will last longer, and can be passed down to younger siblings or cousins as your child ages and moves onto secondary school where they’ll need a bigger bag to keep up with their workload.

Buying school stationery in bulk will also save money in the long term. Copybooks and pens don’t have an expiry date, and it’s often cheaper to buy them in bulk than individually.

If you want to set up a savings plan for your child’s education, then Skibbereen Credit Union is the place for you.  

With the 15-2 car market about to kick off, Skibbereen Credit Union would like to remind all our members that we currently offer a discounted Car Loan rate of 5.99% (6.16%APR), one of the cheapest rates in the marketplace to own your own car.

There are two main benefits to financing your purchase with a credit union loan. Firstly, having a pre-arranged loan gives you all the power of a cash-buyer and puts you in the driver's seat, so to speak, when negotiating a price, so you are more likely to wrangle a better deal. Secondly, you immediately become the owner of the car. Owning your car from day one means that you have more control over the type of insurance you take out, since other financial packages will require you take out a comprehensive policy. You can also choose to sell your car at any time without affecting your loan, while huge costs may be incurred while selling under a hire purchase agreement. With a hire purchase agreement, you pay to hire the car, without actually owning it until you make the last payment.

In comparison with other financial institutions, this rate is extremely competitive. Many dealers will offer hire purchase as a way of paying for your car but there are many reasons why these can be expensive and end up costing a lot more than what your credit union offers.

We encourage you to compare our rates to what other financial institutions offer. You’ll find our rates and terms very competitive. It’s easy to apply: call into our office, talk to us over the phone, or complete an application online. Happy driving!

Posted on: June 30th, 2015

Posted in Financial services, Skibbereen Credit Union

Create a Savings Habit and CU'r Savings Grow


Setting money aside for savings can be difficult but with a little effort and determination it can become a habit. The amount you save is not as important as establishing the habit itself. Decide on the amount and let this be your first "payment" out of your income each week.

This is what the Mon€y Saver Account with Skibbereen Credit Union is for.


How the Mon€y Saver works

  • The Mon€y Saver Account is a 2 year fixed rate deposit account with 2% AER on year one and 2% AER on year two.
  • Members must be at least 16 years of age at the time of opening the account.
  • Lodge any amount from €10 to €200 each month.
  • A minimum monthly lodgement must be made each month for the first 12 months, failure to do so will break the terms and conditions of the account.
  • Withdrawals are deemed to break the terms and conditions of the account.

Member Benefits

  • The Mon€y Saver provides you with the option to save between €10 and €200 a month and payments can be by direct debit.
  • The Mon€y Saver account can be used as security against a loan.
  • The Mon€y Saver account helps you develop the habit of saving and assists you in achieving your financial goals, e.g. a car, holidays, your children's education etc.
  • The Mon€y Saver account gives you an opportunity to teach your teenage children how to manage their money and the value of saving.

For full details on the Mon€y Saver Account, contact Skibbereen Credit Union on 028 21883 or visit our website. To open a Monéy Saver Account, call into one of our offices to speak to a member of staff.


Posted on: April 25th, 2015

Posted in Budgeting, Financial services, Savings, Savings Advice, Skibbereen Credit Union

Most dealers offer hire purchase agreements as their car finance loans. Hire purchase differs from a loan in that you won’t own your car until you make the final repayment. With a loan, you own your car from day one.
Dealers who offer hire purchase tend to do so as agents for finance companies in return for a commission. These finance companies provide the loan, not the dealer. The finance company then rents the car to you in return for a regular repayment over a number of years. Once the last repayment is made, the ownership of the car passes from the finance company to you.
Hire purchase agreements are one of the least flexible forms of finance. The interest rate is fixed for the term of the agreement, so there is no option to increase repayments, and increasing the term of the agreement may result in a rescheduling fee. If you want to pay the full hire purchase price early, you can do so. You won’t have to pay the full interest amount owed, but you will end up paying more than you would in a less restrictive loan. Missed repayments can also result in interest surcharges and penalty fees.

Typical fees and costs on a hire purchase agreement

The fees and charges on hire purchase agreements can vary, but may include:
• Documentation fees – a fee for setting up the hire purchase agreement
• Interest surcharge for missed repayments – an additional interest charge on any missed repayments
• Penalty fees – for missed or late payments, in addition to interest surcharge
• Completion fee – to facilitate transfer of ownership of the car to you
• Repossession charge – a fee for repossessing the car
• Rescheduling charge – a fee for changing the loan terms
• Balloon payment – a large repayment at the end of some hire purchase agreements

Skibbereen Credit Union Car Finance

You own your car from day one
• You can sell your car at any time.
• You can borrow for the full amount, or borrow more to cover insurance, tax, etc.
• There are no hidden fees, admin charges, transaction charges, set up costs or balloon payments.
• Repayments are calculated on your reducing balance, so you pay less interest with each repayment
• If you pay off your loan early, there are no fees or charges
• Increased repayments will result in less interest being charged
• If you need to reschedule your loan, we will work with you to adjust your repayments
• Your loan is insured in the event of your death at no direct cost to you.

Posted on: December 12th, 2014

Posted in Lending, Repayment Options, Skibbereen Credit Union

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