Personal MicroCredit Scheme Makes Shortlist

November 2017

The Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards is an annual event aimed at recognising staff excellence and innovation in the Civil Service. The 2017 awards which took place recently were established under the Civil Service Renewal Programme to recognise the achievements of civil servants and showcase examples of best practice and innovation in Government Departments and the Services under their remit.

This year the standard for shortlisted projects was very high and of the 74 projects submitted, 30 were shortlisted. Under the Citizens Impact category the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection entered the Personal MicroCredit Scheme (PMC). This new and innovative scheme was developed through an initiative of the Citizens Information Board, Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) and the Social Finance Foundation.

Speaking about the awards and the scheme Angela Black, Chief Executive, CIB said: "We were delighted the scheme made the shortlist. The need for this scheme came to light when MABS clients were finding it more difficult to access low cost credit for contingencies as part of their debt management process. This left little option but to use moneylenders. The scheme is aimed at moving people away from the use of high cost moneylenders (charging up to 190% APRC) and provide convenient access to low cost personal loans. The scheme is accessible via MABS, Credit Unions, Post Offices and other voluntary organisations."

Loans under the scheme, known as “It Makes Sense” loans, range in value from €500 to €2,000 and have a maximum interest rate of 12% APRC. Greater accessibility to credit and ease of loan repayments are key to the success of the scheme.

Find out more about the Personal MicroCredit Scheme.