While the core of what we do hasn't changed over the past few days we have improved many of our processes and offerings to make it easier for applicants and application partners.
Below are a selection of our most commonly asked questions that we get on a daily basis, answered one and for all!
Q: Do you need a Bank Decline to apply to Microfinance Ireland? I know this was the case a few years ago?
A: No, the Bank decline requirement was removed by the Government in Summer 2015 in order to make our application process easier. While we would still recommend that anyone who applies to MFI talk to their bank first as they can offer more flexible funding options (such as an overdraft), you no longer have to.
Q: I have a poor credit history, does this mean that I can't get approved?
A: This is where MFI is different to many other lenders. If you have a poor credit record then we will look to see what the situation was and what your attitude to that debt has been.
For example, if you missed repayments on a car loan then we would like to see that you have been in conversation with the lender to agree a reduced repayment structure as opposed to ignoring it.
It is not necessarily the amount that you are repaying but more so the attitude to the situation and how you have managed it since.
Q: Do you have to apply through a Local Enterprise Office (LEO)?
A: No, the promoter has the choice of whether they would like to apply through a LEO or apply directly.
We work with the LEOs as many applicants would like support with preparing a business plan or financial projections before they are submitted for assessment. This service is available at no cost to the client.
Other benefits of submitting an application through the LEO are that a reduced interest rate of 6/8% APR can be availed of if the application is approved by Microfinance Ireland. Also, mentoring can be made available at no cost to the client through the LEO if the loan is approved for a MFI loan.
We are also happy to accept applications directly. If you are comfortable with putting the application together yourself then the application can be submitted by either e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post. The interest rate for our direct channel is currently 7.8% APR. The main benefit to submitting an application directly is that it tends to be quicker as there is no reviewing of the application beforehand.
Q: How long does it take to get a decision?
A: This depends on the Loan Package that you apply through. Currently we have 4 loan packages, 3 from €5,000 - €25,000 and 1 from €2,000 - €5,000. If you apply for an amount between €2,000 - €5,000 then we will typically have a decision back to you in 3 working days. If you apply through a loan package over €5,000 up-to €25,000 then the process can take up-to 10 working days.
These timelines are dependent on all of the requested information being available up-front on day 1, if there are items missing from the application then we may hold it for assessment until we have everything required.
If there is a question that you'd like to ask that I haven't covered then let me know and I'd be happy to add it to the list. You can also e-mail me directly at email@example.com if you wish.