COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a crippling impact on our local community. As well as the very serious public health issues, local businesses are struggling to cope with the impact of the various mitigation measures.

We are keen to do everything that we can to support our local business community. We are delighted to be amongst a small group of credit unions to participate in the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme.

What is the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme?

The Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme is a Government of Ireland initiative, supported by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). The scheme aims to provide low-cost funding to businesses coping with the impact of Covid-19.

To be eligible for the scheme, businesses must have seen or expect to have a reduction of minimum 15% in turnover/ profit due to COVID-19.

Key Features of the Scheme

  • Aimed at supporting local businesses impacted by COVID-19
  • To be eligible, businesses must have seen or expect to have a reduction of minimum 15% in turnover/ profit due to COVID-19
  • Low-cost loans at 4.99%* available
  • Loan terms from 3 months to 66 months
  • Loans are unsecured up to €250,000
  • A guarantee premium** payable to the government will apply
  • Scheme is open until 30th June 2022 or until fully subscribed

Eligibility & Loan Purpose

This scheme is open to Micro and Small Enterprises as defined by the Central Bank of Ireland Regulations within our local community. To be eligible, businesses must have seen or expect to have 15% reduction (minimum) in turnover/ profit due to COVID-19.

Loans may be used for a variety of purposes including to provide working capital or to make enhancements to the business.

This scheme may be particularly suitable for sole traders, retailers or other small business owners. To view a full list of business activities which are eligible for this scheme, click here.

How much can be borrowed?

As part of this scheme, Carrickmacross Credit Union Limited has €750,000 available to lend to local businesses.

For an individual enterprise or business, the maximum loan which Carrickmacross Credit Union Limited will issue under this is scheme is €250,000. In addition, the maximum loan will be determined by the higher of the following criteria:

  • Double the borrower’s annual wage bill for 2019, or for the last year available


  • 25% of the borrower’s total turnover in 2019

Application Process

If you wish to apply for a loan under this scheme, a member of staff will be on hand to talk you through the application process.

As well as completing the relevant application forms, you will need to provide the audited or certified accounts or latest management accounts of your business. In certain cases, relevant current account statements may be required.

Interest Rate*

In order to assist local businesses who are struggling to deal with the impacts of Covid-19, we are offering a heavily discounted loan rate of 4.99% for this scheme, discounted from 10% the standard business rate.

Below is a sample cost of credit for a loan provided under this scheme.

Amount Term Interest Rate Repayments Cost of Credit
€20,000 3 yrs 4.99% (APR 5.11%) 36 monthly repayments of €599.33 €1,575.81

Please note, this example does not include the credit guarantee scheme premium – see below.

Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme Premium**

The borrower contributes to the cost of the Scheme by paying a guarantee premium on loans advanced. This premium is payable in addition to loan repayments. It represents the cost to the government of providing the 80% guarantee to participating lenders.

The premium will be collected in line with the repayment terms of the loan and is payable to the credit union who will in turn pass it on to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

The premium rate that will apply will depend on the size of the business and the length of time for which the credit is being advanced.

Please see below an overview of the rates which will be applicable to SMEs.

Duration of Facility 1 year 2 year 3 year 4 year 5 year 5.5 years
Rate % 0.15 0.26 0.29 0.50 0.61 0.68

Example of Premium payable – a loan of €20,000 over 36 months will have a Premium of 0.29% applied. The cost of this Premium over the life of the loan will be €86.63.


How long will scheme run?

The scheme is open until 30th June 2022 or until fully subscribed, Carrickmacross Credit Union Limited has approval to lend up to €750,000 as part of this scheme.

I already have a business loan. Can I apply?

Yes. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may apply for a loan even if you already have existing debt.

What is the duration of loans provided as part of this scheme?

Loans can be for a minimum of 3 months, up to a maximum repayment period of five and a half years.

Can the scheme be used to refinance existing debt?

In limited circumstances the scheme can be used to refinance debt incurred as a result of Covid-19. In particular, this may apply to Covid-19 related expenses that were initially funded through short term/temporary facilities such as overdrafts.

Is this scheme available in every credit union?

No. A limited number of credit unions across the country have been approved to participate in this scheme. Carrickmacross Credit Union Limited is delighted to be part of this scheme.

How long will a loan application take to process?

This will depend on the complexity of the application and the availability of the required supporting documentation. The credit union will endeavour to process loan applications within this scheme as quickly as possible. Talk to a member of staff for more information.

Where can I find out more?

For more information on any aspect of this scheme, talk to a member of staff today.


Loans are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply.

Carrickmacross Credit Union Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.