Holiday Loans That Generate Interest

A range of rates and terms light up the credit union landscape around the world.

 
 

When the weather outside turns frightful, credit unions offer delightful deals for members trying to score gift-giving cred without the budget shred.

A Google search of credit union holiday loans displays offerings from across the country — and the Atlantic — with myriad plays on the theme.

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Interest rates vary from quite low to the regulated maximum. A surprising number of the loan specials — specifically for small institutions with tight SEG or community FOMs — require an application fee and a trip to a branch (no online app). Most fees are in the range of $25 to $30, and loan terms generally extend for 11 months to one year, which is reasonable for a holiday product.

Many credit unions, however, do put a creative marketing spin on the loans. For instance, the Holiday Relief auto loan from Hudson Valley FCU ($4.6B, Poughkeepsie, NY) delays the first payment for 90 days and allows members to apply it online or at dealers offering their own year-end sales.

 

 

Then there’s fun with numbers, like the 12.12.12 Loan from SC Telco FCU ($366.7M, Greenville, SC). Easy to remember: up to $1,200 for 12 months at 12% APR.

“If you’re finding yourself a little short with the holidays approaching, don’t fund your festivities with a high-interest credit card or short-term payday loan,” the credit union says on its website.

One of the longer-term loans ? and lowest advertised rates ? in the Google search is the ECU Holiday Loan from Eastman Credit Union ($4.0B, Kingsport, TN). The big Tennessee cooperative is offering up to $5,000 for 18 months at interest as low as 4.95%.

Christmas Clubs savings programs are oldies but goodies. Check out how these three credit unions help their members celebrate the holidays.

But a credit union doesn’t have to be big to go low.

The Christmas Loan Special from Norwin Teachers FCU ($25.0M, North Huntingdon, PA) is tiered at 4%, 5%, and 6% depending on whether the borrower takes out money in October, November, or December. Up to $2,000 per loan for 12 months is available, and anyone who borrows at least $1,000 is eligible for a $200 cash drawing. More details? Ask Betty. The web page advises she’s “making her list and checking it twice!” Or click on the PDF link for this flyer.

Another variation comes from another education-based credit union. A+ FCU ($1.4B, Austin, TX) offers up to $1,500 through its Holiday Line of Credit. It requires an “Open End Plan” on file that lets the credit union extend credit again without the member signing a new loan app. It also requires a direct deposit of at least $800 a month for the past five consecutive months.

The credit union also offers lots of holiday finacial advice on it's blog, such as tips for safer holiday shopping, staying within a budget, and $10 gifts everyone will enjoy

Of course, members need to know how much they have to pay each month, and the Holiday Loan Calculation Schedule from Team One Credit Union ($507.6M, Saginaw, MI) makes it easy to see what the institution’s Holiday Loan of 7.99% for $750 to $2,000 is going to cost. Check out the sample schedule on Team One’s web page.

That’s simple. So is the Holiday Helper Loan from Roanoke Valley Community Credit Union ($74.8M, Roanoke, VA). There are tabs at the bottom of the page for online or paper applications, loans are for $500, $1,000, or $1,500, depending on qualifications, and approval is not dependent on credit score. In fact, there’s no credit check for current members.

Speaking of prizes? How about 1,000 euros as a first prize or one of five luxury Christmas hampers (“gift baskets” in American English)? That's the hook for Community Credit Union's Christmas Loan Promotion. Members can collect prizes at any of the Irish credit union’s four branches.

Back on this side of the pond, and not to be outdone, Jamaica’s EduCom Co-operative Credit Union offers Christmas loans of up to $100,000. Of course, that’s in Jamaican currency. At today’s exchange rate, that’s approximately $780 U.S. — possibly just enough to celebrate the holidays in the Caribbean.