Pension and Welfare Payment Arrangements June Bank Holiday

Department of Social Protection – arrangements for June Bank Holiday 2018

The Department’s offices are closed on Monday, 4th June 2018.

If you are due to sign for a jobseeker’s payment  on Monday 4th June , you won’t have to sign on that day. However, normal signing arrangements apply for the rest of the week.

If your  welfare or pension payment is due to be paid at a post office on Monday 4th June, you will be able to collect it from Saturday 2nd June. Note that all post offices will be closed on Monday 4th June

Welfare or pension payments made direct to bank accounts that are due on Monday 4 June will be paid instead  on Friday 1st June.

Workers who are wondering how much they should get paid for Bank Holidays should read our article on Bank Holiday Pay


Switching Mortgage Lender : Is it Worth it?

Switching your Mortgage Lender – is it worth it?

If your current mortgage rate is over 3.4% we say it is well worth switching if you can.
Below  – we show some comparisons that show a switch to a mortgage interest rate of just 0.7% lower on a €240k mortgage  can result in savings of more than  €14,000 over 5 years. (Including cashback offers)

Back in the “Celtic Tiger” years most of the Irish banks were actively trying to get people to switch mortgages by offering lower rates and other incentives.  In 2006 the mortgage switching market made up about 15% of all new mortgages in Ireland.
 Now in 2018 – some of the banks in Ireland  are still offering incentives to attract switchers –  but how much can you save by switching?  Is it worth it?  ….

Continue reading…


Lowest Mortgage Rates in Ireland

We always try to keep potential homebuyers or mortgage switchers up to date on the lowest mortgage rates available in Ireland. Doing a comparison of Irish mortgage interest rates  is easier in 2018  than it was a few years ago –  because there are fewer lenders operating in Ireland and a lot less mortgage products.

See our full  list of the Lowest Mortgage Rates here.

Fixed Rates

Currently the best overall deal for first time buyers or switchers  is  to go for a 3 or 5  year fixed rate at  3% from Bank of Ireland –  with a maximum LTV of 90%. BOI are offering up to 3% cashback   for all new mortgage customers .  EBS have just cut their fixed rates to 3% too – with a maximum of 2% cashback available

Note: Ulster Bank have 4 year fixed rate of 2.85 %  for switchers  –  just below BOI  – but the larger cashback offer from BOI works out as a better overall deal in our opinion.  (See some figures here) .


Variable Rates

One of the lowest variable mortgage rates for new customers is from AIB or Haven at  3.15% with a maximum LTV of 90%.

If you can manage a 20% deposit – you could get a variable rate of 2.95% – again from AIB or Haven . But with a 5 year fixed rate at 3% you will get more certainty of how much your repayments will be .

If you are thinking of switching your mortgage to get a lower rate – you should take account of the fact there will be  legal costs and valuation fees involved (around  €1,300  in total)  But many lenders are offering cashback to new customers to help with switching costs.

See some calculations on mortgage switching here.

See all the Lowest Mortgage Rates here

More about the Rules on Mortgage Lending Limits in Ireland Here .

Also – if you are having problems getting a big enough mortgage from the banks – you should think about applying for a mortgage under the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme. They are offering a pretty good long term fixed rate of just 2% over 25 years – but you must have applied to two banks and been refused first.

Interest Rates Figures checked May 19th 2018


Euro Sterling Exchange Rate Update

Euro to Sterling Exchange Rate  : May 18th  2018 9am

1 GBP = 1.143 EUR

1 EUR =  0.87367 GBP

See the Latest  Exchange Rates Here

An unexpected slowdown in UK economic growth in the first quarter, sent the pound falling 1.1% versus the euro in early May. and the pound euro exchange rate fell to a low of €1.1348, its lowest level in 5 weeks.
Last week Sterling started to claw back losses from the previous week – Despite a run of weak data, a cautious Bank of England (BoE) and uncertainties over Brexit, the pound managed to climb higher against the euro on Thursday. The pound euro exchange rate touched a high of €1.1475, a 3 day high and is on track for its second consecutive winning week.

The Euro wasn’t helped by the possibility of a coalition between two  Eurosceptic parties in Italy. Possible policies include potentially leaving the euro.

The ongoing uncertainty over Brexit will continue to  affect Sterling and we expect more volatility for the pound throughout the next stages of Britain’s negotiations with the EU.
Sterling did not perform too well  overall in 2017 – at its lowest point the Pound went to just €1.08 – down from €1.31 in the month before the Brexit referendum in 2016. There is a possibility that Sterling might get back to last year’s April high of €1.20  if talks go well but any setbacks could see the Pound fall again.

With so much  uncertainty in the currency markets at the moment –  it could get quite stressful for people or businesses planning large Euro / Sterling exchanges in the next few months.   We are in a period of rate volatility which, depending on your timescales and budget, could cause problems if you are not properly prepared.

Using a Currency Exchange specialist  can remove some of the uncertainty by allowing you to fix an exchange rate as much as 12 months in advance of your transfer.  For good deals on currency exchange for large amounts –  for personal money or for businesses – see our page on how to get the Best Exchange Rates

You might also be interested in this information about Transferring  Money from Ireland to a UK Bank

If you are just looking to buy some Pounds , Dollars  or other foreign cash for a holiday  – take a look at our page about the best place to buy travel currency in Ireland

money transfer