Credit guarantee schemes

COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme

Introduced in May 2020, this €2 billion scheme is designed to support lending to SMEs.

  • The scheme will provide an 80% guarantee on lending to SMEs until the end of the year for terms between 3 months and 6 years.

  • Interest rates will be below current market rates.

  • The guarantee can be used for a wide range of lending products between €10,000 and €1 million, with a maximum term of 6 years or less.

  • It will be available to all SME sectors, including primary producers.

  • SMEs will be able to go directly to the banks in the scheme. This is a further development of the existing Credit Guarantee Scheme which is already available from AIB, BOI and Ulster Bank, and it will be possible for other lenders to get access to the scheme.

Credit Guarantee Scheme

The Government has repurposed the Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) to provide counter guarantees to banks, mitigating credit risk and the need for collateral.

The CGS can be used by businesses to obtain loans to support changes made to their business in response to COVID-19.

This scheme supports loans from €10,000 up to €1m for periods up to 7 years. SMEs may be eligible if they:

  • Are involved in a commercial activity;

  • Are a sole trader, partnership, franchise, co-operative or limited company;

  • In the lender's opinion have a viable business proposal; and

  • Are in a position to repay the facility.

The scheme is operated on behalf of the Government by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). Applications are available directly and can be made to participating lenders who are ultimately responsible for the credit decisions:

Further details are available on the SBCI website.

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