ATLANTA, April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Georgia credit unions had a successful year in 2010, growing membership by 2.3 percent between December 2009 and December 2010, new data from the Georgia Credit Union Benefits Index shows. That is an increase from the 0.9 percent membership growth credit unions experienced between December 2008 and December 2009.
Between December 2009 and December 2010, total assets at credit unions statewide grew by 2.7 percent – to $16.6 billion in December 2010, according to the Index, which was released by the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. In addition, total loans grew by 3.9 percent while savings increased by 7.6 percent – a sign that Georgia consumers are looking to keep more of their money, not spend it.
"It's no surprise that Georgians are continuing to entrust credit unions with their money," said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. "Credit unions offer a safe alternative to other financial institutions and continue to save members money through better rates and fewer fees."
Interest rates for a number of loan options remained lower for the state's more than 1.8 million credit union members. Coupled with lower fees and higher rates for savings products, total benefits equated to $116,194,635 or $64 per member/$122 per member household:
- Georgia credit union members saved $63,032,142 as a result of lower interest rates on loan products
- Higher interest rates on savings products yielded members $16,975,701 in benefits
- Members saved $36,186,792 through fewer and lower fees compared to other financial institutions
For example, credit unions on average offered a 60-month new car loan (4.15 percent) that was 1.31 percent better than banks' average (5.46 percent). A 48-month used car loan at a credit union (4.31 percent) bested banks (6.00 percent) by 1.69 percent.
When it came to fees, credit unions on average offered lower fees ($25) than banks ($30) for checking accounts and also for credit card late fees ($20 for credit unions compared to banks' average fee of $35).
The Georgia Credit Union Benefits Index – based on data collected between December 2009 and December 2010 – is the latest installment of an ongoing report updated on a semiannual basis. The report – which uses data compiled from more than 160 Georgia credit unions and banking institution statistics from Datatrac, the nation's leading rate survey firm – serves as a barometer to help Georgia consumers make more informed personal financial decisions.
About Georgia Credit Union Affiliates
Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) provides services and support that help credit unions meet the financial services needs of the state's more than 1.8 million credit union members. GCUA offers advocacy, educational, operational and marketing support for Georgia's 154 credit unions, with combined total assets of more than $16 billion. More information can be found at www.georgiacreditunions.org.
SOURCE Georgia Credit Union Affiliates