Georgians are moving their money to credit unions to take advantage of lower fees and better interest rates on a range of services, from new and used car loans to savings and checking accounts, according to a new report from Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA).
Statewide, credit union membership grew by 3.3 percent in 2011, one percentage point higher than the growth credit unions experienced in 2010 (2.3 percent), according to the semi-annual Member Benefits Index study GCUA released. Total assets at credit unions statewide also increased by 6.5 percent during the year.
The report also reveals that Georgia credit unions in 2011 provided nearly $114.2 million in direct financial benefits to the state’s more than 1.8 million members. These benefits – in the form of better interest rates and fewer and lower fees – average out to $62 per member or $118 per member household.
These savings have attracted new credit union members in record numbers. More than 24,700 Georgians joined credit unions in the fourth quarter of 2011 alone (coinciding with the
announcement of a fee increase at a major national bank).
“Although the economy has begun to show steady improvement, Georgians remain cautious and continue to seek financially prudent alternatives that help them afford life,” said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of GCUA.