Georgia credit unions see loans increase in 2015

ATLANTA — Total loans at credit unions in Georgia grew 12 percent 2015, topping the 11.1 percent growth in 2014, according to Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA).

The fourth quarter’s top loan performer in 2015 was second mortgages, which posted a quarterly gain of 14.3 percent and finished the year up 13.6 percent. Although it was evidence of an economic slowdown for the fourth quarter, it was a stark difference from 2014, when second mortgages declined by 1.5 percent overall.

Big gains in auto and mortgage loans over the last few years have been in large part due to pent-up demand from the recession being pushed forward. New vehicle loans remained the top loan category in 2015 with a 12-month gain of 20.5 percent and a fourth quarter increase of 1.7 percent.

In fact, all loan categories finished the year in positive territory with the trend toward big-ticket purchases continuing. Used auto loans grew 1.3 percent for the quarter and 12 percent for the year. First mortgages were up 3 percent in the final quarter, with a yearly gain of 10.4 percent.

Business lending also finished 2015 strong with a 10.8 percent overall increase. This is a significant jump, as member business lending was down 3.4 percent the previous year.

Other unsecured loans finished 2015 with a gain of 4.9 percent, although this category was down slightly from the 5.1 percent gain in 2014. Credit cards rounded out overall loan growth, with a 3.1 percent increase, which was up from a 2014 year-end increase of 1.8 percent.

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