DULUTH, Ga. (4/14/11)--Georgia credit unions grew membership by 2.3% between December 2009 and December 2010, according to new data from the Georgia Credit Union Benefits Index, announced the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. That is an increase from the 0.9% membership growth credit unions experienced between December 2008 and December 2009, according to a release from the league (Professional Services Close-Up
April 11). Between December 2009 and December 2010, total assets at credit unions statewide grew by 2.7% to $16.6 billion, according to the index. Also, total loans grew by 3.9% while savings increased by 7.6%--a sign that Georgia consumers are looking to keep more of their money, not spend it, the league said. “It’s no surprise that Georgians are continuing to entrust credit unions with their money,” said Mike Mercer, president/CEO. “Credit unions offer a safe alternative to other financial institutions and continue to save members money through better rates and fewer fees.” The group noted that 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 nearly $116.2 million or $64 per member and $122 per member household. Also:
* Georgia credit union members saved more than $63 million as a result of lower interest rates on loan products; * Higher interest rates on savings products yielded members nearly $17 million in benefits; * Members saved more than $36 million through fewer and lower fees compared to other financial institutions.
The index, based on data collected between December 2009 and December 2010, uses data compiled from more than 160 Georgia credit unions and banking institution statistics from Datatrac, a rate survey firm.