The Credit Union National Association’s 2018 mid-year Georgia Membership Benefits Report confirms credit union members enjoy significant financial benefits. According to Datatrac, the research firm behind CUNA’s report, credit unions provided the state’s 2.2 million credit union members $231,435,993 in direct financial benefits in the 12-month period ending in June. This is equivalent to $109 for each credit union member, or $229 per member household.
Credit unions focus their efforts on creating tangible value for their members because they are member-owned and democratically structured. Unlike a for-profit financial service provider, which is obliged to maximize profits to third-party shareholders, a credit union’s revenues are used for the benefit of its members. Credit union members often enjoy non-surcharge ATM services, better interest rates and lower service fees.
An example cited in Datatrac’s report indicates financing a new $25,000 automobile for 60 months at a typical Georgia credit union would save borrowers more than $1,300 in interest over the life of the loan.
Overall, credit unions offer lower average interest rates on new and used car loans, personal unsecured loans, first mortgage-fixed rate, first mortgage-adjustable rate, home equity loans and credit cards.
“Once people discover credit unions, they tend to embrace the benefits that differentiate credit unions from other types of financial institutions,” said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. “Members are the only owners of their credit unions. So, the benefits accrue only to themselves.”
Georgia’s population stood at about 10.55 million at the midpoint of 2018. Credit union members currently make up about 25 percent of the state’s population.
With more than 400 branches and total assets exceeding $23 billion, Georgia’s credit unions are financially strong, convenient and provide great value. For more information or to find a credit union that’s right for you, visit www.asmarterchoice.org.