The 2017 year-end Georgia Membership Benefits Report confirms that credit union members enjoy significant financial benefits. According to the Credit Union National Association, credit unions provided the state’s 2.1 million credit union members $237,863,584 in direct financial benefits during 2017. This is equivalent to $114 for each credit union member, or $239 per member household.
Because credit unions are member-owned and not-for-profit, they focus their efforts primarily on member needs, providing lower-cost financial services and trustworthy financial information. Unlike a for-profit firm, which maximizes profits to shareholders, a credit union’s earnings are used totally for the benefit of its members. Credit union members enjoy non-surcharge ATM services, better loan and interest rates, and lower service fees.
An example cited in the report indicates financing a new $25,000 automobile for 60 months at a typical Georgia credit union would save borrowers an average of $282 per year in interest expense. That amounts to more than $1,400 in savings over the life of the loan.
Overall, credit unions offer lower average loan rates on new and used car loans, personal unsecured loans, first mortgage-fixed rate, first mortgage-adjustable rate, home equity loans and credit cards.
“The more people understand credit unions, the more they find to like about credit unions,” said Mike Mercer, President/CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, the state’s trade association. “The experience they get as member-owners, and the savings they enjoy in direct benefits, are what differentiate credit unions from other types of institutions.”
Georgia’s population stood at about 10.43 million at the end of the 2017, with another 109,000 people expected to take up residence in the state during 2018. Credit union members currently make up about 20 percent of the state’s population.
With more than 400 branches and total assets exceeding $22 billion, Georgia’s credit unions are financially strong, convenient and provide great value. To locate a credit union, visit www.asmarterchoice.org.