FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2016
ATLANTA — Georgia credit union members reaped direct financial benefits of $184.8 million in 2015, nearly $55 million more than in 2014, according to the semi-annual Georgia Membership Benefits Report released by Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA).
In 2014, Georgia credit union members received $129.9 million in direct financial benefits. New auto loan originations contributed greatly to the 2015 spike.
The national auto industry had its highest sales in 15 years in 2015, according to the Washington Post. Consumers purchased some 17.5 million new vehicles, likely due to positive developments throughout the U.S. economy such as low gas prices, higher employment rates, rising wages and a more robust job market.
For credit unions in 2015, advantageous credit card and new auto loan rates for Georgia credit unions contributed significantly to the high benefit totals for the year. New car loans went from $14.1 million in net benefits to credit union members in 2014, to $25.1 million in 2015. Credit card rate advantages increased from $23.9 million in 2014 to $39.1 million in member benefits in 2015.
For example, financing a new automobile at $25,000 for 60 months at a Georgia credit union in 2015 saved an average of $710 in interest over the life of the loan compared to the same loan at a bank.
“Year after year, the numbers prove being a member of a credit union in Georgia is beneficial,” said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of GCUA. “And while the pricing advantage is attractive, members really appreciate the helpful service they get from credit union employees. Whether it’s through offering lower loan rates or providing exceptional member service, credit unions across the state live out their mission of Helping People Afford Life.”
Overall, the benefits for Georgia credit union members were generated from $122.7 million in the form of lower interest rates on loan products, $37.2 million from higher return rates on savings products and $24.8 million from fewer and lower fees. Last year, these benefits saved Georgia credit union members $171 per household.
The Georgia Membership Benefits Report, based on price comparison data collected by the National Credit Union Administration and Informa Research Services during the 12 months ending December 2015, is the latest installment in an ongoing series of quarterly reports.
Click here to see the full Membership Benefits Report.
About Georgia Credit Union Affiliates Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) provides services and support that help Georgia credit unions – with current memberships topping the 2.1 million mark – meet the financial service needs of the state’s credit union members. GCUA offers advocacy, educational, operational and marketing support for Georgia’s 121 credit unions, with combined total assets of more than $21 billion. More information can be found at http://www.asmarterchoice.org/ and on social media at https://www.facebook.com/creditYOUnion, https://twitter.com/HPALGa and https://twitter.com/Gcuagov.