Georgia credit union members enjoy substantial financial benefits, according to the Credit Union National Association’s 2019 Year-end Georgia Membership Benefits report.
According to Datatrac, the research firm behind CUNA’s report, credit unions provided the state’s 2.2 million credit union members $226,584,828 in direct financial benefits during the twelve months ending in December 2018. That means, on average, credit union members received the equivalent of $106 each and that member households received an average of $223.
Credit unions’ member-owned and democratic structure allows these not-for-profit financial institutions to focus their efforts on creating tangible value for members. For-profit financial service providers are obliged to maximize profits for their third-party shareholders. But credit unions are member-owned, allowing them to use their revenues to directly benefit consumers. As a result, credit union members often enjoy friendlier service and lower fees.
Credit unions also tend to offer lower average interest rates on personal unsecured loans, first mortgage-fixed rate, first mortgage-adjustable rate, home equity loans, credit cards and new and used auto loans. An example cited in Datatrac’s report shows that financing a new $25,000automobile for 60 months at a typical Georgia credit union would save borrowers an average of $1,175 a year over the life of the loan.
“Georgians who experience the credit union difference tend to become loyal members,” said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. “The benefits of credit union membership are meaningful. They underline the credit union mission – to help people afford life.”
Georgia’s population stood at 10.52 million at the end of 2018, which means credit union members made up about 21 percent of the state’s population.