LANSING, Mich. (4/7/14)--The popularity of credit unions in Michigan continues to surge. In 2013, almost 80,000 new consumers opted to manage their finances at credit unions, seeking out lower loan rates, fewer and lower fees and superior member service (The Burton View April 3).
That's an average of 215 per day in a state where 47% of the population, or 4.6 million people, already hold memberships at credit unions.
"Credit unions are owned by their members, which means that the institutions are committed to offering members the highest quality services at the lowest possible price," said Dave Adams, Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) CEO. "We continue to work to build awareness so that more Michiganders will know and understand the difference we offer compared to big banks."
Credit union members in Michigan last year saved $226 million thanks to their involvement in the credit union community, according to the Community Reinvestment Report from the MCUL (News Now Feb. 27).
The report revealed members saved $49 million in lower or fewer fees, blocked $153 million in lower interest rates on loans and earned $23 million in interest rates on savings.
"Credit unions take pride in embracing a lending philosophy that strives to support communities and members and keep money local," Adams said, adding, "This philosophy, and the willingness to lend money despite a rough economic picture, is at the heart of what makes credit unions different from banks."
Meanwhile, among all popular loan products found at Michigan credit unions, student loans have been particularly attractive, as loan growth jumped 32% last year across the state.
"Credit unions are well known for the mission of helping members with all of their financial challenges," Dennis Hanson, CEO, Dow Chemical Employees CU, Midland, Mich., with $1.4 billion in assets, told The Burton View. "And college loans are clearly an important challenge."
Credit unions also appear to have cornered the market on indirect auto loans. With a 5.3% increase from 2012, credit unions now see 41.9% of indirect auto loans come through their doors; not to mention that auto loans carry interest rates averaging 1.39% less than banks, according to numbers compiled by the Credit Union National Association.