ATLANTA (12/17/14)--Georgia credit unions reported the largest third-quarter increase in loans in more than a decade, with total loans rising by 4.2%, according to Georgia Credit Union Affiliates.
The first nine months of 2014 generated loan growth of 8.9% (11.9% annualized). Since October 2013, Georgia cooperative financial institutions have recorded a 10.2% increase in loans.
Automobile lending maintained its position as the top performing loan category. New-auto loans grew 9.26% in the third quarter. Used-auto loans increased year-to-date by 7.6% (10.1% annualized).
"It's not a surprise that as the economy improves, consumers are looking to purchase bigger ticket items," said Mike Mercer, league president/CEO. "When people are considering financing options, they're looking for great interest rates and rapid approval times. But, they're often looking for trustable advice ... tough to find in the car-buying experience. That's what they get at a credit union."
The current average rate on a four-year used-vehicle loan at a Georgia credit union is 1.01% lower than average bank rates, according to Informa Research Services.
Unsecured loans and first-mortgage loans were also up in the third quarter, with those categories growing by 3.2% and 2.3% year-to-date, respectively.
Georgia consumers clearly recognize the benefits of belonging to a credit union, with total memberships in the state's credit unions growing by 2.8% in the third quarter (3.7% annualized) and by 3.1% from October 2013 to September 2014.
Nationally, federally insured credit unions have been reporting strong loan growth all year and that positive trend even picked up a bit during the third quarter of this year, according to state-level data released by the National Credit Union Administration last week. (News Now Dec. 10). The median growth rate for loans outstanding was 3.5% during the year ending in the third quarter. That was up from the 1.8% median growth rate in the year ending Sept. 30, 2013.