Georgia credit unions continue to offers state consumers their best value for financial services. Credit unions delivered Georgia residents an average direct financial benefit equivalent of $87 per member and $165 per member household for the 12-month period ending September 2016, according to Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA).
The report arrives on the heels of encouraging economic news for Georgia. In January, state economist Kenneth Heaghney announced that Georgia's economy grew nearly 2.4% between November 2015 and November 2016, outperforming the national economy, which expanded 1.7% over the same period. Heaghney also predicted that the state's economy would continue to expand in 2017.
"No matter which direction economic indicators are pointing, credit unions play a vital role in Georgia's economy," said Mike Mercer, GCUA president/CEO. "They spur economic growth and provide residents with essential financial services. For Georgians, these member-owned, community-based institutions offer a better alternative for consumers."
The GCUA’s Georgia Membership Benefits Report shows the interest rate for a new car loan at a Georgia credit union averaged 2.4%, compared with 3.35% at a Georgia bank. Financing a new, $25,000 automobile for 60 months at a Georgia credit union would save members an average of $126 per year in interest expense, compared with a loan from a Georgia bank. That amounts to more than $600 in savings over the life of the loan.
The report notes that Georgia credit unions offer lower average interest rates for mortgages and for credit card balances, as well as higher interest rates for deposit accounts. They also charge lower fees than banks. For example, credit card late fees averaged nearly $20 less at Georgia credit unions, and their average mortgage closing fees were more than $200 lower than those charged by banks.