As more Georgia consumers take advantage of the service-driven culture of credit unions, cooperative financial institutions are experiencing significant and consistent loan growth.
“Being member-owned, credit unions don’t have shareholders to pay,” said Mike Mercer, president/CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. “Members benefit directly and personally from their relationships with their credit unions. Credit union loan growth illustrates the positive impact credit unions continue to have in stimulating the economy and helping people afford life.”
Credit unions have outpaced banks in loan growth in each of the last 12 years.
When the financial crisis of 2008 hit banks hard, and the rate of bank lending decreased by double digits the following year, loans were up by almost seven-percent at credit unions.
In 2017, the 8.8% increase in loans at credit unions was more than eight times the rate of loan growth reported at Georgia banks.
“Georgia credit unions are proud to serve more than two million members,” said Terry Hardy, GCUA board chair and CEO of MembersFirst CU, Decatur, Ga. Georgia credit unions claimed 2,121,518 memberships at the end of 2017--representing more than 20% of the state’s population.
“The more people know about credit unions, the more they gravitate to them,” Mercer said. “There just isn’t another kind of financial institution designed to serve consumers the way credit unions are. They have always been singularly focused on how they can best serve their members. That includes connecting people with loans that help them afford the life they’re working to achieve.”