to people and their money

Cindy Owens, President/CEO
Piedmont Plus Federal Credit Union

Report: Consumer Spending in Georgia Fueled by Sustained Economic Improvements
More Georgians turn to credit unions for lending needs

  • New vehicle loans at Georgia credit unions increased 6.8 percent in the first half of 2013
  • Used vehicle loans increased 5.5 percent for the first half of the year
  • Total loan balances were up 2.9 percent in the first half of 2013

ATLANTA (August 26, 2013) – Strong job growth and a rebounding housing market continue to drive consumer spending in Georgia, suggests a recent report by Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA).

The report showed robust automobile demand throughout the state: New vehicle loans at Georgia credit unions increased 6.8 percent in the first half of the 2013, and used vehicle loans increased 5.5 percent for that same period.

This persistent growth in vehicle loans reflects the state’s steadily improving economy, which recently added 40,000 new jobs (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics) and observed a 4 percent rise in average home prices during first quarter 2013 – the most recent data available by the Federal Housing Finance Agency purchase-only index.

“Jobs and housing prices are both key factors in lifting consumer confidence,” said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of GCUA. “As we see those conditions return to pre-recession levels, we expect lending at Georgia credit unions to expand as well.”

For the quarterly report, GCUA compiled savings and lending data from June 2012 to June 2013 at 43 credit unions from across the state, representing 94 percent of credit union assets and 88 percent of members in Georgia.

While automobile financing led the way in consumer spending, the report also displayed a solid overall increase in loans at Georgia credit unions. For the first half of 2013, total loan balances were up 2.9 percent – and second mortgage loans jumped by 4.4 percent.

In addition, the report reaffirmed Georgia credit unions’ traditionally lower interest rates on loans:

Georgia Consumer Loan Interest Rate Averages
August 9th 2013 – Source: Informa Research Services
Product GA Credit Unions GA Banks CU-Bank Difference
Unsecured personal $5,000/2 Yr. 9.93% 10.05% -0.12%
Credit Card Standard 11.51% 15.32% -3.81%
Credit Card Platinum 9.30% 11.24% -1.94%
New Vehicle – 5 Yr. 3.01% 3.73% -0.72%
Used Vehicle – 4 Yr. 3.16% 4.41% -1.25%

“These substantial savings advantages continue to fuel growth at Georgia credit unions,” said Mercer.

In fact, total membership at the state’s credit unions grew by 1.8 percent in the first half of the 2013 and by 2.6 percent in the year ending June 2013.

Click here to view previous "Paying Attention" reports. More information about Georgia credit unions is available at or on

About Georgia Credit Union Affiliates
Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA) provides services and support that help credit unions meet the financial services needs of the state’s more than 1.9 million credit union members. GCUA offers advocacy, educational, operational and marketing support for Georgia’s 139 credit unions, with combined total assets of more than $18 billion. More information can be found at


Trends at Georgia Credit Unions
Consumer Credit
Consumer Savings $ Balances
Growth Rates
Growth Rates
12 Months
12 Months
Credit Card -4.09% 0.70%   Regular Savings 8.27% 10.43%
Other Unsecured -0.87% 3.76% Money Market Accounts 3.43% 4.94%
New Vehicle 6.82% 15.43% Certificates of Deposit -4.70% -9.26%
Used Vehicle 5.48% 11.09% IRA/Keogh Accts -0.91% -0.92%
1st Mortgage 1.36% 3.30%
Transaction Accounts $ Balances
2nd Mortgage 4.41% 1.13% Checking Accounts 9.63% 8.76%
Business -2.80% -0.64%      
Total Loans 2.90% 6.62%   Total Savings 3.87% 3.51%
Number of Bankruptcy Filings:        
YTD No. of Filings   2,546   Memberships 1.75% 2.57%
% Change from Year Ago   -8.52%        
* First 6 months of 2013 compared to first 6 months of 2012   YTD: 1/1/13 - 6/30/13
12 Mos: 6/12 - 6/13
Georgia Credit Union Affiliates
Loans Savings