Paying ATTENTION...®
to people and their money

Barry Heape, President/CEO
DOCO Credit Union

Increased Lending At Georgia Credit Unions Signals Economic Turnaround, Report Suggests

  • Lending growth at the state’s credit unions outpaced savings – confirmation that economic conditions are improving
  • Total loans increased 1.2 percent in the final three months of 2013, contributing to a 6 percent growth rate for the year, with auto loans and mortgages leading the way
  • Total savings balances increased by 2.81 percent over the year while transaction account balances grew 7.12 percent

ATLANTA (February 24, 2014) – Lending growth at Georgia’s credit unions outpaced savings in 2013, a sign the state’s economic conditions continue to improve.

The state’s 138 credit unions experienced a 1.2 percent increase in total loans during the fourth quarter and a 6 percent growth rate for the year, according to Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA).

The two biggest loan categories – auto and mortgage lending – both experienced increases on the year. New vehicle loans were up 11.2 percent while used auto loans saw a 7 percent uptick. Concurrently, first mortgage loans recorded a 5.9 percent increase and second mortgage loans rose 2.3 percent.

“Family finances have been squeezed for a long time,” said Mike Mercer, president and CEO of GCUA. “We’re pleased to see more people participating in the recovering economy, moving past the uncertainty of the great recession...having the confidence to engage in household formation activities and in upgrading their vehicles.”

Credit card balances at Georgia credit unions increased 2.9 percent while other unsecured loans grew by 6.7 percent during the year – both of which are an increase compared to prior years as well. Georgia credit union member bankruptcy filings continued their steep decline, falling nearly 25 percent in 2013.

The report found:

  • Regular savings account balances increased by 7.72 percent in the year
  • Money market account balances grew 5.38 percent this past year
  • IRA/Keogh account balances decreased 1.57 during the year
  • Transaction account balances increased 7.12 percent in 2013
  • Georgia credit union membership grew by 2.57 percent over the past year

The current average rate on a four-year used auto loan at the state’s credit unions is 0.74 percent below the comparable rate at a bank in Georgia according to Informa Research Service surveys. On a $20,000 used car loan, a credit union would save the average Georgia consumer approximately $315 over four years. Credit union membership has been growing for the past several years.

Georgia Consumer Loan Interest Rate Averages
February 10th, 2014 – Source: Informa Research Services
Product Credit Unions Banks CU Difference
Home Equity Loan - 70% LTV $25,000/five years 5.31% 5.66% -0.35%
Unsecured Personal $5,000/two years 9.40% 9.60% -0.20%
Credit Card Standard 11.57% 15.85% -4.28%
Credit Card Platinum 9.15% 10.93% -1.78%
New Vehicle – Five-year loan 2.85% 3.40% -0.55%
Used Vehicle – Four-year loan 3.08% 3.82% -0.74%

Published quarterly, “Paying Attention” compiles savings and lending data from 45 credit unions from across the state, representing 94 percent of credit union assets and 89 percent of members in Georgia. Click here to view previous “Paying Attention” reports.

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 2.91% 2.91%   Regular Savings 7.72% 7.72%
Other Unsecured 6.68% 6.68% Money Market Accounts 5.38% 5.38%
New Vehicle 11.20% 11.20% Certificates of Deposit -8.39% -8.39%
Used Vehicle 6.95% 6.95% IRA/Keogh Accts -1.57% -1.57%
1st Mortgage 5.91% 5.91%
Transaction Accounts $ Balances
2nd Mortgage 2.28% 2.28% Checking Accounts 7.12% 7.12%
Business -8.66% -8.66%      
Total Loans 6.00% 6.00%   Total Savings 2.81% 2.81%
Number of Bankruptcy Filings:        
YTD No. of Filings   3,834   Memberships 2.57% 2.57%
% Change from Year Ago   -24.85%        
* 12 months of 2013 compared to 12 months of 2012   YTD: 1/1/13 - 12/31/13
Georgia Credit Union Affiliates


Click the chart to see a larger version


Click the chart to see a larger version