PEWAUKEE, Wis. and ATLANTA (4/23/13)--Georgia and Wisconsin credit unions saved consumers millions of dollars in 2012, according to reports from the states' respective leagues.
Georgia credit unions saved state consumers $130 million last year by offering lower interest rates, according to a new report from Georgia Credit Union Affiliates.
"Credit unions consistently offer consumers better value than banks," said Mike Mercer, GCUA president/CEO. "With back-to-back years of membership growth, Georgia credit unions continued to provide members with lower interest rates, higher savings rates and fewer fees than banks last year."
Membership at Georgia credit unions increased 2.3% in 2012, following 3.3% growth in 2011.
The average interest rate for a 60-month new car loan in 2012 at Georgia credit unions was 3.06%, compared with 4.92% at the state's banks. Members saved an average $252 per year if they financed a 60-month loan for a new $25,000 vehicle through a credit union instead of a bank.
The average interest rate at Georgia credit unions for a 48-month used car loan was 3.2% in 2012--2.23 points lower than the average used car loan interest at banks (5.43%).
On average, credit union households saved $130, according to the latest Georgia Credit Union Member Benefits Index. Georgia credit union members saved $69 more last year than bank customers.
The index, based on data collected during the 12 months ending December 2012, is the latest installment in an ongoing series of reports updated on a semiannual basis. Compiled by the Credit Union National Association, the report leverages information compiled from banking institutions and the state's 139 credit unions.
Wisconsin credit unions have saved consumers more than $1 billion since the start of the recent recession in 2007, according to the Wisconsin Credit Union League.
Wisconsin credit union also saved members $110 per year per household because of more competitive pricing on financial services overall. Those who use a credit union extensively receive total financial benefits much greater, the league said
Credit union members saved $1,150 in interest to finance a new car compared with using a bank, the Wisconsin league said. That is based on a $25,000 vehicle with funds borrowed for five years, with a savings of $230 per year in interest.
Wisconsin credit unions offer an interest rate that's almost one percent lower than banks for a typical "gold" credit card. Credit unions' late payment fee on a credit card is about $10 less than what banks charge, the league said.
The savings underscores the value of credit union membership, said CUNA, which is urging credit unions to Unite for Good in achieving a strategic vision where Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner. Fostering service excellence, removing barriers and raising awareness are three goals. Consumers can find more information about credit unions at aSmarterChoice.org.