According to the Ohio Credit Union League’s 2017 semi-annual Performance Report, Ohio residents are increasingly turning to credit unions for consumer finance solutions. Membership growth in Ohio credit unions lags behind national and regional averages; however, they have experienced healthy growth. Ohio credit unions saw an increase of 53,960 net new members over the last year creating increasing growth for the last three years. According to Steve Rick, chief economist for CUNA Mutual Group, credit union memberships are now equal to 31 percent of the U.S. population.
“With the population growing less than one percent, the credit union membership-to-population ratio will continue to rise in the foreseeable future,” said Rick.
So what is causing the significant shift to credit unions? What is the appeal of these not-for-profit financial institutions over banks?
- Lower loan rates. Credit unions offer the same lending products and services as banks, but usually with more attractive rates. The greatest of these being auto loan rates at 22.9% loan penetration.
- Higher saving rates. Credit unions do not have to pay shareholders, which enables them to reward and attract members with higher rates on saving accounts.
- Free services. With a not-for-profit status, earnings are returned to members through services like free ATMs and free checking accounts.
- Many credit unions offer the same conveniences with mobile and/or online banking and easy nationwide access through the Shared Branching Network.
- Commitment to service. Credit unions are local and organized solely to serve the interests of its membership and the community.
To learn more about the credit union difference or to find a credit union, visit: www.aSmarterChoice.org