Credit union members across the Carolinas share $526M+ in benefits
COLUMBIA, SC (May 11, 2023) — Nearly 6.5 million Carolinians shared $526.7 million in direct benefits as credit union members in 2022, according to Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Economics and Statistics. On average, North Carolina benefits were $84 per member and $176 per member household, and in South Carolina were $73 per member and $153 per member household.
Credit unions provide the best value for personal financial services because they are not-for-profit cooperatives focused on the best interests of their accountholders, who are the owners.
Year-end 2022 data1 shows credit unions across the Carolinas on average offer lower interest rates on car loans, first mortgages, home equity loans, and credit card balances. They also generally pay higher yields on deposit accounts and charge lower fees.
The average NC credit union rate of 4.99% for a 60-month, $25,000 new car loan would save a borrower $62 in annual interest and $310 over the life of the loan compared to the average NC bank rate of 5.44%. In SC, the credit union average of 4.57% on the same loan would save a borrower $83 in annual interest and $415 total compared to the average SC bank rate of 5.17%.
In both states, average mortgage closing costs were $210 less at credit unions than through banks, and credit card late fees averaged nearly $10 less at credit unions.
“As consumers look for steady financial partners, credit unions have again shown that their members are top priority,” Carolinas Credit Union League President and CEO Dan Schline observes. “Throughout North and South Carolina, community-based credit unions are a smart choice for anyone looking to keep more in their pockets for their own best interests.”
Specific member benefits vary by institution and member, particularly for those with long-term, multiple-service relationships. Founders FCU (Lancaster, SC) announced during Super Bowl LVII its largest-ever return of $20M in Super Loyalty Bonus Dividends based on dividends earned and interest paid in 2022.
Similar year-end loyalty dividends paid in December 2022 included $1 million by Fort Bragg FCU (Fayetteville, NC) and $1.5 million each by SRP Federal Credit Union (N. Augusta, SC) and SAFE Federal Credit Union (Sumter, SC).
“A fundamental part of being a locally-based cooperative and a good neighbor is, we aren’t paying dividends to Wall Street investors,” former Coastal Credit Union (Raleigh, NC) CEO Chuck Purvis said in a February announcement of its $71.4 million overall return that equated to $221 per member. “Instead, that money stays right here in our community, rewarding the members who choose to do business with us every day.”
See more in CUNA’s NC Membership Benefits Report and SC Membership Benefits Report.
About Carolinas Credit Union League
The Carolinas Credit Union League is the not-for-profit association of credit unions throughout North and South Carolina. Established in 2014 with a commitment to the cooperative spirit, the Carolinas Credit Union League is credit unions’ primary advocate and much more, promoting their success through risk and compliance resources, professional development, product and service enhancements, and back-office support.