While Georgia's credit union members are working to build a buffer of savings by cutting back on expenses and delaying large purchases, they are still unprepared to deal with any further financial setbacks.
That analysis comes from the Georgia Credit Unions' "Paying Attention" report from the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, which polled more than 4,000 members. Twelve percent said they believe the economy is improving compared to a year ago with 40% saying they think it's getting worse.
More than one-third of respondents said they had no reserve savings to cover essential expenses if they were to lose their job or other source of income. Nearly 19% said they had enough savings to cover more than one year without a source of income. Still, 65.6% said they have changed their personal savings habits over the past six months, including spending less or cutting expenses like eating out and taking trips.
The GCUA also compiled savings and lending data from 39 credit unions statewide and found that savings deposits rose at an annualized rate of 5.42% during 2010, just slightly less than the 6.24% rise in 2009. Checking account balances also grew by 13.12% in 2010.
New vehicle loans continued to decline as balances fell by 10.42% in 2010. Used car loan balances increased by 7.16%, continuing a trend from 2009. First mortgage balances increased by 9.89% in 2010. The number of bankruptcy filings among members rose 12.47% in 2010 compared to 2009.