Savings Boom, Lending Slows and Total Memberships at Virginia-Based Credit Unions Reach 15 Million
Vice President, Public Relations and Communication
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Savings growth rose significantly, lending growth slowed, and Virginia’s 113 not-for-profit credit unions added more than 1.3 million new memberships during 2020, according to information from the National Credit Union Administration, credit unions’ federal regulator.
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2020, stimulus checks and increased precautionary savings in the face of the pandemic pushed the savings growth rate to 23.9 percent at Virginia’s credit unions. American households’ disposable income received additional boosts with $600 stimulus checks mailed out in January and $1,400 checks in March.
While the rate of membership growth slowed during the pandemic when compared to growth in previous years, growth was strong enough to push total memberships at Virginia-based credit unions to 15 million as of Dec. 31, up from 13.7 million at year-end 2019.
“While ‘challenging’ doesn’t begin to describe 2020, Virginia’s credit unions again proved to be a reliable, caring and resilient partner in serving their members,” noted Virginia Credit Union League President Rick Pillow. “From programs to help struggling households dealing with job loss to loans designed to keep small businesses afloat, credit unions proudly showcased our ‘People Helping People’ philosophy in 2020.”
As not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperatives, credit unions offer better rates on loans and savings products, and generally have fewer and less-costly fees than for-profit banks. Virginia’s credit unions provided an estimated $1.9 billion in direct financial benefits to their members during 2020, according to estimates from economists at the Credit Union National Association.
Owed to the pandemic, overall loan growth at Virginia-based credit unions slowed to 4.5 percent in 2020, but remained remarkably steady overall, led by member business lending (16.9 percent growth), mortgages (5.22 percent growth) and used auto lending (13 percent growth). Credit unions are a major player in the mortgage market, according Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data. U.S. credit unions funded $177.31 billion in home mortgages in 2019, a nearly 30 percent increase from the previous year, according to HMDA data.
“Virginia’s credit union system remains strong and resilient, even as we continue to wrestle with the economic fallout of the pandemic,” said Pillow. “Credit unions continue to showcase the ‘Credit Union Difference,’ serving their members and communities with compassion and a commitment to the common good.”
About Virginia's Credit Unions
Virginia-based credit unions have assets totaling $204 billion and hold $133 billion in loans. They offer a full range of loan and savings solutions, with convenient branch access nationwide. Consumers seeking to join a member-owned credit union can visit yourmoneyfurther.com.
About the Virginia Credit Union League
The Virginia Credit Union League is the state trade association for the Commonwealth’s not-for-profit, member-owned credit unions. Through leadership, vision and the trust of our credit unions, the League is ensuring the growth, success and diversity of Virginia’s credit unions. Learn more at vacul.org.Go to main navigation