SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Membership in local credit unions hit a record in San Diego County, indicating a new trend in personal banking, according to fourth quarter 2015 figures released Thursday by a credit union association.

More than 947,900 individuals are members of credit unions headquartered in the county, an increase of almost 52,000 or 5.2 percent over the year before, according to the most recent publicly-filed data.

"This continued growth of consumers selecting credit unions as their financial institution is pushing more money into the San Diego County economy in the form of first mortgages, home equity lines of credit, new and used auto loans, business loans, and credit cards,'' Matt Wyre of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues said in a statement. "It's also expanding the opportunity for local residents to financially educate themselves and independently make informed choices as they work, attend school, and live in the community."

The concept of consumer-owned banking is making its mark on communities across San Diego County and California as the state's economy continues outpacing national economic growth and local credit unions experience an influx of new members, according to Wrye.

Credit unions in many of the state's regions are collectively experiencing record highs in membership, a trend continuing in the fourth quarter of 2015 even as a multitude of banking options exist, Wrye said.

In San Diego County, deposits hit a record $14.1 billion (increasing 6.8 percent) fueled by checking, savings, and money market accounts, while loans hit a record $11 billion (increasing 18.2 percent) driven by first mortgages, autos, and business lending.

Out of 348 credit unions in California, 19 are headquartered in San Diego County.