GCS Credit Union
618.797.7993
GCS is a full-service financial institution serving the following counties in Illinois: Sangamon, Logan, Macon, Marion, Jefferson, Perry, Jackson, Williamson, Jersey, Macoupin, Montgomery, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Monroe, Washington and Randolph.

Questions to Ask When You Join a Credit Union

Are you considering joining a credit union? Many people move from their bank to a credit union in order to take advantage of the lower interest rates on loans and better returns on their savings. If you’re considering making the leap, these questions will help you make the right choice for your financial needs.

Who can become a member?

Credit unions are based on memberships. You have to be accepted as a member before you can join and open an account. Although there are requirements for membership, there is a credit union for virtually everyone—the trick is finding the one for which you qualify. At GCS Credit Union, membership is open to anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in one of the counties in which we operate across Illinois. Once you are accepted as a member in our credit union, you can maintain your membership even if you move out of the area.

What are the benefits of joining a credit union?

Unlike banks, credit unions are nonprofit institutions. As a result, they do not need to focus making money for a board of directors or owners. Instead, any profits generated by the credit union are re-invested into member services. Members are the owners of credit unions, so all decisions are made in their favor. This structure also allows credit unions to make decisions about loans on a more personalized basis, considering the full financial picture of the applicant.

What services do banks have that credit unions don’t?

Credit unions are full-service financial institutions. They offer all of the same products as banks, although their nonprofit structure typically lets them do so at better rates. You can expect all of the same services you would find at a bank at the credit union that you join.

To find out more about how membership at GCS Credit Union could benefit your family, contact us today. You can reach a team member at our credit union in O’Fallon by calling (618) 797-7993.

How Much Should a Car Down Payment Be?

If you’re seeking an auto loan, then you may be wondering how much money you will need for your down payment. There is flexibility when it comes to down payments, but there is typically a trade off if you save money up front on your down payment with a higher interest rate over the course of the loan.

Watch this video for insight on making a car down payment. Typically, 10% to 20% is a good target, but paying more could you save you money on interest in the future.

Let GCS Credit Union help you choose an auto loan that is right for your needs and budget. Our credit union in O’Fallon offers competitive rates, online bill pay, and much more for our members. Learn more by dialing (618) 797-7993.

Home Equity Loans: Dos and Don'ts to Know

If you have a home mortgage, a home equity loan can be an affordable and convenient way to get money for unexpected expenses. However, it’s important to tread carefully when using a home equity loan, since your home is the collateral. These dos and don’ts of using home equity will help you decide if this kind of loan is the right choice for your financial goals.

Do Use Equity to Invest in Your Home

One of the best ways to use your home equity is to make your home better. Spending money from a home equity loan on improvements that will increase your property value can be a wise investment for your future. Avoid using home equity loans to make small repairs and instead use the money to invest in one-off renovation projects or major repairs, such as roof replacement.

Don’t Pay for Your Lifestyle with a Home Equity Loan

Knowing that you can easily access the equity you have in your home can make it tempting to use it to indulge in things you want, like a boat, sports car, or extravagant vacation. However, using your equity for these purchases give you secured debt for expenses that should be in your household budget if you want them. It’s risky to use your home as collateral for unnecessary purchases.

Do—or Don’t—Pay off Debt

There is disagreement about using a home equity loan for credit card debt. Credit card debt is unsecured, so if you don’t pay, you don’t run the risk of losing your home. However, it is also high-interest, so paying it off with a home equity loan gives you the chance to save a significant amount of money. Keep in mind that if you use a home equity loan to pay off your cards and then run them up again, you’ll be further in debt and will now have debt that is secured against your home. Your credit union can help you weigh the pros and cons.

GCS Credit Union offers competitive rates on home mortgages in O’Fallon and can help you decide what kind of borrowing is right for you. To speak to a representative at our credit union, call (618) 797-7993.

Spotlight on GCS's Elite Money Market Account

If you are looking for a high-interest account for managing your money, then the GCS Credit Union Elite Money Market account could be right for you. This high-interest account offers the credit union’s highest interest rate while giving you the maximum flexibility for managing your funds.

The Elite Money Market account allows you to make six withdrawals per month, with a minimum amount of $5,000, before a $15 fee applies to withdrawal transaction. You get direct check writing ability and free online banking and eStatements. The account requires a $150,000 opening deposit. Maintain a balance of a $150,000 to avoid monthly service fees in the amount of $15.

The Elite Money Market account is just one solution from GCS Credit Union that helps you manage your money as efficiently as possible. Find out how our credit union in O’Fallon can help to make your money work for you by calling (618) 797-7993.

Why Mobile Banking Apps Are Safer

Using online banking is convenient, and if you’re always on your smartphone, using mobile banking apps can make your life even easier. The question most people have about using a banking app is: Is my information safe?

Mobile banking apps have sophisticated security systems built into them. When you download the app from the app store, you can be confident that it’s legitimate and not a phishing site.

GCS Credit Union is pleased to offer safe and secure mobile and online banking in O’Fallon to our credit union customers. You can learn more about our credit union and our membership requirements by calling (618) 797-7993.

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Hours

  • Monday 8:30am — 5:00pm
  • Tuesday 8:30am — 5:00pm
  • Wednesday 10:00am — 5:00pm
  • Thursday 8:30am — 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am — 6:00pm
  • Saturday 8:30am — 12:00pm