GCS Credit Union
GCS is a full service financial institution serving the following counties in Illinois: Madison, St. Clair, Jersey, Macoupin, Montgomery, Bond, Clinton, Washington, Randolph, and Monroe.

GCS Donates to Meals on Wheels

Photo from left to right: Shawna Hock, GCS Credit Union Collinsville Branch Manager & Mary Smith, Director of Collinsville Area Meals on Wheels.

January 23, 2015

GCS employees had the option to wear jeans on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month in exchange for a charitable donation. For the month of January, GCS employees supported the community and raised $1,140 for the Collinsville Area Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels Association of America is an organization that represents local and community based senior nutrition programs. These local programs provide over one million meals a day to seniors who are in need. Many of their programs provide services such as, delivering meals to those whose mobility is limited and serving meals to local senior centers.

To find out more information about the Meals on Wheels Association of America or to find a location near you visit mowaa.org. To find out more about GCS, visit myGCScu.com.

Founded in 1941, GCS Credit Union currently has assets of more than $309 million. GCS serves more than 41,000 members Bond, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington Counties in Illinois via 7 conveniently located branches, numerous ATM locations, and 24-hour account access through a telephone audio response system and PCU online banking.

Determining How Much Money to Save

Spending money on fun activities, vacations, and fancy electronics and gadgets is the fun part of financing; however, saving money may be the more responsible part. If you would rather see your checking account in O'Fallon grow rather than deplete, saving is the way to do it. Watch this video for a few tips on determining just how much money you should save.

Saving money is important when it comes to online bill paying and chipping away at your auto loans while still being able to provide for yourself and pay off immediate bills. A few key factors can help you determine how much money you should be holding onto. If you are lucky enough that you do not have any auto or home mortgage loans, think about how much you spend on a monthly basis. Then save enough for an emergency fund that can last you up to six months, just in case you need it someday.

Responsible Credit Card Tips for College Students

For most people, college is a time period during which you begin to truly discover yourself and find out what you want to do with your life. Your checking account in O'Fallon is just one of the many responsibilities that may be bestowed upon you during this often overwhelming time period. However, this responsibility is also an opportunity. Here is an overview of a few responsible credit card tips for college students.

College Student with Credit Card

Know When Not to Use a Credit Card
Using your credit card in the appropriate manner can bring positive things in your life; you can build up your credit score so that you can obtain home mortgage and auto loans with reasonable interest rates, and in some cases you can even earn rewards from your credit card company. However, it is important that you identify situations that do not warrant the use of your credit card. One of these situations is the repayment of student loans. Student loan debt looms over a great deal of college students, but it should never be repaid via credit card; in this situation you would be repaying a loan with another loan, increasing the interest that you will pay in the long run.

Open Few Cards
The responsible use of your credit card can lead to a high credit score thanks to your proven trustworthiness and positive credit history. In order to keep your score high and continue to pay off your credit cards on time, it is a good idea to limit the amount that you open. Even the fact that you have few credit cards may be a positive influence when it comes to calculating your credit score. If you are a college student, you should not have more than two credit cards open.

Keep Your Cards Safe
Online bill paying and banking, specifically with online checking accounts, helps to keep your credit card safe. However, if you are carrying your card around with you make sure you keep tabs on it. College students are known for the frequent use of credit cards, making them targets for potential identity thieves.

A Look at Our Credit Card Reward Programs

Does your credit card reward you every time you shop? If you get a Visa credit card from GCS Credit Union, it can. In addition to low interest rates and no annual fees, our credit union offers two opportunities for you to be rewarded for using your card—the ScoreCard Reward Program and our own GCS Visa Rewards.

Shopping with a credit card

The ScoreCard Rewards Program grants points every time you use your card, based on how much you spend. As your points accumulate, you can spend them on great online merchandise or travel awards. The GCS Visa Rewards plan works in a similar way. Earn one point for every dollar you spend, and use your points for travel, merchandise, and GCS Credit Union offers. You can use both plans simultaneously, and both can be easily managed online.

Our Visa Rewards program is just one way we give back to members at GCS Credit Union. Get more information about financial products and membership in our O’Fallon credit union by calling (618) 797-7993. 

Understanding Your Credit Report

Your credit report is a snapshot of your financial history. It’s an important document that is used to create your credit score, which is then used to determine your credit worthiness in a number of different settings.

Watch this video to learn about what is on your credit report and how that information is used. The information on your report shows how you handled all of your financial accounts for the past seven to 10 years. It can be used by your credit union, other lenders, rental companies, insurance companies, and much more. 

GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, IL will use your credit report when you apply for credit cards and loans. If you’re concerned about your score or interested in tips for improving it, talk to one of our credit union’s financial experts. Call us today at (618) 797-7993 to learn more about our services. 

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