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.

What Millennials Need to Know About Investing

One of the most common questions millennials have about their finances is whether they should be investing in the stock market. This video addresses that common question.

Although the stock market has been volatile in recent years, millennials have the benefit of time on their side, so they are better equipped to ride out market fluctuations and still come out on top. They can also take advantage of market dips to buy low when they decide to invest in stocks.

At GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, we help members of all ages make the right decisions about their financial goals, while offering convenient tools such as online banking and bill pay. You can learn more about membership by calling (618) 797-7993.

Understanding and Improving Your Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the most important facets of your financial life. It determines everything from the rates you get on auto loans to whether you can qualify for a home mortgage loan. Despite its importance, many people don’t understand their credit scores and feel powerless when trying to improve them. Here is what you need to know about your credit score and what you can do to make it the best it can be.

Credit Scores 101

Your credit score is a three-digit number that helps lenders and other creditors, like landlords, get a picture of your financial history. Although the scoring can vary depending on which credit bureau is calculating it, scores typically range from 300 to 850. The higher your credit score, the better your financial history looks to lenders.

A long list of factors goes into determining your credit score. These include:

  • If you pay your bills on time
  • How much debt you have
  • If you have any financial judgments against you
  • The length of your credit history

Older late payments and judgments have less impact on your credit score than new ones. Generally, information is removed from your credit report after seven to 10 years, but some states have laws with different guidelines.

Improving Your Credit Score

The first step to improving your credit score is knowing what your score is and checking your credit rep

ort to see if there is any misinformation there that could be holding your score down, like accounts that aren’t yours or that are in good standing but that have been reported as overdue. You can petition the credit bureaus to remove this information, and your score may increase.

Paying your bills on time is an essential part of keeping your credit score up, so make sure you stay current or get caught up if you’re behind. Try not to use any more than 30% of the total credit available to you at any one time, as the ratio of your available credit to your debt also greatly impacts your score. Paying down debt will increase your score.

At GCS Credit Union, our staff is available to help our members navigate complex financial issues and make the right decisions for them. Get help with everything from opening a checking account in O’Fallon to using online banking by calling (618) 797-7993.

How GCS Credit Union Makes Money Management Convenient

At GCS Credit Union, we know that your busy life doesn’t always allow for the time to stop by one of our branches. That’s why we’ve created a range of services to make managing your money as simple and convenient as possible. Take control of your checking account, savings, loans, bill payments, and more from anywhere with convenience services from GCS like these.

Online Banking and Bill Pay

If you have an internet connection, then you have access to your credit union accounts 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Online banking and bill pay allow you to do the account management tasks you would do at your branch from your computer whenever it is convenient for you. Check your account balances, see your purchase history, view checks that have cleared, and make loan payments, all with a few clicks. Enrolling in online bill pay lets you set up multiple and recurring payments, so your payments are never late and so you can reduce the number of paper statements you receive. Online banking and bill pay are also more secure than paper account statements and billing, because your personal information never passes through anyone’s hands or sits unsecured in your mailbox.

Mobile Banking App

Take the convenience of online banking to go with the mobile banking app for your smartphone. In addition to all of the activities you can do from your online banking profile, you can make deposits remotely simply by snapping a photo of your check. Mobile banking is secure as online banking and is free to all members, though carrier rates may apply.

Nationwide ATMs

Forget the myth about credit union ATMs being hard to find. You can withdraw your cash without paying fees at more than 30,000 ATMs across the country. There are also 9,000 ATMs nationwide at which you can make a deposit.

Do you want to learn more about the convenience services at GCS Credit Union that you could be missing out on? Call (618) 797-7993 to find out more about all of the services at our credit union in O’Fallon.

Reasons to Choose Payment Protection

Despite careful financial planning, things happen in life that could leave you struggling to pay your bills. By choosing Payment Protection from GCS Credit Union, you can shield yourself from the long-term implications of financial hardships so you can get back on track faster. Here are some of the reasons you should consider adding Payment Protection to your credit union loans.

If a hardship does occur, you can activate your Payment Protection benefits to protect your credit rating, stop late fees, and even eliminate a portion or all of your remaining balance. Having your payments covered by your protect plan also allows you to use the extra cash to meet your family’s needs.

Payment Protection is just one way GCS Credit Union invests in the financial health of our members. With affordable checking accounts and loans, competitive savings rates, and convenient online banking services, we make taking control of your money straightforward. Contact our credit union in O’Fallon at (618) 797-7993 to find out how you can take advantage of membership or how you can add Payment Protection to your loan accounts.

What Students Need to Know About Opening Their First Checking Account

A first checking account is a great opportunity for students to learn about fiscal responsibility and smart money management. At GCS Credit Union, we offer a Student Success Account Package, which includes both a checking account and a savings account for students aged 14-23. These accounts feature a number of benefits, including a personalized debit card and rewards for things like getting straight As for the school year. If you’re a student considering your first checking account, here is what you need to know.

Not all checking accounts are created equal.

Before you open an account, it is important to review the benefits of all of the accounts offered by your credit union to determine which one is the best choice for you. Depending on your age, you may be limited to a certain kind of account that requires your parents to share ownership, but if you are over 18, you can likely choose any account that is offered. Be sure to pick an account that offers you the most benefits for the lowest fee. For instance, if you can’t maintain a specific minimum balance, look for a no-frills, free account.

Checking accounts require proactive management.

Even if your debit card has a credit card logo on it, you cannot spend money you don’t have in your checking account without consequences. If you write a check or complete a debit card transaction without enough money in your account, you will be charged overdraft fees, which can be costly. To use a checking account, you have to be proactive about checking your spending and deposits and knowing exactly how much money you have before making any transactions.

Transactions don’t always clear immediately.

Using online banking is a great way to see your checking account balance, but you should always track spending and deposits using a paper ledger or app to have an idea of your true balance. Because checks and transactions may not clear right away, it could look like you have more money than you really do when you check your balance.

GCS Credit Union is invested in helping our young members build healthy financial habits. You can learn more about our checking accounts in O’Fallon 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