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.

Credit Unions and the Rise of Auto Lending

Need a new set of wheels? Before you apply for in-house financing at the dealership, head for your local credit union. Dealership financing tends to involve unfavorable interest rates and restrictive terms for borrowers. You’ll find that the interest rates at your local credit union are far more advantageous for your wallet. In fact, during the past few years, credit unions have demonstrated remarkable growth in auto loans.

Improving Economic Conditions

According to Forbes magazine, there has been a 30 percent increase in auto lending among credit unions in the U.S. since 2012. During the third quarter of 2014 alone, auto loans from credit unions totaled nearly $225 billion-a figure that includes both new and used autos. This was a significant increase from the third quarter of 2013, which had $193 billion in auto loans. Economists note that improving economic conditions have contributed to the rise of auto lending from credit unions. The unemployment rate has been declining, wages have been increasing, and gas prices have been steadily dropping. All of these factors have given consumers greater confidence in the economy in general and their personal finances in particular.

Competitive Lending from Credit Unions

Since the recession, many consumers have made greater efforts to become better informed about their financial decisions. Increasingly, consumers have turned to credit unions for favorable lending arrangements. Credit unions have a reputation for offering interest rates that are consistently lower than auto loans from a bank or financing through a dealership. Additionally, some credit unions offer auto discounts to their members, such as a discount for purchasing environmentally friendly hybrid vehicles.

When it’s time to shop around for your new or gently used vehicle, stop by GCS Credit Union first and ask about our auto loans in O’Fallon. Our credit union is proud to serve the Metro East community with competitive rates, flexible terms, and exceptional member service. Call (618) 797-7993 or visit our website to view our convenient list of GCS Indirect Auto Dealers, car buying tips, and incredible auto discounts!

This Year's Top Mortgage Tips

Buying a home will likely be among your most significant financial investments, so it’s important to do plenty of research beforehand. Before you start browsing real estate listings, visit a credit union to discuss getting preapproved. Once your credit union preapproves you for a mortgage, you’ll know exactly how much home you can afford. While you’re at your credit union, take some time to investigate your home loan options. Consider whether a fixed-rate mortgage or adjustable-rate mortgage might be better suited to your needs. For example, if you intend on living in your home for a long time, a fixed-rate, 30-year loan might be better than an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Another important consideration is your savings account. Credit union representatives strongly advise against draining your savings account for your down payment and closing costs. It’s important to have at least three to six months of living expenses left in your savings account, just in case of unexpected emergencies.

When you’re ready to become a homeowner, GCS Credit Union is here to help. Call (618) 797-7993 and ask us about our competitive home mortgage loans in O’Fallon and our online checking accounts.

Tips for Making the Switch to a Credit Union

Members of your local credit union are already enjoying fee-free checking, convenient online banking, and competitive loan rates. There’s no reason to wait to become a member; your local credit union will help you make the switch. As a member of a credit union, you’ll receive the personalized service you’d expect from a small town branch paired with the financial resources of a major financial institution.

Check Your Membership Eligibility

Credit unions require potential members to apply for membership. However, becoming a member is easy. Usually, the main eligibility requirements are that you either live or work within a certain geographical area, such as a town or county. Other credit unions are offered to employees of specific companies. If you have problems with the membership application, a credit union representative will be glad to offer assistance.

Evaluate Your Account Options

Consider all of your options before choosing the right online checking account for your needs. Many people make the switch to credit unions because they’re fed up with monthly account maintenance fees, ATM fees, and other fees. At a credit union, fee-free checking isn’t your only option. You might also find a checking account that pays you dividends each month and refunds on ATM fees. Your credit union also likely offers savings accounts, youth savings accounts, money market accounts, and share certificates.

Identify Convenience Services

When you switch to a credit union, you can take advantage of numerous convenience services. Look for tools like eStatements, mobile banking apps, online bill pay, and surcharge-free ATMs across the country. Credit unions strive to make banking a positive experience for their members.

With online checking accounts, competitive auto loans and home mortgage loans, online bill pay, and so much more, GCS Credit Union is the financial institution of choice for the Metro East community. When you’re ready to join a credit union in O’Fallon, give us a call at (618) 797-7993 or stop by one of our convenient branches. We invite our neighbors to take advantage of our fee-free checking and cash-back incentives!

The Differences Between Credit Unions and Banks

If you aren’t yet a member of a credit union, it’s time to learn more about them. Being a member of a credit union offers significant advantages compared to being a customer of a bank. Just like at a bank, your deposits at a credit union are insured and backed by the federal government. However, credit unions have a great deal more flexibility than banks regarding their lending decisions. This means that as a member of a credit union, you can enjoy low loan interest rates.

Hear more about the advantages of credit unions by watching this video. It features a financial expert who explains the differences in ownership between banks and credit unions. He also discusses how you can join a credit union.

For superior online banking in O’Fallon, you can turn to GCS Credit Union. Call us at (618) 797-7993 or visit us online to learn more about our secure online banking platform and highly competitive interest rates for our members.

What Is the Process of Getting an Auto Loan?

Auto loans in O’Fallon may seem overwhelming if you do not understand the process. Of course you want your ideal car, but you also have to make sure that you are making a manageable investment. Before you buy a car, work with a credit union that issues auto loans. Keep reading to learn more about how to get an auto loan, including knowing your credit, shopping for loans, and understanding your budget.

Know Credit Well

As your credit union will tell you, the first step in getting an auto loan is knowing your credit. You should also review your full financial history, including your savings and online checking accounts, so you have at least an initial idea of how much you can spend. Your credit union can secure a full credit report for you. It will use this to determine the amount of your loan.

Shop for Loans Separately

Before you even begin shopping for cars, begin the auto loan application process with your credit union. A credit union can almost always offer a significantly lower rate than a bank can, and the dealership is not in the business of saving you money. By getting prequalified for a loan, you can then go to the dealer with what might as well be cash in hand.

Consider Amount Fully

The last step in securing your auto loan is determining how much you would like to take out. Remember, just because your credit union has approved you for a certain amount does not mean you are obligated to take out that much. When you consider maintenance costs and the possibility of repairs, you may not want to make the monthly payments that come with the full amount of the loan.

For the best auto loans in O’Fallon, look no further than GCS Credit Union. Our credit union is committed to helping you get a great deal on your car loan. We also offer competitive home mortgage loans and full online banking services. Find out more by calling us at (618) 797-7993.

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