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    How Much Money Do You Really Need for Retirement?

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Planning for your retirement is one of the most important financial steps you will ever take. The big mystery that may be looming over you is how much money you will really need. The answer is different for everyone, but there is a straightforward way of calculating what your savings should look like.

    Watch this video to find out how you can set a retirement savings target for yourself. Start by figuring out your likely expenses during retirement. Then, find out how much money you will be getting from Social Security and any pensions you have. You will need to make up the difference between your expenditures and income with your savings. 

    At GCS Credit Union, we offer a range of products to help you maximize your savings. Learn more by calling our O’Fallon credit union today at (618) 219-8600.

    GCS Donates to Big Brothers Big Sisters!

    Last updated 2 months ago

    GCS Credit Union recently donated 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois.

    GCS and Radio Disney St. Louis teamed up to donate the backpacks for the fifth year in a row. All backpacks will be distributed by Big Brothers Big Sisters to the local children they serve.

    In addition, GCS employees raised $610 through jean days to help BBBS purchase additional supplies for the children.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters creates meaningful, supervised matches between adult volunteers and children in communities across the country. The mission of BBBS is “to help children reach their potential through one-to-one relationships with mentors that have a measurable impact on youth.”

    For more information, log on to bbbsil.org. To find out more about GCS, visit myGCScu.com.

    Founded in 1941, GCS Credit Union currently has assets of more than $321 million. GCS serves more than 41,000 members throughout Bond, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington Counties in Illinois via 7 full-service branches, numerous ATM locations, and 24-hour account access through mobile, telephone and PCU online banking.

    What Does the Information on Your Credit Report Really Mean?

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Your credit report is a vital tool used by lenders to qualify you for a loan, apartment, and more. However, despite how crucial credit reports are, most people don’t know how to read theirs. Understanding your credit report can help you plan to do things like apply for a mortgage at your credit union and get a better rate on your credit card. There are four basic parts of a credit report. Here is what you need to know. 

    Identifying Information

    The first part of your credit report simply contains basic information about you, like your name and address. Look closely for any errors. A simple typo in your name or Social Security number could have major repercussions on your report. Alert the credit bureau that issued the report if you find any misinformation.

    Credit History

    Your credit history lists all of your credit accounts, such as credit cards and loans, as well as the total amount of each loan or maximum limit on each card, what your balance is, and what your payment history is. It also says if any of your accounts have been charged off by the creditor, meaning that you didn’t pay the account in full but the creditor has stopped collection efforts. Old accounts stay on your credit history for seven years.

    Public Records

    The public records section lists any financial issues you’ve had that were settled in court, such as a judgment against you, a tax lien, or a bankruptcy. Entries in this section are the most detrimental to your overall credit score.

    Inquiries

    The inquiry section lists everyone who has checked your credit score. These include hard inquiries—credit checks that were initiated by you when you filled out an application for something—and soft inquiries, which are made by companies trying to pre-qualify you for credit offers.

    At GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, we take our commitment to educating our members about good financial decisions seriously. Our credit union staff is always here to help you understand credit reports, savings strategies, loans, and more. Visit one of our credit union locations or call us at (618) 219-8600 for more information.

    Make the Move to GCS Credit Union with Our Switch Kit!

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Are you thinking of making the leap to GCS Credit Union, but are holding back because you’re worried that moving your accounts will be a hassle? Don’t miss out on another day of our great credit union benefits. Our Switch Kit walks you through the entire process.

    Start by moving your direct deposits. Alert everyone who gives you a direct deposit of GCS Credit Union’s routing number—available on our website—and your new account number. Next, change your automatic payments so that they will come out of your new GCS account. Make a list of outstanding payments still waiting to post on your old account and cross them off as they clear, so you can be confident no returned payments will occur while you’re transitioning. When everything is cleared, close your old accounts. That’s all there is to transitioning to a GCS Credit Union account.

    At GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, we’re here to answer any questions you have about your new accounts. Find out more about making the switch and about all of our credit union services by calling (618) 219-8600. 

    How to Set Age-Appropriate Savings Goals for Your Kids

    Last updated 3 months ago

    Teaching kids to save is one of the most valuable lessons a parent can pass on. No child is too young to learn about savings—the trick is presenting the lesson in an age-appropriate way. GCS Credit Union has a range of savings account options for different age groups to support your efforts to teach your kids the value of saving. Here are a few of the ways you can teach your kids to save.

    Use a Piggy Bank for Young Children

    Visualizing savings is a helpful tool for very young kids, so start at the piggy bank instead of the credit union. The sound of coins dropping into the bank is satisfying for kids, and they will understand that the heavier the bank gets, the more money they have. When kids are old enough to understand, you can use some of the money to play games at home in which your kids have to make a decision about what to buy with their money. Take advantage of the opportunity to talk about smart purchasing choices. As kids get older, this money can be used to open up a credit union account.

    Introduce an Allowance

    When managed properly, an allowance can be a great learning tool for kids of all ages. Put a system in place that gives your kids a chance to earn an allowance, and then teach them to budget it effectively. Open a savings account at your credit union for your kids to put a portion of their allowance money into each time you pay them. Help them set both long-term savings goals and short-term savings goals for things they want to purchase.

    Set an Example

    Your kids learn their spending habits from you. When you make purchases, talk to them about your decision-making process, like price comparing. Also share your savings goals with them and explain how you plan for big-ticket purchases.

    Bring your kids with you to GCS Credit Union so they can learn about our youth savings accounts. They can also learn about the benefits of credit union membership by seeing you handle your financial affairs. Find out about all of the services offered in our O’Fallon credit union by calling (618) 219-8600. 

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