GCS Credit Union
618.797.7993
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.

Could eStatements Help You Protect Your Accounts?

Online checking accounts go hand-in-hand with paperless statements, but many people are still resistant to the idea of signing up for eStatements from their credit union. It’s a commonly held misconception that eStatements will somehow be less secure than paper statements, when in fact, the opposite is true. Not all identity thieves employ high-tech means to steal the sensitive information of other people. Some of them go through trash or even steal mail from mailboxes. When you sign up to receive eStatements, you’re reducing the chances that identity thieves have to steal your hard-earned money.

Another way eStatements can help you protect your checking account is by simplifying the recordkeeping process. As soon as a new eStatement is ready, you’ll receive an e-mail. Then, simply log in securely to check the eStatement. You’ll be able to scrutinize it for unauthorized purchases much more quickly than if you waited for a paper statement to arrive.

To learn more about signing up for eStatements, call a credit union in O’Fallon at (618) 797-7993. GCS Credit Union is dedicated to guarding the sensitive information of our members.

How Online Bill Pay Can Help You Manage Your Finances

Technology has changed the way people handle their finances, from viewing their checking account balances in real time to applying for new loans online. Online bill pay is another example of consumers harnessing the power of technology to take control of their financial health. If you haven’t yet put online bill pay to work for you, here are some of the benefits you could be missing out on.

Avoid Late Payments

Before online services, paying a bill meant writing a check and putting it in the mail, hoping it would arrive on time. Forgetting about the bill until the last minute or having a check get lost in the mail easily led to late fees, interest rate increases, and dings to your credit score. With online bill pay, you can skip trying to time your check arrivals perfectly or worrying about lost items. Simply log into your account and pay whatever needs to be paid, or set up recurring payments so you never forget when a bill is due. Having the ability to always pay on time with a minimum of fuss can save you money and save your credit score.

Make Money Management Convenient

Trips to the post office for stamps and the store for envelopes are just the start of the inconvenience associated with paying bills the old-fashioned way. Online bill pay lets you pay your bills from anywhere, including your mobile phone. Because your account management is at your fingertips, you can save a considerable amount of time and stress when you move to online bill payment.

Get Improved Security

Online bill pay systems use stringent security measures to keep your information safe. Paper bills represent an identity theft risk, as they can easily be stolen from your mailbox or trashcan, putting your sensitive information in the hands of the wrong people.

Online bill pay is just one of the services GCS Credit Union offers to make financial management easier for the customers at our credit union in O’Fallon. If you are interested in learning more about membership and our credit union accounts, please call (618) 797-7933.

Money Management Advice for Newly Married Couples

A typical wedding ceremony includes the vow, “For better or worse; for richer or poorer.” Yet, financial problems are a common cause of conflict within a marriage. For the sake of the relationship and your financial future, it’s a good idea to have a frank discussion with your significant other. Financial discussions are best started long before the wedding, but it’s never too late to get started. For superior money management advice, couples can always turn to a credit union.

Accounts

It’s customary, though certainly not required, for married couples to use joint credit union accounts. Have a discussion with your new spouse about whether you will combine your finances into joint checking and savings accounts, or whether you will maintain separate accounts. Setting up separate accounts at a credit union doesn’t mean you don’t trust your spouse; rather, you’re wisely reducing the risk of future conflicts. Some couples maintain their own separate accounts and one joint account. They deposit a pre-determined amount of money each week or month into the joint account and use these funds to pay household bills.

B udgets

Regardless of whether you maintain separate or joint accounts, or both, you and your significant other will need a budget. Creating a budget is easier than you might think. Simply make a list of the total monthly expenses. Separate them into categories, such as housing, transportation, savings, food, medical expenses, etc. Compare your total expenses to your total income and adjust your budget as needed. Living well within your means gives you financial flexibility in the future.

Goals

You share a special bond with your new spouse, but the two of you might have different visions of the future. Try to get on the same page regarding your short-term and long-term financial goals. Your short-term goals might include paying off student loans and saving for a down payment on a house. Your long-term financial plans might include retiring by a certain age. Work toward an agreement regarding how you and your spouse will reach those goals.

GCS Credit Union offers competitive banking services for individuals and couples. To join our credit union in O’Fallon, give us a call at (618) 797-7993 or stop by a branch today. Be sure to ask us about our online bill pay options, home mortgage loans, and auto loans.

What You Need to Know About Getting an Auto Loan

When you are in the market for a car, getting the best auto loan can make a big difference in your monthly payment. To find out more about auto loans and how they work, watch this video.

Before you apply for auto loans, check your credit score. The higher your score, the better interest rate you will get. Next, look around at different rates. Almost always, credit unions can beat rates offered by banks and dealers.

At GCS Credit Union, we make it easy to apply for auto loans in O’Fallon with a simple, straightforward loan process. To learn more about all of our services, including online banking, call (618) 797-7993.

The 411 on Your Credit Score

Your credit score has an enormous impact on your ability to get approved for loans and credit and the interest rates you’ll pay. Despite the fact that credit scores are so important, many consumers are confused about what they mean and how they are calculated. When you are a credit union member, you always have access to financial advice to help you understand your credit score and what you can do to improve it. Here is a look at the basic information you need to know about your credit score.

What is a credit score?

Your credit score is a three digit number that is calculated based on your past financial behavior. Lenders use it to determine the likelihood that you will repay loans or manage credit cards responsibly. If your credit score is low, you may struggle to get approved for things like auto loans or mortgages. The higher your score is, the more likely you are to get good interest rates on loans and other financial products. Scores range from 500 to 850.

How are scores calculated?

Credit scores are calculated based on a number of pieces of information about your past financial management that is contained in your credit report. The most important factor in your credit score is the number of late payments you have on your report, followed by how much debt you currently have. Other factors that are considered when calculating your credit score include the mix of credit types you have, the length of your credit history, and how many new accounts or requests for credit checks you have made.

How can I keep a good score?

The best way to keep a good credit score is to pay your bills on time. You should also aim to keep your credit card balances to less than 30% of your total available credit. Avoid applying for new credit that you don’t need.

At GCS Credit Union, we’re committed to the financial health of the members of our credit union in O’Fallon. If you need help managing your credit, make an appointment to talk to one of our team and find out about our credit and loan services, including our Visa Reward credit card. Contact our credit union today 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