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    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. 

    Why Choose Direct Deposit?

    Last updated 4 months ago

    GCS Credit Union members are eligible to receive direct deposits of their paychecks. Direct deposits offer many advantages to account holders. All you need to do to set up direct deposits is give your employer our routing number, which can be found on our website. 

    The biggest benefit of direct deposit is convenience. Forget going to your credit union location to deposit a paper check. You also don’t have to wait for a check to clear. You’ll have your money in your account on payday, every time. Direct deposit also lessens the risk of stolen or misplaced checks, since your money goes directly to your account.

    Find out more about direct deposits by talking to the staff at GCS Credit Union. Our representatives are always happy to answer questions about our services. You can learn more about the products we offer to help you take more control of your financial life by calling (618) 219-8600. 

    Identity Theft 101

    Last updated 4 months ago

    Identity theft is a startlingly common crime. At GCS Credit Union, we take our responsibilities to protect our members from identity theft and help them deal with the consequences when they are victimized very seriously.  Here is what you need to know about identity theft and how you can lessen your odds of becoming a victim. 

    What Is Identity Theft?

    Identity theft occurs when someone fraudulently obtains personal information about you and pretends to be you. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2012 alone, victims of identity theft lost more than $24.7 billion. That is $14 billion more than what was lost during the same period to all other types of theft, including burglary and auto theft. The statistics are scary, but you don’t have to be a victim. In the vast majority of cases, identity theft involves financial fraud. Someone gets access to your credit union account numbers, Social Security number, credit card numbers, and other financial data and uses it as their own. Some cases of identity theft involve a thief emptying credit union checking and savings accounts, while others go much further. Some identity thieves run up massive amounts of debt in another person’s name and even purchase property.

    What Happens If I Am a Victim of Identity Theft?

    If you become the victim of identity theft, your accounts could be emptied and your credit destroyed. The faster you react to the theft, the quicker you can put a stop to the activity. Notify your credit union right away if you notice suspicious charges on your account or if you lose your credit or debit card.

    How Can I Prevent Identity Theft?

    Be cautious about who you give your financial information to. Your credit union will never ask for personal financial details in an email. When you buy items online, make sure the sites are secure. Don’t do banking on an unsecured public internet connection. Check all of your accounts regularly for suspicious activity.

    GCS Credit Union is here to help you protect your accounts and can react quickly if you think your financial information has been compromised. Learn more about our O’Fallon credit union’s identity theft safeguards by visiting our website or calling (618) 219-8600.


    Last updated 4 months ago

    GCS Credit Union was on site at the National Children’s Cancer Society’s Pack the Pool fundraiser on July 18 at Splash City Family Water Park in Collinsville.

    For the month of July, GCS employees had the option to wear jeans on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month in exchange for a donation. Together, GCS employees raised $665 for NCCS and presented a check at the fundraiser.

    All proceeds collected benefit the National Children’s Cancer Society. The mission of the NCCS is, “To improve the quality of life for children with cancer and their families worldwide.” They have helped more than 30,000 children with cancer and their families.

    For more information about NCCS, visit

    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.

    Tips for Balancing Your First Checkbook

    Last updated 4 months ago

    One of the simplest things you can do to stay on top of your finances is balance your checkbook, but for many people, this is a dying art. Although you can manage your credit union accounts online, balancing your checkbook is still important.

    This video explains the step-by-step process of balancing your checkbook. You can use your online credit union accounts to compare to your checkbook entries to verify deposits, withdrawals, and pending transactions. Doing this will help you keep a closer eye on what is going into and out of your account. 

    Help with financial management is always available to members of GCS Credit Union. Get answers to your questions about credit union membership and more by calling (618) 219-8600.

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