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.

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.

Getting the Most from Online Banking

If you’re like most people, it can seem like it gets harder and harder to fit everything into your day. Why should banking be another inconvenient item on your to-do list? GCS Credit Union offers online banking services so you can manage your money in a way that fits into your schedule.

Our online banking services provide you with comprehensive money management tools. Get eStatements anywhere to manage the money going into and out of your accounts and set up transfers between your accounts in just a few clicks. See the checks that have cleared your account, download financial management software, and make your loan payments directly from your computer or phone.

If you are a GCS Credit Union customer who needs to set up online banking in O’Fallon or simply want someone to walk you through all of the features, stop by one of our credit union locations today. You can also call us at (618) 797-7993.

What Should You Consider When You Refinance Your Mortgage?

Refinancing home mortgage loans can save consumers significant amounts of money, but only if it's done correctly. There are many things to consider before deciding if now is the time to approach your credit union about refinancing. Keep these things in mind as you weigh your options.

Interest Rates

Refinancing is all about saving money and lowering your monthly payments, so the interest rates should be lower than when you got your loan. Take a careful look at how the current interest rate will affect your payment. Generally, it is not worth refinancing unless the current rate is at least two points below the rate at which you are locked in. Keep in mind that the current interest rate may not be the rate you are offered during your refinancing. A number of factors, including your credit score, can impact the interest rate you ultimately receive.

Penalties and Fees

When home mortgage loans are refinanced, the first loan is paid off with the new loan, which could be considered an early payoff. There are often large fees attached to paying off mortgages early, so consider the fee you will be charged to make sure refinancing will actually save you money. There are also fees similar to closing costs attached to refinance loans, and in some cases, hefty penalties for trying to pay off the second loan early. Include these costs in your calculations, particularly if you plan to move in the near-future and could potentially face another round of early payoff penalties.

Refinancing Reasons

Refinancing your home can be a smart financial move you have a plan for the savings. If you hope to refinance to pay off debt and get ahead, doing so could change your financial life, as long as you change your spending habits. Refinancing to stay afloat without a plan to change your circumstances could ultimately work against you.

Let the experts at GCS Credit Union help you make the right decision about refinancing. The team at our credit union in O’Fallon works for you, not an executive board, and are committed to your financial success. Learn more about mortgages, online banking, and more by calling (618) 797-7993.

Using Technology to Take Control of Your Money Management

Careful money management allows you to plan for the future, reach goals like home mortgage loans and even vacations, and avoid unnecessary expenses like fees for an overdrawn checking account. Now, money management is easier than ever thanks to technology that puts the information you need at your fingertips. Consider putting this technology to work for you as take control of your finances.

Online Banking

Few tools are as easy and as important to money management than online banking. When you sign up for online services from your credit union, you’ll get all of the tools you need to see your account activity in real time and manage your money accordingly. Look at your checking account balance before making a purchase, shift money into your savings account at regular intervals, or simply keep an eye on where your money is going to identify any wasteful patterns. Online banking can help you set and meet savings goals, avoid overdrafts, and always have a full grasp of your financial picture before making decisions.

Online Bill Pay

Online bill pay takes the hassle out of paying bills by doing away with the checkbook, envelope, and stamps. Set up payments directly from your accounts without worrying about the check getting lost in the mail. Paying your bills online gives you the security of knowing your payment was received and alleviates concerns about juggling due dates.

Online Budgeting Tools

There are a wide range of tools that can be used to build and track your budget online, including apps that you can download to your smartphone. Use these tools to manage your spending and savings goals and to set limits. By plugging your spending habits into your budgeting tool, you can identify areas where you may be able to cut back and save more money to spend on the things you really want.

If you’re interested in making technology work for you, visit your GCS Credit Union branch for more information. We provide online banking in O’Fallon and much more to help you reach your financial goals. For more information, call (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