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.

Tips for Managing Your Checking Account

Checking Accounts in O' FallonHow you manage your checking account can have an immediate impact on your debit history. Although not as important as your credit score, your debit history can affect your ability to open up new checking or savings accounts in the future. Mishandling a checking account can also result in fees, overage charges, and insufficient funds. To help you save money and maintain a good debit history, here are two tips for managing your O’Fallon checking account.

Monitor Your Account Balance
One of the best ways to keep your account in good standing and avoid over drafting is to monitor your account balance daily. You want to know exactly how much is in your account before you make any big purchase with your debit card. And if you setup automatic online bill pay, keep your due dates in mind so your account always has enough to cover your payments.

Review Your Monthly Bank Statements
Each month you will receive paper or electronic statements from your credit union. These statements provide an overview of your account activity over the previous month. Look over the statement and make sure there aren’t any unauthorized charges on your account. It’s not uncommon for businesses to accidently charge your account twice for a single transaction. In cases like these, a quick phone call to your credit union can resolve the issue and return your funds as soon as possible.

GCS Credit Union offers numerous personal checking options that make managing your money easy. Whether you’re interested in a free checking account that pays high dividends each month or pays cash back on your debit card purchases, GCS Credit Union has the checking account for you. Visit our website to learn more about our personal checking and savings accounts, or call us at (618) 797-7993 to speak with one of our representatives.

GCS Credit Union Auto Loans 101

GCS Auto Loans in O'FallonBefore you visit a car dealership and deal with their finance department, drop by GCS Credit Union and apply for an auto loan in O'Fallon that will give you greater negotiating power when you’re ready to buy. We offer up to 120 percent financing for qualified buyers. In addition to our competitive rates and loan terms, we’ve teamed up with GM to offer our members even more savings. Auto loans rates are determined by your credit score, so we recommend you obtain a copy of your credit report and fix any errors to raise your score before you apply.

Come into GCS Credit Union to learn more about the personal loans we offer our members, including auto loans, home mortgage loans, home equity loans, debt consolidation loans, and more. We understand that everyone needs a helping hand, which is why we’re here for our members whenever they need us. Contact us online or call us at (618) 797-7993 to speak with one of our loan specialists.

Getting the Most Out of Your Home Mortgage Loan

Home Loans in O'FallonIf you dream of owning your own home someday, the first step is to secure a home mortgage loan. GCS Credit Union is the dedicated, knowledgeable partner you need to guide you through the process. And if you already have a home mortgage loan in O’Fallon, we can help you refinance and secure more competitive rates and customized terms that work for you. To help first-time homebuyers get off on the right foot, here are some tips that will save you time, money, and stress when navigating the mortgage process.

Get Pre-Approved
One of the best things you can do when buying a home is to get preapproved for a home mortgage loan before you make an offer on a house. Not only do sellers often prefer buyers who are preapproved, but preapproval can also help you close faster so you can lock in the price and complete the transaction before someone else comes in and outbids you.

Maintain Your Credit Profile
In the months leading to your home purchase, try to avoid changing your credit profile too much. Don’t close or open any new credit cards and try to keep the balances on your cards within a range that won’t affect your debt-to-income ratio, a key factor in determining mortgage rates.

Deposit “Gifts” Early
If a family member is helping you with some or all of your down payment, try to deposit the gift into your checking or savings account at least two months before you apply for a mortgage. Otherwise, the gift-giver will need to visit your credit union and sign a letter stating that the money is a gift and no a loan.

Not only does GCS Credit Union offer competitively low rates for home purchase, refinance, and construction, but we also provide our members with professional loan advisors and other helpful resources and financial planning tools. Call us at (618) 797-7993 to find the branch location nearest you or to schedule an appointment with one of our home mortgage loan advisors.

Getting a Credit Card

Obtaining a credit card is a big step in establishing your long-term finances. If you don’t have a viable credit history yet, check with your credit union first. Credit cards issued by credit unions are typically more accessible to people without credit. If you have bad credit and are unable to get a traditional credit card, look into getting a secured credit card or taking out a small personal loan to build your credit and repair your credit score.

Watch this video to learn more about getting a credit card, then come in and speak with an advisor at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon. We offer low-interest credit cards with no annual fee. You can also sign up for the GCS Visa Rewards credit card to earn points that can be redeemed for merchandise, travel, discounts, and other offers. Call us at (618) 797-7993 to learn more about applying for a credit card.

The Advantages of Banking with a Credit Union

Advantages of Banking with a Credit Union in O'FallonWith rising fees and questionable business practices fueling the country’s misgivings about banks, more and more people are turning to credit unions than ever before. There are more than 7,000 non-profit, member-owned financial institutions in the United States, including dozens of branches in O’Fallon and throughout Illinois. Credit unions vary in size and services, but all operate with a member-first mentality that gives more back to the consumer. If you’re fed up with your bank, consider these advantages of joining a credit union in O’Fallon.

Superior Customer Service
Because credit unions are owned by their members and not by a board of directors, they strive to provide the very best customer service—and do a good job at it, too. According to the most recent Prime Performance Bank and Credit Union Customer Satisfaction Survey, credit union customers rates their overall satisfaction at 89 percent, seven points higher than the industry average for financial institutions.

Lower Interest Rates
Another benefit of banking with a member-owned, not-for-profit credit union is that these financial institutions typically offer much lower interest rates on loans and credit cards compared to banks. That’s because credit unions aren’t concerned with turning a profit, so they can charge lower interest rates than for-profit banks.

Fewer and Lower Fees
Credit unions serve their members first and foremost, which is why credit unions traditionally have fewer and lower fees than banks. Industry analysts have estimated that credit union members across the country save more than $6 billion in fees that would otherwise be collected by banks.

GCS Credit Union has been providing banking and loan services in Illinois since 1941. Our primary focus is helping our customers, not making a profit of them. We invite you to visit any one of our seven conveniently located branches to learn more about our products and member services. If you have questions about banking with a credit union, call us at (618) 797-7993.

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  • 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