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    Tips for First-Time Car Buyers

    Last updated 5 months ago

    If you’re ready to say goodbye to public transportation, buy your very own car and enjoy the freedom of going anywhere, anytime. But if you’re a first-time car buyer, the entire process can seem like a daunting task. From finding the right car to applying for auto financing, there are a lot of steps you need to take before you drive away from the dealership in a car of your own. To help streamline the process, and make it a whole lot less scary, here are some tips for buying your first car. 

    Apply for a Loan

    Before you start visiting dealerships or building your dream car online, apply for an auto loan at your credit union to determine how much you will have to spend on a new or used car. If you are not yet a member of a credit union, know that these financial institutions typically offer better rates on car loans than traditional banks. And if you have a troubled financial history, a credit union will be more willing to work with you than a big bank.

    Do Your Research

    After you get pre-approved for auto financing, go online and start browsing vehicles at dealerships in your area. Knowing how much you have to spend, you can narrow down your search based on price alone. Make a list of 10 vehicles you want most, and read online reviews to learn the ins and outs of each model before you take them for a test drive.

    Be Patient

    Although you may be anxious to get on the road and enjoy the freedom of owning your very own vehicle, be patient in your search. Don’t purchase the first car you test drive, and don’t always purchase from the first dealership you visit. By shopping around and taking your time, you will be confident that you are getting the best deal on the vehicle you really want.

    If you are starting the process of buying your first car, GCS Credit Union can help. Located in O’Fallon, IL, we offer great rates on auto loans for our members. To learn more about our auto financing rates, visit our credit union or call us at (618) 219-8600. 

    Membership Benefits at GCS Credit Union

    Last updated 6 months ago

    It pays to be a member at GCS Credit Union. No, really, it does! In addition to the personal service and outstanding rates we offer, our members have access to tons of great discounts with the Invest in America program. As a member, you’ll save money on FTD, TurboTax, Dell, Shop America, and more. Listen to this short clip to hear about these benefits and how you can take advantage of these and other discounts. 

    If you’re ready to ditch your bank and join our credit union, call us today at (618) 219-8600. You can also visit our website to learn more about our financial products and services, including auto loans and checking accounts. You can also visit our branch in O’Fallon, IL if you have any questions for us. 

    How to Teach Your Teenager About Money Management

    Last updated 6 months ago

    You’re smart with your money; you stick to a budget, you pay off your bills on time, and you belong to a local credit union. If you have teenagers, they probably don’t manage their money quite as well as you do. To set up your children for a lifetime of financial success and independence, take time to teach them how to be smarter about money. Here are a few ways to make sure that your teenagers learn the lesson about money management. 

    Put Them on a Budget

    Instead of putting $20 bills in your teen’s hand when he or she walks out the door, give them a weekly or monthly allowance and teach them how to limit their spending and live within a budget. Be prepared to say no when your teenager asks for more money after they spend all of the allowance. This is a great teaching experience, as they will learn what happens in the real world when spend over your limit each month.

    Reward Them for Saving

    Talk to your children about the benefits of paying themselves. Start by recommending that your children put away at least 10 percent of any money they earn from work. If your teen doesn’t have a part-time job, recommend instead putting away 10 percent of the allowance each week. Tell your child that you will match his or her contributions each month to hammer home the benefits of saving for a rainy day. 

    Warn Them About Excessive Debt

    Nearly everyone has debt, but there is a point where enough is enough. Be straightforward with your teenagers about the dangers of carrying excessive debt, and explain to them how difficult it can be to repay high-interest credit cards or auto loans.

    If you want your children to be smart with their money, start by being smarter with yours. GCS Credit Union is a full-service, member-owned credit union in O’Fallon, IL. We can help you and your teens plan for a successful financial future. To learn more about our credit union, please call us at (618) 219-8600.

    GCS Credit Union: Who We Are

    Last updated 6 months ago

    For over 70 years, GCS Credit Union has provided financial products and services for members in O’Fallon, IL and the surrounding counties. Founded in 1941, GCS Credit Union has always focused on you, the member. We are big enough to offer all of the products and services you would expect at a traditional bank, but small enough to offer customized financial services to meet your ever-changing needs. Whether you’re looking for a high-yield savings account or a low-interest auto loan, you can find all of the financial services you need at CGS Credit Union.

    When you’re ready to become a member, GCS Credit Union is here for you. To learn more about the financial services we offer to our members, visit our website or call us at (618) 219-8600. You can also visit our branch today to become a member at our credit union. 

    Why You Should Start Saving for Retirement Now

    Last updated 6 months ago

    Even though the thought of retirement probably doesn’t loom large on the horizon for you if you are in your 20s or 30s, the very fact that you’re young gives you a huge advantage if you want to be rich in retirement and truly enjoy your golden years. The longer your money sits and matures in a savings account, the more you will have during your retirement. To help motivate you to start saving, here are three reasons why you should put away for your retirement while you’re still young. 

    More Money for Retirement

    If you start saving money in your 20s, you will have a big leg up on someone who starts saving in their 30s or 40s. For example, if you put away $2,000 a year starting at 25, you’ll have around $560,000 after 40 years, assuming earnings grow at eight percent annually. If you put the same amount away each year but you start saving when you are 35, you’ll wind up with about less than half the money by the time you’re 65.

    Less Stress and Worry Later On

    Saving for retirement is difficult no matter when you start putting money away, but the earlier you start saving, the less stress and worry you will have later on. It may be difficult to find any extra money to put aside with student loans and credit card debt looming over you, but tightening your belt and saving whatever you can now will make it much easier than if you wait until you are well into your 30s and 40s.

    If you’re looking for a high-yield savings account at a financial institution you can trust, contact GCS Credit Union. Located in O’Fallon, IL, our member-owned credit union can help you get your finances in order and start saving for a comfortable retirement. For additional information about our share account rates, visit our website or call us at (618) 219-8600. 

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