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    Exploring How Certificates of Deposit Work

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Certificates of deposit, or CDs, offer a higher-yield alternative to traditional savings accounts. Although you can’t immediately withdraw your money from a CD as you can with a savings account, the interest will build up faster, so your money grows quickly until the date of maturity. GCS Credit Union offers competitive rates on CDs to our members. Is a CD right for your saving needs? Here is a look at how they work to help you decide. 

    CDs Explained

    CDs are essentially a type of savings account. You open the account using a deposit of your choosing, as long as it meets the minimum requirements set by your credit union. The difference is that, unlike a savings account, you can’t withdraw the money in the CD without paying a penalty until it has reached the age of maturity. The age of maturity varies depending on which CD you choose. Some CDs run for as little as seven days, while others don’t reach maturity for five years. In exchange for not having access to your money, the credit union pays a higher interest rate on the money you have in the account.

    CD Benefits

    If you have a stable income and money sitting in your savings account that you feel comfortable not having access to for a set period of time, a CD is a great opportunity to get a better return. They also offer a good way to save money for major investments, like a down payment on a home or college tuition. You’ll increase your savings faster than by simply setting aside that money in a traditional account without the risk associated with stocks. If you’re concerned about not having access to your money, start with a short-term CD and then renew it at the end of the term as desired.

    Are you interested in a CD? Visit GCS Credit Union to learn more about our flexible CD products. Our full-service credit union also provides checking accounts, auto financing, credit and debit cards, and much more. To learn about our services and for information about joining our O’Fallon credit union, please call (618) 219-8600. 

    How to Keep Your Identity Safe [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Identity theft is on the rise in the United States and could affect you or someone you know at any time. Though this may sound alarming, there are steps you can take to help keep your identity safe. For example, you should never give out your Social Security number, checking account number, or credit card number unless you have a very good reason for doing so. Be suspicious of any callers claiming to be from your credit union asking for your personal information. Keep an eye out for unsolicited emails asking you to click through, as these could be identity theft scams. If your identity is compromised, the expert staff at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, Illinois, will help you get your finances back on track. Check out this infographic from your O’Fallon credit union to find tips on keeping your identity safe. You’ll also learn about common identity theft scams to watch out for. Please share this essential information with your friends and family.  

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    Applying for a Loan at GCS Credit Union

    Last updated 5 months ago

    With GCS Credit Union, applying for a loan has never been easier. You can get started on your application anytime with our online pre-approval process. When you begin your application from the comfort of your own home, you can take the time to carefully read over the materials and gather your financial information.

    We offer a wide range of lending options including auto loans, mortgages, refinancing, construction loans, and personal loans. To get started on your application, simply visit our website and select the type of loan you need. If you would prefer to start your application in person, you can always visit a branch in your neighborhood to speak with one of our loan officers.

    For a closer look at the services offered at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, visit us online or call (618) 219-8600. We can provide you with a more personal experience than any bank, thanks to our staff of local financial experts who are willing to spend the extra time to find the products that will benefit you most. 

    Advice for Talking to Your College Student about Credit Cards

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Credit cards can be a valuable tool for college students, but they can also cause trouble if they come with high interest rates and spending limits. You can help your child avoid the common traps of high-limit credit cards by offering advice with the helpful tips below.

    Understand how credit scores work
    Using a credit card is the best way to build credit, so your child should not avoid a credit card altogether. Instead, you will want to teach your child that credit cards are beneficial when they are used for purchases that money is already set aside for. You might need to run your credit score as well as your child’s so that you have a visual demonstration of how certain purchases affect this number.

    Set clear limits
    It is ideal to start out with a credit card that has a limit of $500 or lower. There are many student credit cards with this type of limit offering incentives and rewards for certain purchases. You will want to explain to your child that it is important to stick to this limit and use it only for certain types of spending. Purchasing text books with a credit card can be a great strategy for the semester, but putting monthly expenses like rent on a credit card can be problematic.

    Consult a professional
    You may be just as overwhelmed as your child when it comes to credit card choices for college, so you might need to talk to a financial expert at your credit union to determine which cards are best for your child.

    At GCS Credit Union, you can find options for student checking and savings accounts as well as financial guidance for any stage of life. Connect with our O’Fallon-area branch by calling us at (618) 219-8600 or visiting our website. 

    How to Make Sticking to a Budget a Breeze

    Last updated 5 months ago

    It may seem easy to write out a budget, but the real challenge is actually sticking to that goal. This video offers personalized tips for different kinds of spenders who may struggle with a monthly budget.

    You might use tools like end-of-month rewards or email alerts to keep your spending in check each month. If you are still having trouble with sticking to your budget, you might ask friends and family members for help reminding you to watch your money and keep your purchases more modest.

    At GCS Credit Union, you can find the latest tools and affordable accounts to help you manage your money more effectively. You can open an account with us by visiting our website or calling our O’Fallon location at (618) 219-8600. 

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