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    How to Use Your Personal Line of Credit

    Last updated 1 month ago

    If you need additional money, but would like more flexibility than a personal loan provides, a personal line of credit could be the answer. Your line of credit will be a pre-approved amount your credit union has agreed to let you borrow that you can access and pay on as you see fit. Draw money when you need it and work on paying it down when you don’t. A personal line of credit offers true financial freedom. 

    With your line of credit, your credit union will make a specific amount available to you, but won’t pay it out in a lump sum like a loan. You can use as much or as little of that money as you want, up to the full amount. You then make monthly repayments. You can never borrow more than your pre-approved amount, but you can borrow from and repay your line of credit multiple times.

    Find out which of GCS Credit Union’s loan products is right for you by talking to a representative at one of our O’Fallon, IL credit union locations. For more information, call (618) 797-7993.

    Say Goodbye to Budget Concerns with These Savings Tips

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Sticking to a budget can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. There are some simple, painless tricks you can use to take control of your budget without feeling like you’re depriving yourself. GCS Credit Union offers a long list of financial products that can help you manage your spending and savings. Here are some tips to help you say goodbye to money worries as painlessly as possible. 

    Set Up Automatic Savings

    When your paycheck hits your checking account, the urge to spend it can be strong, even if you intend to move part of the money to savings. Before you know it, you could end up going through your money before that transfer to savings actually happens. To prevent this, consider having a portion of your pay automatically deposited into your savings account. If the money never enters your checking account, you won’t miss it, and your savings will likely grow faster than they would if you tried to manage your own transfers.

    Slow Down on Impulse Buys

    Impulse purchases can quickly drain your funds. If you see an item you want, give yourself a cooling-off period before you buy it. If, after waiting a few hours or even a few days, you still really want the item and it can fit into your budget, purchase it. If you realize that you don’t really need the item, you’ll have saved yourself from mindless spending. Remember that small impulse buys add up. That cup of coffee might not seem like much money, but treat yourself a few times a week, and that spending will quickly pile up.

    Give Yourself Some Breathing Room

    Unexpected expenses can rock your budget, so try to insulate yourself from the shock. In addition to your savings, leave yourself a cushion in your checking account that can be used to cover these surprise expenses.

    At GCS Credit Union, our checking accounts, loans, and savings accounts are all designed to help our members achieve financial stability. Our representatives are here to help you build a better financial future. Find out more by calling us in O’Fallon, IL at (618) 797-7993. 

    How to Financially Prepare for Your Child's Future

    Last updated 1 month ago

    There’s no getting around it—kids are expensive, and their needs only increase as the years go on. That is why the time for preparation is now. It’s never too early to start financially preparing for your child’s future, and GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, IL can offer the help you need. Here are some tips for making smart financial decisions now that will pay dividends in your child’s future. 

    Reconsider Saving in Your Child’s Account

    Creating a savings account for your child is a good way to teach him or her about the importance of putting money aside, but don’t make your child’s account the place where you save money for his or her future education expenses. Having a large amount of money in savings could impact your child’s ability to get financial aid for college. Use your child’s savings account for smaller amounts that you can use as a teaching tool.

    Try a 529

    529 college savings accounts work similarly to IRAs. They allow parents to save money tax-free for education expenses using a number of investment options. You can be aggressive with investments when your child is young to go after big returns, and then shift to more conservative investments when college time is drawing near. Because this money belongs to the parents, it doesn’t have the same impact on financial aid qualification as saving the same amount of money in an account in the child’s name.

    Resist Trying to Trick the System

    Some parents erroneously believe that if they don’t save at all for college, their child will get the maximum amount of financial aid. In reality, parental income plays a large role in financial aid, so even if you don’t have savings, you’ll still be expected to make tuition contributions.

    The financial counseling services at GCS Credit Union can help you devise a strategy for saving for your child’s future. We can also help guide your financial decisions, from applying for auto financing to getting credit cards. Set up an appointment with a representative to learn more about our products and services by calling our credit union in O’Fallon at (618) 797-7993. 

    GCS Donates to Girls on the Run

    Last updated 1 month ago

    GCS Credit Union employees had the option to wear jeans on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month in exchange for a $20 donation. For the month of October, GCS employees presented a check to Girls on the Run St. Louis for $700.

    The GOTR mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. This program teaches life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The program concludes with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to finish a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to give confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.

    Girls on the Run will be hosting their community 5k walk/run on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at Soldiers’ Memorial in downtown St. Louis. For more information about Girls on the Run St. Louis visit girlsontherunstlouis.org.

    To find out more about GCS Credit Union, visit myGCScu.com.

    Founded in 1941, GCS Credit Union currently has assets of more than $309 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 conveniently located branches, numerous ATM locations, and 24-hour account access through a telephone audio response system and PCU online banking.

    A Look at Our Christmas Loan Program

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Giving your family a special Christmas is a joy, but it isn’t always easy on your finances. Many people find themselves dipping into their savings for buying gifts and decorations, but that strategy can leave you financially vulnerable if an unexpected expense surfaces. Instead of putting your financial security on the line this holiday season, try a better way to pay for your needs—a GCS Credit Union Christmas Loan. 

    Our Christmas Loans are exclusively available during the holidays to provide you with the spending flexibility to give your family a special day. The lending period for these loans is October 1 through January 31, and repayment terms are up to 12 months. We offer competitive interest rates and loans for up $2,000.

    Give yourself the gift of a stress-free holiday and learn more about the GCS Credit Union Christmas Loan today. Our O’Fallon, IL credit union offers a range of loans and savings products to help you reach your financial goals. To learn more, call (618) 797-7993. 

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