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    Spotlight on Personal Loans

    Last updated 14 days ago

    If you need extra money for any purchase, a personal loan from your credit union could be the answer. However, while personal loans can be a good solution, they’re not always the right choice, because they often carry higher interest rates than other lines of credit. If you’re considering applying for a personal loan at your credit union, here is what you need to know. 

    How Can Personal Loans Be Used?

    There are no restrictions on how the money from a personal loan can be used. People choose to get personal loans for a range of reasons, from paying off a higher interest debt to paying for a vacation. Although personal loans can be used for anything, that doesn’t always make them the best option. For instance, you could use the money from a personal loan to buy a car, but typically, it is better to get an auto loan when you want to buy a car because the interest rate will be lower. Think carefully about what you want to use the loan for before you decide if a personal loan is right for you.

    What Are the Terms of a Loan?

    Personal loans have fixed terms, meaning you have a set amount of time in which to pay them back. The length of your loan term usually depends on how much you borrow. Interest rates on personal loans are usually higher than other types of loans and may vary based on your credit score. Unlike some other loans, such as auto loans and mortgages, personal loans are not guaranteed against any collateral, though late payments could result in collection action.

    How Can I Apply for a Personal Loan?

    Visit your credit union to apply for a personal loan and to discuss different loan options. At GCS Credit Union, you can also apply online through our website. If you need assistance choosing between loan types, our experts can help.

    Offering personal loans is just one way GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, IL can help you reach your financial goals. We also provide auto loans, checking accounts, and more. Get additional information about our financial products or credit union membership by calling (618) 219-8600.

    How to Build Credit Using a Credit Card

    Last updated 19 days ago

    Credit cards are usually associated with credit history nightmares, but when used correctly, they can actually be beneficial to your financial wellbeing. This video explains how to use a credit card to your advantage in building a strong credit history. 

    To have a good credit history, you have to obtain credit and use it responsibly. A credit card is a great way to do just that. To boost your credit history, make small purchases on your card each month and pay your balance off in full. You should also limit the number of cards you have, and of course, pay your bills on time.

    Let the team at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon help you manage your credit card. For information about our credit union services, please call (618) 219-8600.

    How Young People Can Build Their Savings Accounts

    Last updated 21 days ago

    One of the most important lessons parents can teach their kids is the value of saving money. If your kids get into the habit of saving when they are young, it will be easier for them to exercise control over their spending as adults. GCS Credit Union offers three savings accounts for young people with special benefits designed to reward them for responsible financial decisions. If you’ve opened one of these accounts for your children, or if you’re a young saver yourself, here are some ways to boost the account balance.

    Create a Routine

    One of the easiest ways of getting into the habit of saving is to automatically deduct a certain portion of all money earned or received and put it directly into a savings account. If you’re a teen, consider how much money you really need to pay for your expenses. Parents can help younger children make these decisions when they get money for things like allowance or a birthday. Whatever percentage of money you decide to save, stick to that routine each time you get money and watch the account grow.

    Weigh Saving Versus Spending

    Parents can help kids learn how to balance spending and saving by teaching them about the trade-offs. Use savings account statements to show how money grows with interest and talk about the value of buying something now versus the value of letting that money grow. Let your kids know that they do not need to save every penny and never buy anything they want—they should simply be sure to consider each purchase carefully.

    Look for New Ways to Make Money

    The more money young people earn, the more money they can save. For young kids, parents can help by setting them up with chores to do in exchange for an allowance. Teens can consider hitting the job market to boost their incomes.

    Show your kids how you manage money by bringing them with you to GCS Credit Union. Don’t forget to explore our savings accounts for kids. Teens can also open checking accounts at our credit union. Learn more by calling (618) 219-8600. 

    How Much Money Do You Really Need for Retirement?

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Planning for your retirement is one of the most important financial steps you will ever take. The big mystery that may be looming over you is how much money you will really need. The answer is different for everyone, but there is a straightforward way of calculating what your savings should look like.

    Watch this video to find out how you can set a retirement savings target for yourself. Start by figuring out your likely expenses during retirement. Then, find out how much money you will be getting from Social Security and any pensions you have. You will need to make up the difference between your expenditures and income with your savings. 

    At GCS Credit Union, we offer a range of products to help you maximize your savings. Learn more by calling our O’Fallon credit union today at (618) 219-8600.

    GCS Donates to Big Brothers Big Sisters!

    Last updated 1 month ago

    GCS Credit Union recently donated 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois.

    GCS and Radio Disney St. Louis teamed up to donate the backpacks for the fifth year in a row. All backpacks will be distributed by Big Brothers Big Sisters to the local children they serve.

    In addition, GCS employees raised $610 through jean days to help BBBS purchase additional supplies for the children.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters creates meaningful, supervised matches between adult volunteers and children in communities across the country. The mission of BBBS is “to help children reach their potential through one-to-one relationships with mentors that have a measurable impact on youth.”

    For more information, log on to To find out more about GCS, visit

    Founded in 1941, GCS Credit Union currently has assets of more than $321 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 full-service branches, numerous ATM locations, and 24-hour account access through mobile, telephone and PCU online banking.

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