GCS Credit Union
618.797.7993
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.

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.

Convenience Services at GCS Credit Union

Convenience Services at GCS Credit UnionIf you ‘re thinking about switching to a credit union but worry that you’ll miss the convenience of your large bank, say hello to GCS Credit Union. We offer 21 st century solutions for everyday banking dilemmas to save you time and make your life easier. For example, we’re proud to offer our members free online banking and online bill pay. Our members also get access to surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. Looking for more? How about direct deposit, eStatements, and credit reports? We offer those too, in addition to many other services that make banking easier.

To learn about all the convenience services we offer, visit our website or stop by one of our credit union branches in O’Fallon. You can also call us at (618) 797-7993 to find the GCS Credit Union location near you or to speak with one of our banking experts about the services and products we offer our members.

Tips for Managing Your Credit Score

Your credit score is just a three-digit number, but it can have a huge impact on your life. Whether you have good credit, bad credit, or no credit at all, it’s important that you take steps now to manage your credit score going forward. How well you take care of your credit score now will affect many important aspects of your life later on, such as your ability to get an affordable auto loan or home mortgage loan in O’Fallon. These tips will help you take control of your credit for good.

Tips for Managing Your Credit ScoreMonitor Your Credit Report
According to a recent study by Credit.com, approximately half of all people with a credit report have never seen it or had not looked at it for more than a year. If you want to take control of your credit score, you need to start by monitoring your credit report more closely. You are entitled to one free copy of your report annually, and there are services that allow you to track and monitor your credit report in real time for a small monthly fee.

Limit Your Credit Usage
The more credit you use, the riskier you look in the eyes of creditors. To effectively manage your credit score, try to limit your credit usage as much as possible. This means you should pay in cash whenever possible and reserve your credit card for emergencies or purchases that you intend to aggressively pay back. The lower your debt-to-income ratio, the higher your credit score will usually be.

Stay on Top of Monthly Payments
One of the easiest ways to manage your credit score is to pay all of your debt obligations on time and in full each month. Creditors will report late payments and nonpayment to the various credit bureaus, which will end up on your credit report and may lower your score as a result.

GCS Credit Union offers all of the tools you need to take control of your finances. We can also help you secure a competitive rate on a personal loan or credit card if you’re in the process of rebuilding your credit. To learn more about our member services, visit any one of our branches or call us at (618) 797-7993. You can also visit our website to see our current loan rates.

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Hours

  • 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