GCS Credit Union
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.

Financial Tips Every Young Adult Needs to Know

Financial Tips Every Young Adult Needs to Know in O' Fallon

Young adults graduate from high school and college with a number of important and valuable skills. Unfortunately, money management typically isn’t one of them. The good news is that it doesn’t take a degree or even very much effort to take control of your personal finances. If you want to do a better job managing your money, your O’Fallon credit union can help. These tips can also help you get started in the right direction.

Set a Realistic Budget
One of the most fundamental rules of personal finance is to make sure your expenses aren’t exceeding your income. The best way to do this is by budgeting. Setting a budget will allow you to see exactly where your money is going so you can find areas to cut back or eliminate so you can put more money aside each month.

Put Money Aside for an Emergency
Speaking of putting money aside, another key to good personal finance is to pay yourself first. No matter how much you owe in credit card debt or student loans, you can find some amount of money in your budget to save in an emergency fund each month. Having money set aside for an emergency will help you sleep better at night and can also help you avoid serious financial trouble later on.

Start Saving for Retirement Early
You’re never too young to start planning for retirement. The sooner you get serious (and aggressive) about saving for retirement, the more you’ll have later on in life to enjoy during your golden years. Take advantage of any company-sponsored retirement plans you have access to, especially those that match part or all of your contributions.

Everyone here at GCS Credit Union is committed to your success, which is why we offer all of the tools, products, services, and resources for you to take control of your financial future. Visit a branch in O’Fallon or call us at (618) 219-7091 to learn about the benefits of becoming a member at GCS Credit Union.

A Look at Personal Lines of Credit

When you are looking to make a sizeable purchase or investment but would prefer not to draw from your savings account or checking account in O’Fallon, a personal line of credit may be an option worth looking into. Before taking this route, however, it is important to gain an understanding of the process.

Unlike a personal loan, a personal line of credit can be repeatedly accessed; as long as you continue to pay it back as you use it, you can enjoy access to additional funds. At GCS Credit Union, personal lines of credit range from $500 to $15,000. You can receive your funds in a variety of ways including by telephone and online banking.

If you would like a closer look at personal lines of credit, call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993 or visit our website. Our credit union is happy to take care of the O’Fallon area’s online banking needs. We also offer different types of checking accounts and personal loans to satisfy your financial needs.

Deciding If You're Ready for Your First Mortgage

Owning a home for the first time can be a huge step for you to take, which is why it is important to avoid biting off more than you can chew. If you think it is time to become a homeowner, you will first need to consider your finances and determine what kind of home mortgage loan in O’Fallon you can afford. Read on for a few tips on deciding if you are ready for your first mortgage.

Determining Comfortable Payments
Before you begin looking for a home, you must figure out what you can afford. Your total debt, including housing expenses, should come to less than half of your total income. Spending beyond your means and moving into an oversized house is a risky endeavor that can make it difficult for you to keep the lights on. Be logical and responsible in considering your preexisting debt and your ability to make your payments on time.

Making Down Payments
If you are the type of person who is financially secure and responsible, you may want to put down as large of a down payment as you can. A larger down payment comes with a number of advantages, including smaller mortgage payments and a greater degree of flexibility in choosing a lender. If you are financially comfortable enough to put down a significant down payment, you may be ready for your first mortgage.

Planning for the Future
Financial stability is not the only factor to consider when deciding if you are ready for a mortgage. Think about your future and where you plan to end up. If you do not see yourself living in the same spot for the next decade, it may not be the right time in your life to seek your first mortgage.

Are you deciding if you are ready for your first mortgage? Call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993. We are happy to discuss home mortgage loans in the O’Fallon area, and we can also set you up with online banking and bill paying. Please visit our website if you are interested in learning more about our member-only credit union.

Tips for Tackling Your Checkbook

If you prefer pen and paper methods to more modern online banking services, keeping your checkbook up to date is an important responsibility. Watch this video for a few tips for tackling your checkbook.

Just like online banking, your checkbook can help you keep track of your finances and maintain a clear idea of your available funds. Refer to your most recent bank statement to look into which checks have cleared, and make sure that the deposits on your statement are reflected in your checkbook. Hold onto any ATM receipts so that you can verify your withdrawals, and list any bank fees that you see on your statement.

GCS Credit Union is happy to provide online checking accounts and bill paying service in the O’Fallon area. We also specialize in auto and home mortgage loans as well as Visa rewards cards. Please visit our website or call us at (618) 797-7993 for more information on how we can help you take control of your finances.

What You Need to Know Before Getting Your First Auto Loan

There are few more exciting events than getting your first car; the part nobody looks forward to, however, is paying for it. Auto loans in O’Fallon can help you to pay off your first car over time while enjoying it immediately. Here is a quick overview of what you need to know before getting your first auto loan.

Understanding the Process
Regardless of how you decide to pay for your car, the first step is always independent research. The Internet can be a helpful resource in finding the right type of car, identifying a reputable dealership, and understanding what the financing process entails. Look into the different types of discounts you may be able to acquire and make sure that you bring all of the necessary information along with you. Familiarizing yourself with the process can reduce any overwhelming or stressful feelings you may have.

It’s difficult to argue that there is an easier way to pay for a car than providing cash up front. For many people, however, this is not a viable option, especially when it comes to a first car. Although auto loans can provide you with the scaffolding you need to leave the lot with a vehicle of your own, it is your responsibility to choose a car and a payment plan that you can comfortably afford. Carefully consider your income as well as your expenses before negotiating your first auto loan.

Before attempting to acquire an auto loan, you will have to decide what type of entity to work with. Many car dealerships offer in house financing, while other individuals prefer to work with credit unions or other institutions. Each of these organizations comes with its own pros and cons, but you may be more comfortable with a credit union that you are familiar with.

GCS Credit Union offers online checking accounts, Visa rewards credit cards, and home mortgage and auto loans in the O’Fallon area. For more information about our services or how to become a member of our credit union, please give us a call at (618) 797-7993 or visit our website today.

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