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    What All Homeowners Should Know About Homeowner's Insurance

    Last updated 8 months ago

    If you own a home, homeowner’s insurance is essential. Not only will your mortgage company require it, but it will also help you recover financially should a disaster strike your property. However, it is important to understand your policy completely. Many homeowners make assumptions that they have coverage on their homes that they actually do not have. If you’re not sure if your insurance policy meets the requirements of your GCS Credit Union mortgage, call our mortgage loan center for help. Here are the basics that all homeowners should keep in mind about how this kind of coverage works.

    What Is Covered Under a Basic Plan?
    Most basic homeowner’s insurance policies are similar. They cover things like fire and smoke damage, lightening strikes, ice and snow damage, theft, and damage from frozen pipes. Homeowner’s insurance policies also offer some degree of liability coverage to protect you if someone is injured in your home. For instance, if your dog bites someone who is visiting your house, your homeowner’s insurance may pay some of his or her medical bills. If you are unable to live in your home because of damage caused by a covered risk, your insurance will pay the cost for you to live elsewhere.

    What Policy Additions Should I Consider?
    Depending on where you live, you may need more than a basic policy. Flood damage is not covered under most basic policies and is a smart, affordable addition for many homeowners. You may also want to consider coverage for wind damage and earthquakes. Other available additions include coverage for damage caused by war or acts of terrorism.

    How Much Should I Pay for Homeowner’s Insurance?
    Insurance costs vary greatly depending on where you live and the value of your home. Keep in mind that you can reduce your monthly premiums by choosing a plan with a high deductible, but be sure you can meet that deductible if you need to file a claim.

    At GCS Credit Union, we offer competitive rates on mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, and more. To discover all of the advantages of joining our O’Fallon credit union, call us today at (618) 219-8600.

     

    Make a Budget Painlessly with This App

    Last updated 8 months ago

    Managing your finances may seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the Pocket Budget Android app, creating and tracking your budget is as simple as tapping your smartphone a few times.

    The Pocket Budget app is completely customizable and allows you to track several budgets at one time. Create separate budgets for different types of spending and stay on top of your savings goals. This app can help you get a clear picture of where your money is going so you can make smart decisions about spending.

    You can use the Pocket Budget app to manage your savings and checking accounts with GCS Credit Union. To learn about our full-service financial institution in O’Fallon, IL, please call (618) 219-8600.

     

    Understanding the Dos and Don'ts of Debt Consolidation

    Last updated 8 months ago

    When used correctly, debt consolidation loans can help you get out of debt and get a fresh start on your finances. When mismanaged, debt consolidation could leave you facing higher interest rates and even more debt. If you’re considering debt consolidation, the first step is to sit down with a representative from GCS Credit Union to explore loan options and see if consolidation makes sense for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make a decision about debt consolidation.

    Do Consider Interest Rates
    One of the benefits of a debt consolidation loan is that the interest rate on the loan will almost certainly be lower than the interest rate of the credit cards and other debts you’re trying to pay off. However, consider how long you will be paying on the debt consolidation loan versus how long it will take you to pay off your current debts. If the consolidation loan will take longer to pay off, be sure that you will still come out on top financially, given that you will be paying that lower interest rate for a longer period of time.

    Don’t Add New Debt
    With a debt consolidation loan, you will be able to finally get those credit card balances to zero. The trick is to keep them there. If you go out and use those credit cards again, then you will be left with the payments on your debt consolidation loan plus a new stack of credit card debt. Although closing your accounts will have a detrimental effect on your credit score because it will lower your debt-to-credit ratio, doing so may be the best bet if you think you will be tempted to use your cards.

    Do Get Advice
    If you’re overwhelmed by debt, seek advice on the best way to tackle it from a qualified financial advisor. At GCS Credit Union, we’re here to help you make a plan for the future that gets you out of debt as fast as possible.

    O’Fallon, IL’s GCS Credit Union offers the same services as banks, from checking accounts and debit cards to auto loans, but with a focus on you. Learn how to apply for membership by calling (618) 219-8600.  

    Get Behind the Wheel for Less! [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Last updated 8 months ago

    Buying a new car can be a stressful experience, whether you’re shopping for your first car or you’re a veteran car-buyer. In addition to narrowing down the right make and model for your driving habits, you’ll need to figure out your auto financing to pay for your purchase. Obtaining your auto loan from our credit union in O’Fallon, Illinois, is a smart move that could potentially save you money over the life of your loan. Credit unions offer personalized attention that you won’t find at commercial banks and will work with you to make sure you get the lowest auto loan rates possible. Take a look at this infographic to see the advantages of auto loans from credit unions and to find some handy car-buying tips. Please share with your friends and family!

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    How and When to Apply for a Personal Loan

    Last updated 8 months ago

    A personal loan can help you bridge a financial gap when money is tight. People seek personal loans for all kinds of expenses, both essential and non-essential. Home improvement projects, vacations, and debt consolidation are all reasons people apply for personal loans. Whatever your reason for wanting a loan, it’s important to consider how you will tackle the debt before you borrow.

    To apply for a personal loan, sit down with a lender and discuss your situation. Many lenders have loans tailored to specific needs that may have more attractive rates than a simple personal loan. For instance, a home equity loan may be the best choice for a home improvement project. Before you apply for a loan, be sure to gather all of your necessary financial information, including proof of income. Secured loans tend to have better rates than unsecured loans, but keep in mind that defaulting on a secured loan could put your property at risk.

    If you’re in the market for a personal loan, make an appointment with a loan officer at GCS Credit Union or start your loan application online. Our O’Fallon credit union is here to help with all of your financial needs. Call us now at (618) 219-8600.  

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