GCS Credit Union
GCS is a full-service financial institution serving the following counties in Illinois: Sangamon, Logan, Macon, Marion, Jefferson, Perry, Jackson, Williamson, Jersey, Macoupin, Montgomery, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Monroe, Washington and Randolph.

Happy New Year from GCS Federal Credit Union!

Wishing you and your family a very happy new year!


A Guide to Home Ownership for First-Time Buyers

first time buyers

Becoming a homeowner is one of the most rewarding experiences of many people’s lives. But first-time homebuyers may not know where to start when it comes to searching for a property and a mortgage. Look below to find tips on how to optimize your search for your new home.

  • Get Preapproved

You can save time and hassle by calling your lender to get preapproved for a loan before you begin shopping for your first home. Once you’re preapproved, you’ll have a clear idea of how much you can afford to spend on a home. Plus, you’ll be more prepared when it comes time to hire a realtor. He or she will have an easier time finding homes within your budget, saving you time from looking at homes that are out of your price range.

  • Determine How Much Home You Can Afford

The next step in shopping for a home is figuring out which amenities you can afford. You may have been preapproved for a home loan, but you’ll still need to determine how much of your monthly income you can afford to spend on a monthly mortgage payment. Keep in mind that you may also be responsible for paying homeowners’ association fees, maintenance fees, utility bills, and parking fees, depending on where you choose to buy.

  • Hire a Realtor

Just as you wouldn’t look at only one home, you wouldn’t meet with only one realtor. Interview several realtors to find someone who understands exactly what you’re looking for in a home and has considerable experience in your region. A realtor can also investigate sales prices of similar homes to determine if an asking price is reasonable. If a realtor tries to push you into purchasing a home right away, consider looking elsewhere.

You may have to look through several listings with your realtor to find the ideal home, but you’ll be well on your way to homeownership.

When it comes to getting preapproved or applying for a mortgage, trust the mortgage experts at GCS Federal Credit Union. We offer complete banking, loan, and investment services. To get started on your home search, call us at (618) 797-7993 today.


Creating a Budget for Any Household

Household Budget

Did you know that tightening your budget could help you become a homeowner earlier than you might imagine? You could also use the extra money you save to buy a new car, pay for your education, or take a much-needed vacation. If this sounds appealing to you, use the following tips to create a budget.

  • Evaluate Your Current Spending

Collect statements for your credit card, savings account, and checking account to examine your current spending habits. Then, make a list of necessary spending and frivolous spending. For example, utility bills and mortgage payments are obviously necessities, while eating at a nice restaurant and movie rentals are luxuries. Be sure to be as specific as possible when making your list so you know what needs to be cut out.

  • Eliminate Unnecessary Spending

Look for ways to create more accessible money in your budget. If you buy coffee before work instead of making it at home, then you’re spending roughly $3 more than is necessary, which adds up to between $15 and $21 a week. Expenditures on cable, coffee, manicures, alcohol, movies, and fast food are not necessities, so cut them out.

  • Build In Incentives

Budgeting properly requires sacrifices in spending, so build incentives into your new budget that make budgeting fun. Consider rewarding yourself with an inexpensive expenditure once a week.

  • Save 10 Percent

The general rule of thumb is to save 10 percent of your paycheck. For some, this is difficult and for others this is too easy. Therefore, determine what you can afford to save after eliminating unnecessary spending, but remember to be realistic. When the season changes, your electricity bill could spike, so allow for some wiggle room in your budget.

If you need more help getting your spending on track, consult a member service representative at GCS Federal Credit Union. We can help you consolidate your debt, create a more realistic budget, and start saving more of what you earn. To enlist our help today, call (618) 797-7993.

GCS is Celebrating 70 Years in Business!

Help us celebrate being 70!

Happy Holidays from GCS!

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy holiday season from your friends at GCS Federal Credit Union!


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