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.

FAQs About Credit Union Membershipv

Credit unions offer the same services for managing your money as banks, but, thanks to their structure, they can also often provide benefits that traditional banks can’t match. If you’re considering moving your money to a credit union, you are likely to have some questions about what to expect. Here are the answers to questions prospective members have most frequently about credit unions.

How are credit unions different from banks?

Banks are for-profit institutions, so they act on behalf of their shareholders to earn profits from the services they provide to their customers. Credit unions are nonprofits, so they are owned by their members. Any profits generated from business activities are invested back into the credit union to provide services to their members. Since credit unions don’t have to deliver a profit to shareholders, they are typically able to offer better interest rates on their products, from savings accounts to auto and home mortgage loans.

Is it difficult to become a member?

There is a credit union for virtually everyone. The trick is finding the one that is right for you. Some credit unions offer membership to people based on their employment, while others base membership criteria on where you live. There is almost certain to be a credit union for which you qualify for membership. Once you meet the membership criteria, joining is as simple as filling out paperwork to open your accounts.

What services do credit unions provide?

Credit unions offer checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, and credit cards just as banks do. You will have access to ATMs, online banking and bill pay, mobile banking, and all of the other financial services you would expect to find at a financial institution. The difference is that credit unions can consider their members’ financial position as a whole when making decisions about things like loans, unlike banks, which must stick to a prescribed formula.

To find out if credit union membership is right for you, contact GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon. We offer membership to residents of a number of counties in Illinois, with a comprehensive list of financial services. Contact us today at (618) 797-7993 for more information about joining our credit union.

Tips for Getting Your First Credit Card

When you’re in the market for your first credit card, proceed with caution. Many financial institutions charge huge fees and interest rates for people trying to establish credit, which is why making your credit union your first stop makes sense. Watch this video to find out more.

When picking a credit card, pay close attention to the small print. Many first credit cards have annual fees and large interest rates that make using them extremely expensive. Although a secured card is one option, it doesn’t have the same conveniences as a credit card.

Let GCS Credit Union help you build a strong financial history with our Visa Rewards credit card and other services. Talk to a representative at our credit union in O’Fallon today by calling (618) 797-7993.

Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score might just be three little numbers, but the impact it has on your life is massive. If your score has taken a hit, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Managing your credit is a life-long process, and sometimes you have to take steps to improve a score that has suffered some blows. Your credit union can be an invaluable resource as you focus on improving your score. These tips will also help.

Check Your Report for Mistakes

Many credit reports contain errors that drag down the score, so it’s important to check your credit report periodically for mistakes that are harming your standing. Look reports of bad debt that don’t belong to you or that indicate you made late payments when you were always on time. Keep an eye out for debts that have been paid off or that should have fallen off your report by now. Removing incorrect information from your report could have an instant positive impact on your credit score.

Pay Down Credit Card Balances

A major influence on your score is the amount of debt you have versus your amount of available credit. If you are using most of your credit, it communicates to lenders that you could be facing financial problems. Aim to keep your debt to around 30% of your available credit to maintain a healthy credit score. If you have high balances, focus on paying them down. You’ll see your score get healthier as your amount of debt increases.

Face Up to Outstanding Debt

If you have an old account that hasn’t been paid that you’re ignoring or you’ve fallen behind on payments on a current account, face up to the situation and make a payment plan with your creditor. Once your account is reported to be in repayment or paid in full, you’ll see your score recover.

At GCS Credit Union, we are invested in the financial well-being of our members and can assist with everything from managing your checking account to building up your credit score. Find out how to take advantages of online banking in O’Fallon and all of our services by calling (618) 797-7993.

Paybacks Are Easy with Kasasa Cash Back

Wouldn’t it be nice to get paid back for something as simple as spending your own money? With Kasasa Cash Back, you can. Kasasa Cash Back lets you earn money on your purchases each month, so you can see your GCS Credit Union account balance go up.

Kasasa Cash Back gives you 2% cash back on purchases you make with your debit card, up to $6 per month. All you have to do is spend a minimum of $300 over the course of 12 transactions using your debit card and enroll in eStatements and online banking to get your rewards. There are no restrictions on where you shop, so you don’t have to change your usual routines. Simply spend and earn up to $72 cash back each year.

Kasasa Cash Back is our way of paying you back for choosing our credit union in O’Fallon for your financial needs. Learn more about all of the benefits of joining GCS Credit Union today by calling (618) 797-7993.

How to Build the Balance in Your Savings Account

Your savings account represents your ability to deal with financial emergencies and to indulge in the things that matter to you, such as a new home or an exotic trip. Is your balance looking a little lighter than you’d prefer? Fortunately, it’s easier than you may think to increase the amount of savings you have without feeling like you’re depriving yourself. Boost your credit union savings account balance with these steps.

Journal Your Spending

You may feel like you’re being mindful of your spending, but are you really? If you take the time to write down everything you spend for a few days, you may be surprised to see exactly where your money is going. Look over your spending journal and identify areas where you could save a little extra cash. For instance, instead of running to the grocery store every night, you could save money by shopping once per week with a list of everything you need. Small savings could soon add up to extra money to put into your savings account.

Set Up Direct Deposits

If you have a portion of your paycheck deposited directly into your savings instead of into your checking account, you won’t even miss the money. Experiment with saving a small portion of your check, and periodically boost the amount of your direct deposit so that you’re saving more and more. In addition to direct deposits of your paycheck, you can also set up automatic transfers through your online banking so that money goes from checking to savings at regular intervals.

Set a Budget

Many people dread the idea of having a budget, but it doesn’t have to be restricted to work. Having a budget lets you prioritize the things that you want to spend money on in the short and long terms. Figure out your fixed expenses and how you want to spread out the leftovers. You can reach your savings goals in no time when you plan exactly how to spend your cash.

GCS Credit Union offers a range of checking account and savings account options in O’Fallon with competitive rates to help you make the most of your money. To find out how to become a member, call (618) 797-7993.

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