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.

Setting Personal Savings Goals

Many people dread the thought of saving money as much as they do going on a diet because it sounds like it is about deprivation. In reality, saving is just a way to leverage your money so that it gets you the things you really want. How much money should be going into your credit union savings account each month? Watch this video to learn more.

There is no specific amount that everyone should save. The amount depends on your personal goals. Decide what is important to you and how much money you need to put aside to achieve. You can reach those goals by cutting out spending on things that aren’t adding any value to your life. You may be surprised by how easy it is to cut mindless spending.

At GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, our savings and checking accounts and other credit union products are designs to help you reach your financial goals. Find out more about how we can help you by calling (618) 797-7993 today.

A Quick Look at Home Equity Loans

If you have a major expense you need to finance, the solution could be as close as your home. Every time you make a mortgage payment to your credit union, you build up equity in your house. This equity can be converted into a loan with friendly terms that you can use for big purchases, without touching your savings account.

Home equity loans can be offered as a single lump sum payment, or they can be offered as a line-of-credit, or HELOC, which you can use a little at a time for long-term projects. With favorable terms and tax-deductible interest, a home equity loan could be the perfect way to cover the costs of a wedding, tuition, home improvement project, or other major expense.

If you’re interested in learning more about home equity loans and other lending options, contact GCS Credit Union. We’re pleased to offer a complete range of banking services, from checking accounts and auto loans to online banking and credit cards. Find out more about our credit union in O’Fallon today by calling (618) 797-7993.

Comparing Money Market and Savings Accounts

Once you’ve decided to make saving money a priority, you have to choose the right type of account to help you reach your goals. Two common types of accounts that credit unions offer are money market accounts and traditional savings accounts. Both offer benefits to savers, so the trick is picking the right account for your needs. Here is a closer look at these common saving accounts to help you choose the best one for you.

Money Market Accounts

A money market account is a specific type of savings account. The benefit of a money market account is that it typically offers a higher interest rate than a traditional savings account. It also usually comes with the ability to write checks directly from the account, unlike a traditional savings account. The trade-off is that there is usually a minimum balance to open the account, and you have to maintain a higher balance to avoid fees. A money market account is still insured in the same way it is in a traditional savings account.

Traditional Savings Account

Traditional savings accounts typically don’t require any minimum balance to open, and they either have no minimum balance requirements or have very small requirements. The trade-off with this kind of savings account is that it usually pays lower interest rates than a money market account.

Choosing an Account

Is a money market account or savings account right for you? There is no one-size-fits-all solution. If you are able to open your account with a larger balance and maintain that balance, then you could reap the rewards of the higher interest rate of a money market account. Alternatively, if you have a smaller amount of money, you could avoid fees while earning interest, albeit in a lesser amount, by having a traditional savings account. For most people, the right kinds of savings products change throughout their lives.

Let the committed financial experts at GCS Credit Union help you make the right choices about savings accounts, checking accounts, and much more. You can learn more about all of our credit union accounts in O’Fallon and get information about becoming a member by calling (618) 797-7993.

Quick Tips for Monthly Budgeting

Budgeting is the foundation for healthy personal finances. Regardless of how much money you earn and how many expenses you have, budgeting is an essential way to build financial security and prevent your checking account from incurring overdraft fees. Watch this video to hear a budget-savvy shopper explain her quick tips for creating monthly budgets.

You’ll discover which percentage of your income you should save and how to allocate the rest of your income into categories. These include housing, transportation, utilities, food, and debt payments.

For better control over your personal finances, consider joining a credit union in O’Fallon. Call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993 or visit us online to view our financial products, including online banking and auto loans.

Get the Answers to Your Questions About Mobile Banking

Online banking solutions offered by credit unions make managing your finances easy and convenient. Although you can stop by a credit union branch any time for face-to-face assistance, most of your financial tasks can be completed remotely through a secure website. If you’re already taking advantage of the perks of online banking, why not take the next step of using mobile banking? Your credit union representative will be happy to help you get started.

Is mobile banking safe?

Although safety is a valid concern when it comes to mobile banking, the security of your money is a priority for your credit union. Because identity theft is a rapidly growing crime that can affect anyone, financial institutions have invested considerable resources into protecting the digital data of their customers. In fact, mobile banking can actually improve your financial security because you can get alerts when there is unusual activity on your account. This allows you to take action right away, regardless of where you are.

How can I protect my security online?

Although mobile banking is quite safe, it’s still smart to take a few extra steps to protect your sensitive information. One of the most important steps to take is to download the mobile banking app directly from your credit union, rather than using your smartphone’s Web browser to go to the website. It’s also best to use your cellphone carrier’s secure network or a trusted Wi-Fi hot spot, rather than public Wi-Fi. Always log out after each session and never click an option to save your password. You should also require a password for the phone itself.

What can I do with my mobile banking app?

This varies, depending on the financial institution you use, but in general, you can do anything with a mobile app that you can do with an online banking account. You can check your balance, receive alerts, and transfer funds.

GCS Credit Union offers modern banking solutions that adhere to high standards of digital security for our valued members. For assistance using our mobile banking app, you can call a member representative at (618) 797-7993. Or, stop by a credit union branch near O’Fallon for friendly help.

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