GCS Credit Union
618.797.7993
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.

What You Should Know About Purchasing and Redeeming U.S. Savings Bonds

Personal finance experts strongly recommend diversifying one’s portfolio of investments. U.S. savings bonds are ideal for investors who prefer strong risk management. Even if you’ve previously purchased U.S. savings bonds, you might be surprised at the modern upgrades they’ve received. Just like the way that credit union members have benefited from online banking, U.S. savings bond investors can now complete their transactions online.

Understanding Your Investment

When you purchase a U.S. savings bond, your investment is backed by the U.S. Treasury Department. Your interest will accrue monthly and compound semi-annually. Although you can redeem a savings bond any time after 12 months have passed, it’s financially prudent to wait until it matures to get the most out of your investment. The interest you earn on a U.S. savings bond is exempt from state and local taxes, and federal taxes are deferred until the date of maturity or the date of redemption. U.S. savings bonds are a very safe investment because they are all registered. Even if you decide to purchase paper bonds, they are replaceable if they become lost, stolen, or destroyed.

Purchasing U.S. Savings Bonds

With the shift toward electronic transactions, the only way to purchase paper bonds is with your federal tax return. When you file your federal tax return, submit IRS Form 8888. This allows you to purchase a Series I bond with your tax refund. It will be mailed to you. To purchase a savings bond electronically, you will need to open a TreasuryDirect account through the U.S. Treasury Department. You can use your TreasuryDirect account to purchase Series I or Series EE bonds. You are allowed to purchase up to $10,000 of each type every year.

Redeeming U.S. Savings Bonds

Electronic U.S. savings bonds are easily redeemed with your TreasuryDirect account. Authorize your redemption online and have the funds deposited into your credit union account. If you have paper bonds, take them to a credit union branch for redemption.

GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon offers a complete line of financial products and services to our members. You’re welcome to cash U.S. savings bonds at our credit union and to request financial guidance about how savings bonds fit into your wealth management strategy. Give us a call today at (618) 797-7993.

The Many Benefits of Choosing Direct Deposit

Younger workers might not have experienced this, but in years past, credit unions were flooded with folks trying to deposit their paychecks on Friday afternoons. Not only was this inconvenient and time-consuming, but depositing a paycheck the old-fashioned way meant waiting a few days for the check to clear. Today, most credit union members have embraced the many benefits of direct deposit. Once it’s set up, direct deposit lets your paycheck move directly from your employer to your checking account.

There’s no need to wait for the money to become available and there’s no need to wait on line on Friday afternoons. Electronic transfers of money are more secure, as they eliminate the risk of having a check get stolen or lost in the mail. Additionally, you’ll have the option of allocating a set percentage of your paycheck for your savings account. This means that you can save automatically and build your wealth over time.

GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon encourages our new and current members to take advantage of our extensive online banking options, including direct deposit. For assistance, call a member representative today at (618) 797-7993.

What to Know About International Travel with Your GCS Visa

GCS Credit Union is a proud provider of competitive financial products, including Visa rewards credit cards. If you plan to travel within the U.S. with your GCS Visa credit or check card, there is no need to make special arrangements. However, we do recommend that you notify a representative at our credit union if you plan to travel internationally and use your account while abroad.

There are a few easy ways that you can submit the notification. Visit the website for our credit union and fill out our simple travel notification form. Be sure to include the dates of your departure and return to the U.S. Alternatively, you can give us a call or drop by one of our convenient branches. In addition, please write down the numbers to call for a lost or stolen card and bring them with you during your trip.

GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon makes it easy for our members to stay on top of their personal finances. If you’re looking for competitive credit card offers or online banking options, call us today at (618) 797-7993.

Understanding the Types of Life Insurance Policies

It’s a common misconception that only older adults need life insurance policies. However, if you’re married, have a domestic partner, or have children, it makes good financial sense to purchase life insurance regardless of your age. Life insurance doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive. Consider talking to a member representative at your credit union. Some credit unions connect members to great deals on insurance.

Whole Life

Whole life insurance is permanent. The coverage remains in effect for the life of the person, provided the premiums are paid. A whole life policy locks in a premium rate, which is particularly advantageous for younger people because they can usually secure a very low rate that will stay the same throughout their lifetime. Additionally, whole life insurance grows in cash value over time.

Term Life

A term life policy only extends coverage for a specified period of time. A term life policy may last for 10, 15, 20, or more years before it expires. However, some carriers offer the option to convert term life policies into permanent plans. It’s a smart move to choose this option if it’s available, since an individual can expect to pay higher premiums after the term life policy expires due to their older age.

Universal Life

Universal life insurance is similar to whole life. It’s a permanent form of coverage that builds cash value over time and pays death benefits to the beneficiaries. However, policyholders can predetermine the percentage of the benefits that will go toward the cash value and the percentage for the death benefits.

Variable Life

A variable life plan is a whole life plan with cash value and death benefits. The difference is that a variable life policyholder can roll the funds into investment opportunities such as equities. These are sub-accounts held by the insurance carrier. This means that there is greater opportunity for growth, but also greater risk.

GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon offers much more than just savings and checking accounts. Our members get competitive rates on auto, home, and life insurance to protect what’s important to them. Call a credit union branch at (618) 797-7993 to ask about our member benefits.

Tips for Saving Money While in College

There is no question that college is expensive, but there are plenty of ways to reduce your expenses while you’re studying. First, look for a local credit union that you’ll be eligible to join once you arrive on campus. Credit unions offer great rates and may have special offers for students. Next, watch this video to find out how a high school senior plans to reduce her costs when she heads off to school.

She strongly recommends comparison shopping for used textbooks. College bookstores typically offer both new and used textbooks, but you may still be able to find cheaper used textbooks online. Consider splitting the rental fee for a mini-fridge with your roommate and get a minimal meal plan. Invest in a water filtration pitcher instead of buying water bottles every day.

GCS Credit Union is committed to helping members of all ages achieve their financial goals. Call our credit union in O’Fallon at (618) 797-7993 or visit our website to learn about our Student Success Account Package.

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Hours

  • Monday 8:30am — 5:00pm
  • Tuesday 8:30am — 5:00pm
  • Wednesday 10:00am — 5:00pm
  • Thursday 8:30am — 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am — 6:00pm
  • Saturday 8:30am — 12:00pm