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.

At What Age Should a Child Have a Credit Union Account?

Financial literacy is best taught from an early age. Kids who learn how to manage money responsibly earlier in life are more likely to enjoy financial stability in adulthood. One effective way to introduce your child to the world of personal finance is by opening a credit union savings and checking account in his or her name. Until a child reaches the age of majority, a parent or guardian must remain on the account.

Deciding to Open an Account

One common assumption by parents is that they should wait to open an account for their child until the child demonstrates financial responsibility. But children learn best by doing. Achieving financial literacy can take some trial and error, and kids learn from their mistakes along the way. It’s far safer for your child to learn from financial mistakes early in life than later on when he or she has moved out. Every child develops differently, but in general, most kids are ready to open a credit union account when they turn 14 years old.

Exploring the Account Features

Make the experience a collaborative one right from the start. Ask your child to read the account information with you, and discuss what it means. If your child has questions, it would be a good learning experience if he or she called a member representative or visited a branch to ask. Until your child turns 18, you’ll be listed on the account too. This means you’ll have complete access to view the balance and statements to make sure your child is behaving responsibly.

Making a Financial Plan

Now that your child has an account, it’s time to make a plan. First, sit down with your child and do some quick math to demonstrate how interest rates allow money to grow over time. Recommend to your child that he or she set aside a specific percentage of his or her allowance and extra earnings every week for savings. Together, calculate how much that would add up to by the time your child turns 18. To stay motivated, your child may need occasional reminders of the benefits of long-term saving.

GCS Credit Union invites young consumers to practice financial responsibility by opening a Student Success Account Package. This includes a savings and checking account in O’Fallon, and it’s available for individuals ages 14 through 23. Call a friendly member representative at (618) 797-7993.

Why Bank Local?

Whether you’re weighing up your options for banking or are already a credit union member, you may be surprised at how impactful the decision to bank local can be. Watch this video to learn more about how banking local can benefit your community.

When you do your banking locally, the money in your checking account is invested directly back into the community through home mortgage loans, small business loans, and other kinds of lending to borrowers who are also your neighbors.

At GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, our local staff is committed to the well-being of our community and our members. You can learn more about all of our financial services by calling (618) 797-7993.

Our Money Market Account Options

Money market accounts let you maximize the return on your savings without sacrificing access to your money. At GCS Credit Union, our money market accounts offer competitive returns and tiered interest rates so that you can get the biggest returns possible on your money.

With our basic money market account, you get six free withdrawals per month, with a minimum withdrawal amount of $300, plus direct check-writing ability. The minimum opening balance is $2,5000, and if you maintain that balance, you won’t pay a monthly fee. At different balance tiers, your interest rate increases. You can open an Elite Money Market Account with a $250,000 minimum deposit, and make six withdrawals per month of at least $5,000 each. This account earns our top interest rate.

Find out which money market account is right for you by talking to one of the financial experts at GCS Credit Union. Our credit union in O’Fallon is committed to helping members make the right choices for their money, with our competitive auto and mortgage loan rates and all of our financial products. Learn more by calling (618) 797-7993.

Auto Refinancing 101

If your auto loan is taking a serious bite out of your finances, then it may make sense to refinance. Refinancing an auto loan allows you to reset the terms of your loan, often lowering your interest rate and payments. Is refinancing right for you? Here is what you need to know.

What is auto refinancing?

When you refinance your auto loan, you apply for a new loan with different terms than your existing one. Because the new loan is separate from your existing loan, it will have completely different terms and interest rates. You can refinance your loan through your current lender or seek an auto loan from a completely new source. For example, if you get your original loan through the dealership, then you could go to your credit union to refinance your loan.

What are the benefits of refinancing?

Most people who refinance do so to save money. If you have earned a better credit score since you got your original loan, then you may be able to refinance your car at a lower interest rate, which could save you thousands. If your car payment is too high right now, refinancing lowers the payment by extending the life of the loan. Although choosing to extend the repayment period for the loan will cause you to ultimately pay more interest, the lower payment can make a dramatic difference in your monthly budget.

How do I apply for refinancing?

Start by approaching your credit union to discuss your options for loans. The application process is the same as applying for any kind of auto loan. The lender will check your credit score and make you an offer. Check the interest rate and monthly payment on the loan before accepting to ensure that it offers the kind of savings you want.

For the best rate possible on your auto loan in O’Fallon, choose GCS Credit Union. We offer financing with members in mind, so you can count on us for the best rate on the right loan for your needs. Discuss your refinancing options by calling (618) 797-7993 today.

How Can I Convince My Employer to Offer Direct Deposit?

Direct deposit can make life easier for employers and employees alike. Still, some businesses have not yet taken advantage of the benefits of direct deposit. If your employer is not making payments directly into your checking account, consider discussing these advantages with him or her.

Direct deposit saves money.

One of the biggest benefits for employers of paying employees through direct deposit is that it saves them money. Even if there are small fees associated with direct deposit payments, most employers more than make them up by reducing the amount of time spent preparing payroll. Increased efficiency can save your employer more than the modest fees associated with depositing pay directly into checking accounts.

Direct deposit reduces check loss, fraud, and theft.

When employers issue paper checks, there is a risk that employees will lose their checks or that they will be stolen. This means that the employer will have to issue a stop payment on the check and issue a new one, which takes time and valuable resources and decreases the satisfaction of employees who are depending on getting paid on a certain day. Paper checks are also subject to fraud. They can be cloned or cashed by the wrong person, creating a loss for the business. Direct deposit prevents all of these things from happening since the money goes straight into employees’ accounts.

Direct deposit makes bookkeeping easier.

With direct deposit, employers don’t have to accommodate the different amount of time it takes employees to cash their checks. The immediate transfer of cash simplifies bookkeeping tasks and allows employees to track payments in real time instead of guessing when they will hit their accounts.

Even if your employer doesn’t offer direct deposit yet, GCS Credit Union can make it easy to manage your money with online banking and mobile banking services in O’Fallon. Get more information about the services we offer at our credit union by calling (618) 797-7993.

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