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.

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.

Installment Loans 101: A Quick Primer for Young Adults

Do you need a new or used car? Are you looking for ways of covering educational expenses or paying for a major vehicle repair? Or perhaps you have high-interest debts that you wish to consolidate and pay off at more reasonable rates. If so, it’s time to start shopping for an installment loan at your local credit union. If you’re approved for an installment loan, your credit union lends you a lump sum of money, which you’ll then make monthly payments on to repay the original amount plus interest.

Eligibility Criteria

Each credit union has different criteria for approving members for loans. In general, credit unions tend to be more flexible than banks. A member representative will not only take a look at your credit history and score, but may also consider other relevant circumstances that affect your finances. For example, young adults often have a minimal credit history, but it may still be possible to obtain a loan for a used car or educational expenses. Lenders prefer to approve borrowers who demonstrate a stable employment history.

Borrowing Process

When you apply for an installment loan, you’ll be asked to fill out a simple application. Provide information about your income, employment, expenses, and the reason for the loan. Expect to be asked to provide copies of your paystubs and similar documentation. You’ll receive notification of whether you’ve been approved and if you accept the repayment terms, the loan will move forward.

Repayment Terms

If you’re approved for an installment loan, the credit union will let you know the interest rate you’ve qualified for. The other terms of the loan include your monthly payment and the total number of months you’ll be making this payment. Be sure to ask if online bill pay is available. Paying your loan online is safe and convenient. Plus, setting up automatic payments can help improve your credit history by preventing late payments.

For affordably low rates on installment loans and convenient online bill pay, you can turn to GCS Credit Union. Our credit union members in O’Fallon enjoy convenient online banking, great rates on all financial products we offer, and world-class member service. If you aren’t a member yet and think you may be eligible to join, call us today at (618) 797-7993.

Common Questions About Debt Consolidation Loans

Bills may be an unavoidable part of life, but they don’t have to be unmanageable. If you are feeling weighed down by high-interest loans and credit cards, consider talking to your credit union about a debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation loans can help you streamline your debt and save money as you pay it off. Could a consolidation loan be right for you? Here are the answers to some common questions about these kinds of loans.

What is debt consolidation?

As the name suggests, debt consolidation is the process of replacing multiple debt accounts with a single account with one loan payment. Although there are a few ways to consolidate debt, such as with a credit card balance transfer, debt consolidation loans are a common and convenient choice for many people. Note that debt consolidation is not the same thing as debt settlement, which can damage your credit score and leave you facing taxes on any debt that is forgiven as part of a settlement plan.

Why should I consider consolidating my debt?

There are several advantages to consolidating debt. For some people, the appeal of consolidation is the convenience of making a single payment. It is easier to remember and budget for one payment rather than trying to juggle multiple due dates. It can also help you avoid late fees associated with forgotten payments. For most people, however, the biggest benefit of debt consolidation is the saving money. Debt consolidation loans often have lower interest rates than the individual accounts people are trying to consolidate. Over time, the lower interest rate can result in significant savings.

How do I get a debt consolidation loan?

To determine if a debt consolidation loan is right for you, visit your credit union. The member representative can help you find the right consolidation product and walk you through the application process.

GCS Credit Union is pleased to offer debt consolidation loans as one of the many ways we help the members of our credit union in O’Fallon achieve financial freedom. If you have any questions about loans, membership, or our savings and checking accounts, call (618) 797-7993.

Should You Choose Payment Protection from GCS Credit Union?

What would you do if a catastrophic event such as illness or injury left you unable to pay your bills? With payment protection, you can rest assured that your loans through GCS Credit Union won’t default and ruin your credit score if an unforeseen issue impacts your ability to pay your bills. Here is what you need to know.

Payment Protection can prevent late fees and repossession, protect your credit score, and free up extra cash when a major life event happens. It can even eliminate your remaining loan balance. This protection is an affordable investment in your personal finance management abilities and can even extend to a co-borrower. The cost of protection is rolled into your regular payment, so you don’t have to worry about making special arrangements.

To find out if Payment Protection is right for you, talk to a member service representative at GCS Credit Union today. Dial (618) 797-7993 to speak to someone at our credit union in O’Fallon today.

Quick Tips for Monthly Budgeting

Although budgeting may not sound like fun, it can actually be a painless yet effective way to take control of your finances. If you’re tired of wondering where all of the money in your checking account has been going, a budget can help you determine exactly how to spend it.

Watch this video for some tips on setting up a monthly budget. By making a new budget each month, you can make allowances for changing needs and special events. Allocate all of your income before it hits your account, and you can be sure that there will be no more surprises waiting in your checking account.

At GCS Credit Union, we make it easy to manage your money with online banking in O’Fallon. Call us today at (618) 797-7993 to find out how to join our credit union or to learn more about our financial products.

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