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.

Are You Financially Ready for Retirement?

One of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your entire life is retirement. How do you know when the time is right to retire and when you should continue to work for a few more years? Your credit union can be tremendously helpful as you plan and make this major life step. If you are weighing up your retirement situation, here are some signs that you could be ready.

You’ve tested your retirement budget.

What is your monthly budget when you no longer have a paycheck coming in? If you haven’t figured out that number, take a step back and work with a representative at your credit union to determine a realistic budget. If you have a number in mind, try to live on that amount for six months before you actually leave your job. Can you pay your bills and cover all of your expenses without reaching into your savings account or replying on credit cards? If you can, you’re likely to be ready. If you can’t, you need to wait for longer. Keep in mind that inflation will impact your budget, so adjust it accordingly.

You’re not retiring because of the calendar.

Reaching the age at which Social Security kicks in is definitely not a reason to immediately retire. Don’t let a specific age be your guideline for retirement. Pay attention to your interests, your health, and of course your finances when you are making a decision about retirement, rather than focusing on the date on the calendar.

Your children are not dependent.

If you are still supporting any of your children financially, their needs can take a serious bite out of your retirement budget. Consider delaying retirement if you still have children in college or who are just starting out in their own careers. If you have children with special needs, be sure to factor the expense of their care into your retirement plan as you consider the financial viability of giving up your income.

Retirement is a major decision, and GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon is here to support you every step of the way. We offer traditional and Roth IRAs coupled with the financial advice you need to make the right decisions. To join our credit union or talk to one of our representatives, please call (618) 797-7993.

Understanding Home Equity

If you’ve become a homeowner with help from your credit union, then you’ve probably heard the term “home equity.” The equity of your home is closely related to its value. You can calculate your home equity by subtracting the total balance on your mortgage from the appraised value of your home.

When you watch this informative video, you’ll learn that the value of your home and your home equity can increase or decrease depending on factors other than your total mortgage balance. For example, if your neighbor sells a house that is similar to yours for a cost greater than the value of your home, then the value of your own house can increase.

At GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, you’ll find highly competitive home mortgage loans and home equity lines of credit. Call a member representative at (618) 797-7993 or visit one of our branches today to find out which financial product is right for you.

Our Student Success Account Package

GCS Credit Union is pleased to continue our tradition of supporting the financial education of our members by offering a special checking and savings account package for students. The Student Success Account Package is available for individuals ages 14 through 23. Until the student turns 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must be listed on the credit union account.

The student accounts allow young consumers to learn the basics of personal finance, including fiscal responsibility and the importance of saving money regularly. Upon opening an account, students are eligible for a $10 iTunes or Amazon e-gift card. Another gift card is awarded to students who earn straight A’s on their year-end report cards and those who refer two friends to our credit union.

If you know a student who could benefit from online checking accounts, you can contact GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon at (618) 797-7993. Our credit union also offers auto loans at competitive rates.

A Closer Look at Security Issues with Mobile Banking

Long gone are the days in which consumers had to drive to a branch or ATM to conduct financial transactions. Now, it isn’t even necessary to log onto a personal computer for online banking. Mobile banking allows consumers to access their savings or checking account from virtually anywhere—but is it safe? There is always a risk that an identity thief can steal sensitive information regardless of the method one uses to access accounts. However, credit unions are taking smart steps to minimize the risk and protect the sensitive information of their members.

The Possibility of a Lost Phone

One common concern of consumers regarding mobile banking is the possibility of losing their cellphone and their sensitive information along with it. Of course, it’s preferable to get into the habit of placing a cellphone back into a purse or pocket after each use, but this isn’t always possible. Consumers should also protect their phones with a secure password and never allow automated logins for their credit union accounts. After each online banking session, a consumer should log out of the account.

The Use of Public Wi-Fi

Identity thieves can and do monitor public Wi-Fi hotspots. It’s safest to use mobile banking services via a secure home network or other trusted network such as the phone carrier’s network. Exercise caution before using online banking services while traveling; the Wi-Fi hotspots in airports and hotels can be targets of identity thieves.

The Development of Mobile Banking Apps

One of the least secure ways to access online credit union accounts is to use a standard browser. It’s far more secure to download a mobile banking app directly from the credit union and to only access one’s account through the app.

At GCS Credit Union, the security of our members’ financial information is our utmost priority. We offer secure online banking in O’Fallon through our mobile banking app, which allows you to receive important account alerts from anywhere you receive cellphone service. Call a credit union branch at (618) 797-7993 with any questions or concerns you may have about our security protocols.

The Credit Union Member's Guide to Homeowner's Insurance

Your credit union can provide you with access to attractive home mortgage loan options, but before you become a homeowner, you’ll need to make room in your budget for homeowner’s insurance. Homeowner’s insurance is an essential safeguard against damage and theft for your home and belongings.

Types of Coverage

A homeowner’s insurance policy provides coverage for the repair or rebuilding of your home in the event of damage due to covered incidents. If an insured disaster occurs that damages the possessions in your home, your homeowner’s policy should provide reimbursement. Your policy might also provide personal liability coverage, which protects your family from legal liability. For example, your policy would pay for damages if your dog bites your neighbor. Some homeowners also purchase additional living expenses (ALE) coverage, which covers the cost of temporary housing in the event the house needs to be extensively repaired or rebuilt.

Levels of Coverage

There are three basic levels of coverage. These levels govern exactly how much the policy will pay if you file a claim. A better level of coverage is usually associated with higher premiums, but good coverage is a worthwhile investment. The barebones level of coverage is actual cash value, which covers your house and possessions after depreciation is deducted. The next level up is coverage for the replacement cost, which means you would be covered for the actual cash value without deducting for depreciation. The most comprehensive level of coverage is guaranteed or extended replacement cost or value. This coverage level allows for higher costs due to inflation. In other words, even if the cost to repair or rebuild your home exceeds your policy limit, you’ll be fully covered.

Exclusions to Coverage

There are always exclusions to coverage in insurance policies and homeowners should carefully review these before purchasing a policy. It’s common for policies to exclude coverage for damage caused by natural disasters and acts of war. Depending on where you live, it may be wise to purchase an additional rider for flood coverage or another type of coverage like septic repairs.

GCS Credit Union offers so much more than just secure online banking to our members. Our credit union in O’Fallon also connects members to discounted rates and 24/7 claims service with the TruStage Auto & Home Insurance Program. Call (618) 797-7993 to request more information about our insurance partners.

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  • 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