Why Savings Bonds Make the Perfect Gift

A savings bond is a non-marketable security provided by the United States Treasury Department and backed by the credit of the U.S. government. Savings bonds can be purchased from a number of financial institutions, including credit unions. Check out this article to learn why savings bonds make the perfect holiday gifts. 

Saving Bonds

Savings Bonds Increase Over Time

  • Savings bonds are designed to provide funding dollars for the U.S. government. In exchange for using your money, the federal government pays you interest on the original note, meaning that the value of the savings bond will increase over time. However, the interest rates themselves will vary based on general economic conditions, and the bonds cannot be cashed within six months to one year of the original issue date.

Principal and Interest Will Never Be Lost

They Are Tax-Free

  • All savings bonds are exempt from state and federal taxes. However, there are penalties for cashing in a savings bond within the first five years of the original issue date.

Savings Bonds Offer Financial Security

  • Purchasing a savings bond for your child, niece, or extended family member is a great way to help improve his or her future financial outlook. This is especially true when you consider that savings bonds cannot be affected by the economy or dissolution of a banking institution.

Here at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, Illinois, our representatives are devoted to providing you with high-quality, affordable financial services you need. Learn more about purchasing savings bonds, obtaining debit cards, opening a checking account, or qualifying for auto financing by calling (618) 797-7993 today! We also offer personal loans, retirement accounts, and mortgage loans.

Tired of Being a Customer? Here’s How to Become a Member Today!

Nearly everyone has at least one savings or checking account these days, most of which are held and operated by a national bank-chain. Unfortunately, banks are not member-focused financial institutions, meaning they are more concerned with boosting their bottom line and pleasing investors than protecting the finances of their customers. Continue reading to learn how you can stop being just a customer and become an influential member by joining a credit union

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Credit Unions vs. Banks

  • Unlike a bank, which is owned by stockholders, credit unions are cooperative institutions that are owned and operated by its members. This means that members have a certain level of input when it comes to the requirements that potential members must meet in order to join. For example, credit unions designed for teachers may decide to only accept teachers from a specific school district, while a corporate credit union may only accept employees and their immediate family members. Credit unions also tend to have much lower rates on lines of credit and fewer penalty fees.

Application to a Credit Union

  • GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, Illinois offers loans and basic savings products to anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Illinois counties of: St. Clair, Jersey, Madison, Macoupin, Montgomery, Bond, Washington, Clinton, Monroe, and Randolph. With over 70 years of experience, GCS Credit Union is devoted to putting our members first by providing convenient, customized financial service.
  • You can join GCS Credit Union by filling out an application online. After providing information regarding your enrollment eligibility and completing a new member disclosure form, you will be required to include joint information, select a product, and sign a fee schedule disclosure form.  You will also need to complete sections regarding funding and transfers, backup withholdings, and review the application before signing a final disclosure form.

For more information on joining GCS Credit Union , visit our website or call (618) 797-7993. We offer auto loans, auto financing, checking accounts, and debit cards. 

Find Out Why You Should Become A Member At GCS Credit Union!

You don’t have to work with a bank in order to obtain an auto loan, debit card, or insurance. Check out these links for more information on the benefits of working with a credit union, common credit card myths, insurance plans offered by credit unions, and reasons to get a savings bond. Call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993 for more information on our services available to residents of O’Fallon. 

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  • Explore this article from MSN.com for more information on reasons why you should consider transferring to a credit union.

  • Learn more about the benefits of joining a credit union with this article form AllBusiness.com.

  • This article from Forbes.com takes a closer look at common credit card myths that can hurt you in the long-run.

  • Visit this link from USnews.com to get the facts regarding credit card usage.

     

  • Why shouldn’t you just pay the minimum payment on your credit card each month? Find out by reading this Bankrate.com article. 

Taking a Look at Insurance Options Available from a Quality Credit Union

Choosing a plan of insurance can be complicated, especially when you consider providers, premiums, coverage, and other important details. In addition to providing credit cards and checking accounts, GCS Credit Union of O’Fallon is proud to offer several lines of insurance .

Insurance folders

Auto and Homeowners Insurance

  • GCS Credit Union has joined with a team of insurance professionals to create the MEMBERS® Auto and Homeowners Insurance Program. This unique program is considered the preferred property and casualty coverage solution for a number of reasons, including convenient e-service bill pay; online claim reporting; and free, no-obligation quotes. GCS enables you to make changes to your policy online and locate an agent at the nearby Liberty Mutual sales office.

Term Life Insurance

  • Term life insurance is a policy created with a set duration limit on the coverage period. Once the policy has expired, the owner may renew the coverage or let the term end.

Whole Life Insurance

  • Unlike term life insurance, whole life insurance is a policy that provides coverage for the entire life of the insured party, and therefore requires the payment of yearly premiums.

Annuities

  • A fixed annuity allows you to receive a guaranteed payout amount and may be classified as immediate or deferred. A variable annuity may also be immediate or deferred, but provides payouts based on the annuity’s underlying investments rather than a guaranteed amount.

Long-Term Care Insurance

  • Long-term care insurance is a product designed to provide coverage for individuals who require long-term assistance. This may include coverage for skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, home healthcare, and hospice care.

Disability Income Insurance

  • Disability income insurance is similar to workers’ compensation benefits in that it is designed to provide financial support to individuals who can no longer work due to a physical or mental disability.

Find out which insurance product is right for you by contacting GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993. You can also visit our website for more information on our auto loans and mortgages available to residents of O’Fallon, Illinois. 

Stay On Top of All Your Finances with This Handy App

Disorganization and poor recordkeeping are among the biggest causes for mounting debt. Fortunately, your smartphone can give you access to a great new app to simplify managing your finances. 

Samsung SII Smartphone with Social Media Icons

Available for Android phones and tablet devices, the Money Lover – Expense Manager app allows you to budget and track your spending habits, add details regarding your salaries, and even reminds you of important transactions. Complete with customized categories for expenses, this app is a must-have for anyone with a checking account or credit card. Download yours today!

Whether you want to open a checking account or are in need of a personal loan , a credit union may be the best solution. Contact GCS Credit Union of O’Fallon at (618) 797-7993 for more information on our financial services and lines of credit. 

Debunking Common Credit Card Myths that Can Get You Into Debt

Unlike debit cards, which automatically deduct the purchase from your checking account, credit cards allow you to borrow money against a credit card provider with the intent of paying them back at a later date. Some individuals are able to effectively utilize their credit cards to increase their credit scores, while others find themselves under a mountain of debt due to irresponsible purchases and compounded interest fees. 

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Myth: Using Your Credit Card Often Boosts Your Credit Score

  • One of the biggest myths regarding credit cards is that using them frequently will help boost your credit rating. This is only true if you are able to pay off your credit card bill each month, as this is what determines how reliable of a borrower you are and thus your credit score.

Myth: You Only Have to Pay Off the Minimum Balance

  • Many individuals believe that they will not have to pay interest if they pay the minimum balance on their credit card each month; in reality, this is how most credit card companies make their money. Each time you pay the minimum balance on your credit card , a new interest rate charge is added onto your remaining balance until an endless cycle of debt is created. For this reason, it is important to pay off your credit card in full each month.

Myth: Some Cards Have No Credit Limit

  • All credit cards have a credit limit, even if they are not advertised. In fact, many exclusive credit cards do not disclose their spending limits so that card-holders believe they can spend away without any repercussions. Unfortunately, once you have maxed out your card, you will be facing high fees and a significantly lower credit score.

You don’t have to obtain a credit card from a bank in order to build credit. Learn more about the credit cards, checking accounts , and debit cards available from GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, IL by calling (618) 797-7993 today! We also offer auto loans. 

Is the GCS Prime Time Club Right for You?

At GCS Credit Union, we’re always focused on new ways to bring our members benefits that big banks simply can’t offer. The GCS Prime Time Club is a great example of this commitment in action. GCS Prime Time offers discounts, access to great financial products, and the opportunity to join GCS for free, special events. Should you join GCS Prime Time? Here’s what you need to know about this credit union club:

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Membership Requirements

  • To join the GCS Prime Time Club, you must meet a few requirements. First, the club is only open to GCS Credit Union members age 60 or older. Additionally, you must have an open checking account at the time you join, and the balance across your GCS accounts must total a minimum of $60,000. If you meet these three criteria, the club is open to you!

Benefits

  • Once you have joined, you can tap into the exclusive opportunities offered to Prime Time Club members. Basic checks are always free for Prime Time members, and you get unlimited check-writing services every month. We also offer free notary services and free teller checks to members at all of our locations. If you love to travel abroad, you’ll be able to save on foreign ATM fees with your membership, since Prime Time members are never charged for overseas ATM usage.
  • As a Prime Time member, you can also watch your money grow faster, thanks to a .25 percent bonus rate on your main share savings account . You will also get exclusive, free access to special events hosted by GCS Credit Union and our partners.

To join the GCS Prime Time Club, simply visit your GCS branch or call us at (618) 797-7993. If you’re not a member of our O’Fallon-based credit union yet, what are you waiting for? Say goodbye to the impersonal service of your bank, and start tapping into our member-focused benefits. Call today to learn how to switch to GCS Credit Union.