Personal Loan Options Available Through GCS

Ranging anywhere from $500 to $15,000, personal loans through GCS Credit Union offer a quick way to pay for a range of expenses. Because they don’t involve the purchase of a major asset, these loans are riskier for a credit union to grant. That’s why they typically come with higher interest rates. Here’s a quick look at the personal loan options available at your O’Fallon, IL credit union :

Calculating Savings

Open-End Loan
An open-end loan offers a way to access cash periodically without the need to reapply for a loan. Similar to a credit card, they give you access to a line of credit—anywhere from $500 to $15,000—to use wherever you need it. An open-end loan can be accessed at any credit union branch or through online and phone transfers.  

Closed-End Loan
A closed-end loan is a one-time cash loan with rates fixed for two years. To repay a closed-end loan at GCS Credit Union, you can opt for payroll deductions, automatic transfers, or to simply pay back your balance on a set date.

Consolidation Loan
If you are servicing a number of debt payments, a  consolidation loan  can allow you to meet these obligations at once and reduce your monthly payments. Consolidation loans are especially beneficial if they offer lower rates than your current debts, giving you an opportunity to meet your obligations with lower interest payments.

Christmas or Vacation Loan
Christmas and vacation loans allow you to spread out the up-front expenses of the holidays or a much-needed break through the year. GCS Credit Union members can take advantage of a one percent rate discount on Christmas loans. Repayment schedules are set on a term that pays back the loan in a year or less.

At GCS Credit Union, we make life easier for our member owners by offering affordable credit when they need it. Find out about the many benefits our members enjoy by calling us at (618) 797-7993 or by visiting one of  our O’Fallon, IL area locations .

How You Can Save Money With a GCS Account

In contrast with profit-seeking banks, credit unions are non-profit institutions dedicated to benefiting their members. At GCS Credit Union of O’Fallon, IL, we offer the dedicated service of a credit union and more. Our members take advantage of a host of perks and financial benefits.

Just one of these benefits is our Invest in America program. Our members take advantage of discounts on a range of American-made products, from Dell computers to GM vehicles. Watch this video to learn more.

If you’re interested in the many benefits a credit union has to offer, contact GCS Credit Union. From our seven O’Fallon, IL area locations, we provide savings accounts,  auto loans , and a host of other financial services to members throughout the area. Find out more about our institution by calling us at (618) 797-7993.

How Banks Facilitate Identity Theft

While you may be aware that identity theft is a common problem in today’s information-saturated society, you might not realize how your bank could be facilitating this problem. Many larger banks are still using out-of-date security measures that allow unfriendly sources to tap into your personal information with relative ease. Here is a closer look at how banks are creating opportunities for identity theft.

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Too Much Access to Personal Information
If you need to contact your bank over the phone for any reason, you may be asked by several representatives for your personal information, which is stored over large and somewhat vulnerable networks. This means that your information is exposed to dozens of representatives every time you call your bank with no certainty of the ethical integrity of the people you are speaking to. When you handle your finances through a credit union, you will be able to speak directly to a banker whom you can trust with your personal and financial information. 

Outdated Methods for Online Banking Access
The last four digits of your  Social Security number  may be used to verify your identity over the phone or in person, but this is a risky method for online banking access that some institutions still rely on. Because credit unions are smaller organizations, they can more easily update online services for more secure access with up-to-date security measures to protect your information and eliminate exposure of your SSN.

Failure to Update Security Measures
Along with an overuse of customer SSNs for account access, banks often fall short in other methods of verifying customer identity. Security questions, for example, can be an effective screening tool for identifying an individual, but these questions need to be designed so that the answers are not easily obtainable through social media sites.

At  GCS Credit Union  in O’Fallon, IL, we are constantly working to keep our customers’ personal information secure while providing detailed and friendly service for your checking, savings, and financing needs. Our online services will never require your Social Security number, but instead use more secure measures such as security images, security questions, and personal passwords.  You can learn more about how our services can protect you from identity theft by visiting our website or calling us at (618) 797-7993. 

Find Out How A Credit Union Protects Your Financial Interests With These Links!

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Providing superior rates and personalized service, credit unions are a better—and safer—alternative to banks for your financial management needs. Look to the following links to learn more about securing your finances with a credit union membership.

To find out about joining an O’Fallon, IL credit union, contact GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993.

GCS SUPPORTS MARCH OF DIMES

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Photo (from left to right): Lauren Smith (GCS Assistant Marketing Manager),Susan Bushnell (State Director of March for Babies), Traci Louvier (GCS Marketing Manager)

GCS Credit Union is a proud supporter of the March of Dimes. This year, in addition to their $12,500 March for Babies corporate sponsorship, employees have raised $1,345 through jean day donations.

March for Babies is the March of Dimes’ biggest fundraiser. More than 7 million people will join their family, friends and colleagues in 900 communities across the nation to walk in the March for Babies. Money raised during the walks supports their mission to give every baby a healthy start.

Upcoming March of Dimes events include:

  • Madison County March for Babies: Lincoln Middle School, Edwardsville on Saturday, April 20th
  • St. Louis March for Babies: The Muny, St. Louis Forest Park on Saturday, April 27th
  • St. Clair County March for Babies: GCS Ballpark, Sauget on Saturday, May 11th

For more information and to register for these events, visit MarchforBabies.org. To learn more about GCS, visit myGCScu.com.

Founded in 1941, GCS Credit Union currently has assets of more than $317 million. GCS serves 39,000 members throughout Bond, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington Counties in Illinois via 7 full-service branches , numerous ATM locations, and 24-hour account access through mobile, telephone and PCU online banking.

How Safe is a Credit Union?

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In uncertain economic times, you want to know that deposits at your O’Fallon credit union are safe. Fortunately, credit unions offer one of the most secure options available for managing your money. Keep reading to learn more about the key features that make depositing with a credit union a smart decision.

Fully Insured Deposits
Shielding yourself from risk is a key part of smart financial management. The National Credit Union Share Insurance insures all the money you place in an accredited credit union by up to $250,000. Backed up by the federal government, this fund comes entirely from member credit unions.

Safe Lending Practices
As community institutions, credit unions employ time tested lending practices. They don’t engage in “sub-prime” mortgage lending or any of the risky behavior of large-scale investment banks. Instead, they lend responsibly to members, with a business model crafted toward long-term success, not short-term gains. That insulates your deposits from risk, and ensures that you’ll have a lender you can trust when you need it.

Rigorous Oversight
The National Credit Union Administration performs rigorous oversight over credit unions. Every year, federal examiners and accountants examine a credit union’s handling of its assets, financial records, and adherence to regulatory standards. This oversight helps ensure that a credit union is always acting in its members’ best interests.

A Community Focus
A typical credit union lends primarily to members seeking consumer and small business loans. By avoiding large commercial loan ventures, credit unions avoid the financial risks that make too many banks fail. Additionally, credit unions are prohibited by regulatory agencies by making speculative investments, further shielding your deposits from risk.

For more than 70 years, GCS Credit Union has provided dedicated financial services to member owners throughout the O’Fallon, IL area. Our high level of service has allowed us to achieve the NCUA’s top rating for the past decade. Call (618) 797-7993 to learn more about the benefits of working with us.

Credit Union Members Save 10% on select Dell Touch Products: Limited Time Special Offer!

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Dell is helping credit union members touch the future with 10% off select Dell touch systems. Credit union members can experience the new advances and leading-edge intuitive touch experiences with Dell’s touch products. The 10% discount* is available to credit union members on the Inspiron 15Z, Inspiron One 23, XPS 10, XPS12, XPS One 27 and Latitude 10 line of systems.

The savings are instant – use coupon code RG3?DDN?DP47FB when placing your order online or by phone. This 10% savings discount is valid through 04/30/13 . Visit the Dell page on LoveMyCreditUnion.org to purchase your touch system today.

Save Even More with the Dell Advantage Loyalty Program

Credit union members can also join the Dell Advantage Loyalty Program for free. Members can earn rewards and get free 2nd business day shipping on all purchases. Dell Advantage members get these savings:

  • 5% back on a Dell Promo eGift card for each qualifying purchase using the Advantage Membership
  • Free 2nd day business shipping on all purchases
  • Exclusive monthly emails featuring special offers on PCs, electronics and accessories
  • Exclusive offers from Dell partners such as Blockbuster and Rhapsody

Click here for complete details on the Dell Advantage Loyalty Program.

*10% off of select touch systems (before tax, shipping and handling). Offer valid 2/27/2013 – 04/30/2013. Specifications, availability and terms may change without notice. Taxes, fees, shipping, handling and any applicable restocking charges are extra and vary. Coupon cannot be stacked with any other coupons/offers. Coupon applicable to Inspiron 15z, Inspiron One 23, XPS 10, XPS 12, XPS One 27 and Latitude 10 line of systems only. Excludes non-touch systems. Dell cannot be responsible for pricing or other errors, and reserves the right to cancel orders arising from such errors. One coupon per customer – limit 1 system.

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Bank of America Customer Suffers Identity Theft

The most important factor in choosing a financial institution is trust. If you can’t trust the institution where you deposit your money, you can never feel entirely secure about the health and safety of your assets.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in cases of identity theft. In this video, you’ll learn about a Bank of America customer who lost her savings after a customer service representative at the bank stole her identity. The bank reimbursed her, but a critical bond of trust between bank and customer was lost.

Entirely community owned and operated, GCS Credit Union of O’Fallon, IL is fully dedicated to the interests of its member owners. For financial services you can always trust, call us at (618) 797-7993.

The Benefits of Choosing a Tax-Deferred IRA

investment concept written with chalk on a blackboard.

As a way of deferring taxes until retirement, IRAs, or Individual Retirement Accounts , offer many advantages over other investments. By opening an IRA with a bank or credit union, a qualifying investor can avoid taxes on income and compounded interest until retirement, when many people move into a lower tax bracket. Here’s a guide to some of the key benefits of a tax-deferred IRA.

Deferring Taxes Now, Paying Lower Rates Later
IRA’s are basically savings accounts with tax benefits. By deducting a certain amount of income from every paycheck and placing it into an IRA, you can avoid taxes on that income until retirement. Because most people earn only a fraction of their former income when they retire, IRAs offer the opportunity to pay taxes on your current income under the rates of a lower tax bracket later on. Not everyone can claim tax benefits, however. Check with your credit union or other financial institution to see if you qualify.

Higher Compound Interest
A key advantage of IRAs is their higher rates of compound interest. With an IRA, you may qualify for tax-deferred growth of your retirement assets. By avoiding the interference of tax deductions, an IRA allows for a much higher level of growth than traditional savings accounts.  Additionally, choosing a deductible IRA can allow you to deduct your contributions from your tax return, offering even more tax benefits.

Secure Income in Retirement
Many experts recommend securing at least 85 percent of your former income upon retirement. Achieving that level will likely require more income than 401(k) accounts and pension benefits alone can provide. By placing money in an IRA account, you will be incrementally securing additional money to support yourself through your retirement years—and you will do so in a way that offers substantial tax benefits.

If you’re interested in investing in an IRA, contact GCS Credit Union. We offer dedicated retirement and investment services to people throughout the O’Fallon, IL area. To learn more about our tax-deferred IRAs, call us at (618) 797-7993.

Credit Unions 101: How to Choose a Credit Union

As bank profits rise while their customers pay ever-larger fees, many people are turning to their local credit union as a more customer-friendly alternative. Credit unions are member-owned, non-profit financial institutions, offering fewer fees and more personalized services than banks. If you’re seeking to switch to a credit union, here’s a guide to choosing the best one for your financial needs: 

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Look for Flexibility of Service

  • No two individuals have the same financial outlook. That’s why any credit union should offer a range of services catered to the unique needs of each individual member. Whether you are starting a small business, creating a college savings fund for your kids, or simply need a small checking account, your credit union should be able to help you. Additionally, many credit unions offer discounts on community events and other member perks.

Demand Easy Online Payments

  • In the 21st Century, a lackluster online money management experience is no longer acceptable. Your credit union should offer paperless or near-paperless financial services. Expect email bank statements, direct deposit services, and opportunities to manage your accounts online. To minimize the amount of trips you have to take to your credit union, many institutions offer additional online services such as online mortgage and loan applications.

Find a Sense of Community

  • Credit unions offer a great way to get involved with your community. That’s because with a credit union, you’ll no longer be a number in some faceless banking institution; you’ll be an integral part of an association of your neighbors and community members. The best institutions recognize this advantage of credit unions , immersing themselves in the community to offer a range of events and opportunities to serve.

GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon is part of a full-service financial institution serving Madison,?St. Clair, Jersey, Macoupin, Montgomery, Bond, Clinton, Washington, Randolph, and Monroe counties. We strive to offer what’s best in a credit union: flexibility, personal service, and community. To learn more about membership, visit us online or call (618) 797-7993.