• GCS Donates to Girls on the Run

    GirlsOnTheRun2014

    GCS Credit Union employees had the option to wear jeans on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month in exchange for a $20 donation. For the month of October, GCS employees presented a check to Girls on the Run St. Louis for $700.

    The GOTR mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. This program teaches life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The program concludes with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to finish a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to give confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.

    Girls on the Run will be hosting their community 5k walk/run on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at Soldiers’ Memorial in downtown St. Louis. For more information about Girls on the Run St. Louis visit girlsontherunstlouis.org.

    To find out more about GCS Credit Union, visit myGCScu.com .

    Founded in 1941, GCS Credit Union currently has assets of more than $309 million. GCS serves more than 41,000 members throughout Bond, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties in Illinois via 7 conveniently located branches, numerous ATM locations, and 24-hour account access through a telephone audio response system and PCU online banking.

  • A Look at Our Christmas Loan Program

    Giving your family a special Christmas is a joy, but it isn’t always easy on your finances. Many people find themselves dipping into their savings for buying gifts and decorations, but that strategy can leave you financially vulnerable if an unexpected expense surfaces. Instead of putting your financial security on the line this holiday season, try a better way to pay for your needs—a GCS Credit Union Christmas Loan. 

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    Our Christmas Loans are exclusively available during the holidays to provide you with the spending flexibility to give your family a special day. The lending period for these loans is October 1 through January 31, and repayment terms are up to 12 months. We offer competitive interest rates and loans for up $2,000.

    Give yourself the gift of a stress-free holiday and learn more about the GCS Credit Union Christmas Loan today. Our O’Fallon, IL credit union offers a range of loans and savings products to help you reach your financial goals. To learn more, call (618) 797-7993. 

  • Protecting Your Information When You Shop Online

    If you find yourself purchasing more and more items online, you’re not alone. Online shopping continues to grow in popularity as people embrace the convenience of finding all of the things they want without leaving the comfort of home. However, while online shopping may be easier than facing the crowds at the mall, it does come with one downside—fraud. At GCS Credit Union , we’re committed to doing everything we can to keep our members’ accounts safe at all times, but by taking extra steps to protect your financial information, you can help us help you even more. When you shop online, keep these tips in mind before you enter your debit or credit card number. 

    Young happy smiling woman paying by plastic card, at home

    Look for the Lock

    Never enter your debit or credit card number online unless you’re certain the site is secure . Otherwise, it is too easy for hackers to access your financial information. You can tell if a site is secure by looking for a small lock in the URL bar or by reading the web address. Secure sites start with “https://”. You can also read the small print on the site to find out security information. If you’re at all in doubt, take your business to a different site.

    Be Cautious about Emails

    It’s not unusual to have to exchange messages with customer service representatives about your order, but be careful about what you include in those exchanges. You should never share your credit card or debit card information via email or instant message. These are not secure communication options and they leave your information vulnerable.

    Don’t Shop on an Unsecured Network

    Just as you shouldn’t check your credit union accounts on an unsecured network, you shouldn’t enter your financial information into a website when using unsecured public Wi-Fi. Information you exchange on these networks can easily be hacked, so wait until you’re at home on your protected network.

    For more tips on avoiding fraud and identity theft, talk to a representative at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, IL. Our credit union provides a comprehensive range of financial products at great rates to our members. Learn more about our services and credit union membership by calling (618) 797-7993. 

  • Understanding How to Save Money Responsibly [INFOGRAPHIC]

    No matter how old you are or where you are in your career, chances are you’ve given some thought to how you can save money. Even if retirement seems far away, learning how to save money now can put you in a more secure financial position in the short and long term. Simple steps, such as making a monthly budget, can show you how you spend your money and ways you can save. Put your savings into an account at your credit union and watch your money grow as the months and years go by. Check out this infographic from GCS Credit Union, to find more tips for responsible saving. Please share with your friends and family!

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  • Understanding Debt Consolidation

    Trying to juggle several different debt payments is challenging, and it can also be expensive. Debt consolidation allows you to streamline your payment schedule and maybe even save money on interest. This video explains more. 

    Debt consolidation allows you to combine your bills into a single payment so you don’t end up with any forgotten payments or missed due dates. You get a loan for the amount of your debt, pay off your individual bills, and simply pay on that single loan—saving you both interest and confusion.

    You can apply for a debt consolidation loan online or at a GCS Credit Union location in O’Fallon, IL. Do you want to learn more about credit union membership and all of our services? Call (618) 797-7993.

  • Age-Appropriate Tips for Talking to Your Kids about Money

    Most experts agree that it’s never too early to show kids how to handle money responsibly. The trick is to show them in age-appropriate ways. At GCS Credit Union , we have a range of account options for kids of all ages to help you teach them these important lessons. Here are some ways to start educating your kids about money as they grow. 

    Father training son to the finance

    Toddlers – Kindergarten

    During the toddler and early school years, you can teach your children about financial discipline and some basic counting principles that have to do with money. Show your children the advantages of being patient with something as simple as a snack. Tell them they can have one candy now or two candies if they wait for a specified amount of time. If they wait for the bigger payout, they’ll learn lessons about delayed gratification that will make saving money less painful. You can also teach them the names of coins, and when they are ready, what they are worth.

    Elementary – Middle School

    Help your kids learn to manage their money by explaining to them how you’re managing your own. Discuss the differences between debit and credit cards , let them watch you pay the bills, take them with you to your credit union, and talk to them about purchasing decisions you’re making. If your kids don’t have a savings account, now is the time to open one. You can help your kids save up for things they really want and enjoy the feeling of success they get when they can afford them.

    High School

    High school kids need to start taking the reigns of their finances so they are ready for college. Have conversations about credit, student loans, and wise spending. Open up a checking account and consider getting a credit card that you control for older teens. Teaching teenagers about responsible spending and saving can help them avoid a financial disaster when they are away at school.

    Make GCS Credit Union your partner in teaching your kids healthy financial habits. Bring them with you to our O’Fallon, IL credit union and help them make the most of our credit union youth accounts . For more information, call (618) 797-7993.

     

  • GCS Donates to The Granite City APA

    GCS Donation

    In an ongoing effort to support the local community, GCS employees had the option to wear jeans on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month in exchange for a donation. For the month of September, GCS employees raised $470 for the Granite City APA and presented a check at their office.

    The Granite City APA is a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter located on the outskirts of Granite City. Since the GCAPA receives no city, county or federal assistance, they rely strictly on donations.

    To find out more about the Granite City APA or to make a donation, visit gcapa.org . To find out more about GCS, visit myGCScu.com .

    Founded in 1941, GCS Credit Union currently has assets of more than $315 million. GCS serves more than 41,000 members Bond, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington Counties in Illinois via 7 conveniently located branches, numerous ATM locations, and 24-hour account access through a telephone audio response system and PCU online banking.

  • eStatements – Reasons to Consider the Switch

    Are you tired of the clutter of paper statements? If so, take advantage of eStatements from GCS Credit Union. You can conveniently track all of your account information from your electronic devices. Easy access to your account info is just one reason to make the switch to eStatements. Consider these other benefits.

    Woman holding a credit card and using computer, online shopping

    Paper statements aren’t just clutter. They also make the job easier for people trying to steal your financial information and identity. When you choose eStatements, you don’t have to worry about what happens to your financial records when you throw them away, because there is no waste. You’ll also get your statements quicker when you get them online, and of course, your eStatements can always be printed if needed.

    In addition to these great benefits, eStatements also help GCS Credit Union do our part for protecting the environment. Making the switch to eStatements is easy. Talk to a representative at our O’Fallon credit union about stopping your paper statements, and don’t forget to ask about our other financial services, including auto loans and debit cards. Get more information by calling (618) 797-7993. 

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Credit Cards

    Getting a credit card can be an important first step towards building credit and creating a bright financial future, but managing it correctly is essential. Misunderstanding how credit cards work and how to use them to your advantage could leave you facing big bills and lots of interest payments. When you’re ready to get your first credit card, ask your credit union representative about your options and which may be a good first card for you. When your new card is in your hands, here’s how to get the most from it. 

    Paying credit card for purchases

    Know Your Account Rules

    Familiarize yourself with how your credit card account works. Know what your interest rate is, the date of your bill cycle, and what the penalties are for going over your limit or paying late. Although credit cards can be smart ways to spend, making a mistake with your account can be costly.

    Aim for a Zero Balance

    Buying something with a credit card may feel like shopping with a debit card, but it’s very different. With your credit card, you can spend money you don’t actually have right now – but that doesn’t mean you should spend beyond your means. The best way to use a credit card is to pay off your balance in full each month, before interest starts accumulating. If you need to use your card to spread out the cost of a big purchase, make sure you have a plan for paying off your balance as quickly as possible.

    Review Your Statements

    Be sure to look at your statement in full each month. Instead of paying attention to only the balance, look at each transaction closely. If you see anything you don’t recognize, alert your credit union right away to protect yourself from credit card fraud.

    The GCS Credit Union Visa offers low monthly interest rates and no fees for qualified credit union members. Visit our website or call our O’Fallon credit union at (618) 797-7993 to get answers to your questions. 

  • Taking Control of Your First Checking Account

    Opening your first checking account is exciting, and learning how to manage it will set you on the right track towards financial stability. Staying on top of your account only requires a few simple steps. This video explains more. 

    Start by talking to your credit union about the rules associated with your account. It’s important to know about any fees and if there is anything you can do to avoid them, so you can plan your spending accordingly. Be sure to track your spending and subtract the money you spend from your account balance so you don’t overdraw your account.

    Any representative at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon, IL can answer questions you may have about your checking account and all of our credit union services. Find out more by calling (618) 797-7993.