Creating a College Fund for Your Child

It typically takes great deal of planning in order to create a children’s college fund. However, it helps to keep an eye on your accounts via online banking in O’Fallon. Watch this video for a couple of tips for creating a college fund for your child.

In starting a college fund you must consider your retirement income, the anticipated price of schooling when your kids are of age, and other life expenses like auto loans. Figure out how much money you will need to save in total, and then break that total down into monthly savings; start putting this money aside each month to build your children’s college fund.

It is never too early to start thinking about how you will put your children through college. Call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993 or visit our website to learn about our online banking and auto loans in O’Fallon today.

GCS DONATES TO PARTNERS FOR PETS

Partners for Pets

Photo Left to Right: Layna Seibert, GCS Marketing Intern – Lauren Smith, GCS Marketing Manager – Lisa McCormick, Partners for Pets Director

In an ongoing effort to support the local community, GCS employees were able to wear jeans on Fridays and Saturdays during the month of February in return for a $15 donation. The employees came together to raise $1,025 for Partners for Pets in Troy, Illinois.

Partners for Pets regularly visits animal control facilities to rescue animals that have used up their time, need medical care or are too fragile for shelter life. Partners for Pets provides care to each animal prior to adoption. This includes booster shots, worming, heartworm check, monthly preventative shots and other necessary care.

To find out more information about Partners for Pets visit partnersforpetsil.org . To find out more about GCS Credit Union, visit myGCScu.com .

Founded in 1941, GCS Credit Union currently has assets of more than $314 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.

Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

A favorable credit score can help you to secure better auto and home mortgage loans in O’Fallon, which can help you save money in the long term. Building and maintaining your credit is a gradual process, however, and it helps to know what you should and should not do. Here are a few tips for improving your credit score.

Understand Good Debt
When you finally pay off your car or house, you should feel proud of yourself. Instead of having this expenditure erased from your credit report, you should keep this type of transaction as a trophy for your success. The longer the list of paid debts, the better your credit score may be ; establishing positive credit history is important when it comes to proving your trustworthiness. The “good debt” that is represented on your credit report indicates reliability.

Be Punctual
People are generally rewarded when they do things on time, and a boosted credit score may be your reward for punctuality when it comes to paying bills. Paying your bills late can damage your credit score and thus reduce your chances of finding appealing interest rates on home mortgage and auto loans. Keep in mind that online bill paying may take a few days to process; if you tend to be somewhat forgetful, it is a good idea to sign up for automatic payments if possible.

Know What Not to Do
You can improve your credit score by not implying that you are a risky borrower. In addition to paying your bills regularly and on time, refrain from charging more of your purchases to your credit card. This way there is no reason to believe that you will have any trouble paying back the money that you borrow.

Would you like more tips for improving your credit score? Call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993 or visit our website . We are happy to serve the O’Fallon area with a variety of services including online checking accounts and home mortgage loans. If you live in the area, stop in and meet with us to learn more about our credit union today.

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Credit [INFOGRAPHIC]

A Brief Guide to Your First Checking Account

If you have never before had a checking account in O’Fallon , there are a few things to look out for that you may not know much about. Your credit union may offer online banking and bill paying as well as incentives to bank with them. Here is a brief guide to your first checking account.

First Checking Account

When you open your first checking account you enter the world of ATMs, avoiding fees, and in many cases online banking. ATMs, or automated teller machines, allow you to withdraw money from your account at convenient locations. Since a human teller is not needed in the transaction, they are typically accessible at all times. However, many ATMs that are not owned by your bank or credit union will charge you fees for withdrawing your money. You may also be charged overdraft fees in some cases if you spend more money than you have in your checking account. Modern banks and credit unions often make use of online banking; accessing your online checking account is usually as easy as logging into the bank or credit union’s website with your personal information and reviewing your accounts and transactions.

How to Manage Your Checking Account

Your checking account is much like the heart of your bank account, and whether you choose to visit your credit union in O’Fallon in person or participate in online banking, it is important that you keep track of it. You may use your online checking account to pay back home mortgage and auto loans as well as review your transactions to get a better idea of your monthly spending habits. Continue on for a few helpful tips on how to manage your checking account.

Checking Accounts

Online Banking
One of the most convenient banking practices around is online banking. This allows you to access your online checking accounts from anywhere in the world and at any time of day or night. If you work odd hours and have trouble making it to the bank or credit union during business hours, this option is probably optimal for you. You can also use your online checking accounts for online bill paying so you can take care of everything from your auto loans to your energy bill. You can usually manage your online accounts by logging in to your credit union or bank’s website with a personalized user name and password; be sure to make these as unique and secure as possible to protect your accounts.

Using Your Checkbook
If you are more of an old school style individual, you may prefer to go to your bank or credit union in person and talk to a human representative rather than dealing with online banking. If this is the case, you need to stay on top of your checkbook. In this case you are responsible for personally recording your transactions. This will help you have an accurate idea of how much money you have in your account.

Dealing with Errors
No system is perfect, and your bank or credit union is no exception. Whether you are committed to online banking or you are stuck in your ways and prefer your physical checks, banks and credit unions make errors. It is important to avoid spending money that you may have been accidentally awarded due to error; this constitutes theft and can be punishable by law.

February Investment Newsletter

Using Credit Cards to Your Advantage

Credit cards are a safe and convenient alternative to carrying cash in your wallet and can be linked to your personal checking account in O’Fallon. Watch this video for tips on using credit cards to your advantage.

A credit card is a responsibility in that you are liable for what you spend each time you use your card. However, they can also be flexible; you may or may not be required to meet a monthly deadline of repayment. You can use your credit cards responsibly in order to establish a good credit history, which helps you obtain auto and home mortgage loans at cheaper interest rates. Certain cards, like a Visa rewards credit card, can offer you incentives like cash, merchandise, or gift cards. Whether you prefer online banking or a traditional checking account with a credit union, you can always enjoy the advantages of using a credit card responsibly.

Understanding How Online Checking Accounts Work

Online banking in O’Fallon is a convenient way to handle your auto loans, home mortgage loans, and other finances from an easily accessible platform. In many ways, an online checking account works just like a regular checking account. Keep reading if you are looking for some help in understanding how online checking accounts work. Online Checking Accounts

Opening an Account
Just like regular checking accounts, online checking accounts may come in a colorful variety of options. You may have a business checking account, a prepaid card account, or a free checking account; depending on your service, this account may exist solely online or you may have a physical account with a bank or credit union that you can access through the Internet. Upon opening your checking account you will typically deposit a certain amount of money so that your account balance meets the minimum it needs to stay open. This number may vary depending on your circumstances, and you can always make a larger initial deposit. In the case of an exclusively online bank, the most convenient way to begin your account is by transferring in money from an existing bank account .

Managing Your Funds
Your online banking system will allow you to access your funds, review your recent transactions and deposits, and view online banking statements. Online banking presents a unique feature that is not offered by traditional checking accounts: online bill pay. You can save money that you would have spent on third party fees and stamps in paying your bills by choosing to pay them with your online checking account. This process is also much quicker than mailing in your money to your creditor, which gives you a little added wiggle room. If your online bank account does not also have a physical location, your service may reimburse you for ATM fees.

Making Safe Deposits
If your account exists only online, you will likely benefit from a direct deposit system. This allows your employer to deposit your paychecks directly into your bank account; you can then access your account using your personal login information; a unique password is critical to the security of your funds.

GCS Donates to Edwardsville YMCA

In an effort to support the local community, GCS Credit Union recently donated to the Edwardsville YMCA as a Platinum Partner.

The Edwardsville YMCA as deep roots in the local area. Since its beginning in 1949 the Y, “has been dedicated to enriching the lives of all individuals and families.”

Donations to the YMCA go towards financial assistance, children in need of year-round care, program and membership needs of families, and anyone in the community striving to live a happier, healthier life.

To find out more information about Edwardsville YMCA visit edwardsvilleymca.com . To find out more about GCS, visit myGCScu.com .

Founded in 1941, GCS Credit Union currently has assets of more than $309 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.