• GCS Credit Union Auto Loans 101

    GCS Auto Loans in O'Fallon Before you visit a car dealership and deal with their finance department, drop by GCS Credit Union and apply for an auto loan in O’Fallon that will give you greater negotiating power when you’re ready to buy. We offer up to 120 percent financing for qualified buyers. In addition to our competitive rates and loan terms, we’ve teamed up with GM to offer our members even more savings. Auto loans rates are determined by your credit score, so we recommend you obtain a copy of your credit report and fix any errors to raise your score before you apply.

    Come into GCS Credit Union to learn more about the personal loans we offer our members, including auto loans, home mortgage loans, home equity loans, debt consolidation loans, and more. We understand that everyone needs a helping hand, which is why we’re here for our members whenever they need us. Contact us online or call us at (618) 797-7993 to speak with one of our loan specialists.

  • Getting the Most Out of Your Home Mortgage Loan

    Home Loans in O'Fallon If you dream of owning your own home someday, the first step is to secure a home mortgage loan. GCS Credit Union is the dedicated, knowledgeable partner you need to guide you through the process. And if you already have a home mortgage loan in O’Fallon , we can help you refinance and secure more competitive rates and customized terms that work for you. To help first-time homebuyers get off on the right foot, here are some tips that will save you time, money, and stress when navigating the mortgage process.

    Get Pre-Approved
    One of the best things you can do when buying a home is to get preapproved for a home mortgage loan before you make an offer on a house. Not only do sellers often prefer buyers who are preapproved, but preapproval can also help you close faster so you can lock in the price and complete the transaction before someone else comes in and outbids you.

    Maintain Your Credit Profile
    In the months leading to your home purchase, try to avoid changing your credit profile too much. Don’t close or open any new credit cards and try to keep the balances on your cards within a range that won’t affect your debt-to-income ratio, a key factor in determining mortgage rates.

    Deposit “Gifts” Early
    If a family member is helping you with some or all of your down payment, try to deposit the gift into your checking or savings account at least two months before you apply for a mortgage. Otherwise, the gift-giver will need to visit your credit union and sign a letter stating that the money is a gift and no a loan.

    Not only does GCS Credit Union offer competitively low rates for home purchase, refinance, and construction, but we also provide our members with professional loan advisors and other helpful resources and financial planning tools. Call us at (618) 797-7993 to find the branch location nearest you or to schedule an appointment with one of our home mortgage loan advisors.

  • Getting a Credit Card

    Obtaining a credit card is a big step in establishing your long-term finances. If you don’t have a viable credit history yet, check with your credit union first. Credit cards issued by credit unions are typically more accessible to people without credit. If you have bad credit and are unable to get a traditional credit card, look into getting a secured credit card or taking out a small personal loan to build your credit and repair your credit score.

    Watch this video to learn more about getting a credit card, then come in and speak with an advisor at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon . We offer low-interest credit cards with no annual fee. You can also sign up for the GCS Visa Rewards credit card to earn points that can be redeemed for merchandise, travel, discounts, and other offers. Call us at (618) 797-7993 to learn more about applying for a credit card.

  • The Advantages of Banking with a Credit Union

    Advantages of Banking with a Credit Union in O'Fallon With rising fees and questionable business practices fueling the country’s misgivings about banks, more and more people are turning to credit unions than ever before. There are more than 7,000 non-profit, member-owned financial institutions in the United States, including dozens of branches in O’Fallon and throughout Illinois. Credit unions vary in size and services, but all operate with a member-first mentality that gives more back to the consumer. If you’re fed up with your bank, consider these advantages of joining a credit union in O’Fallon .

    Superior Customer Service
    Because credit unions are owned by their members and not by a board of directors, they strive to provide the very best customer service—and do a good job at it, too. According to the most recent Prime Performance Bank and Credit Union Customer Satisfaction Survey, credit union customers rates their overall satisfaction at 89 percent, seven points higher than the industry average for financial institutions.

    Lower Interest Rates
    Another benefit of banking with a member-owned, not-for-profit credit union is that these financial institutions typically offer much lower interest rates on loans and credit cards compared to banks. That’s because credit unions aren’t concerned with turning a profit, so they can charge lower interest rates than for-profit banks.

    Fewer and Lower Fees
    Credit unions serve their members first and foremost, which is why credit unions traditionally have fewer and lower fees than banks . Industry analysts have estimated that credit union members across the country save more than $6 billion in fees that would otherwise be collected by banks.

    GCS Credit Union has been providing banking and loan services in Illinois since 1941. Our primary focus is helping our customers, not making a profit of them. We invite you to visit any one of our seven conveniently located branches to learn more about our products and member services. If you have questions about banking with a credit union, call us at (618) 797-7993.

  • Convenience Services at GCS Credit Union

    Convenience Services at GCS Credit Union If you ‘re thinking about switching to a credit union but worry that you’ll miss the convenience of your large bank, say hello to GCS Credit Union. We offer 21 st century solutions for everyday banking dilemmas to save you time and make your life easier. For example, we’re proud to offer our members free online banking and online bill pay. Our members also get access to surcharge-free ATMs nationwide. Looking for more? How about direct deposit, eStatements, and credit reports? We offer those too, in addition to many other services that make banking easier.

    To learn about all the convenience services we offer, visit our website or stop by one of our credit union branches in O’Fallon . You can also call us at (618) 797-7993 to find the GCS Credit Union location near you or to speak with one of our banking experts about the services and products we offer our members.

  • Tips for Managing Your Credit Score

    Your credit score is just a three-digit number, but it can have a huge impact on your life. Whether you have good credit, bad credit, or no credit at all, it’s important that you take steps now to manage your credit score going forward. How well you take care of your credit score now will affect many important aspects of your life later on, such as your ability to get an affordable auto loan or home mortgage loan in O’Fallon . These tips will help you take control of your credit for good.

    Tips for Managing Your Credit Score Monitor Your Credit Report
    According to a recent study by Credit.com, approximately half of all people with a credit report have never seen it or had not looked at it for more than a year. If you want to take control of your credit score, you need to start by monitoring your credit report more closely. You are entitled to one free copy of your report annually, and there are services that allow you to track and monitor your credit report in real time for a small monthly fee.

    Limit Your Credit Usage
    The more credit you use, the riskier you look in the eyes of creditors. To effectively manage your credit score, try to limit your credit usage as much as possible. This means you should pay in cash whenever possible and reserve your credit card for emergencies or purchases that you intend to aggressively pay back. The lower your debt-to-income ratio, the higher your credit score will usually be.

    Stay on Top of Monthly Payments
    One of the easiest ways to manage your credit score is to pay all of your debt obligations on time and in full each month. Creditors will report late payments and nonpayment to the various credit bureaus, which will end up on your credit report and may lower your score as a result.

    GCS Credit Union offers all of the tools you need to take control of your finances. We can also help you secure a competitive rate on a personal loan or credit card if you’re in the process of rebuilding your credit. To learn more about our member services, visit any one of our branches or call us at (618) 797-7993. You can also visit our website to see our current loan rates.

  • Can You Get an Auto Loan with No Credit?

    The short answer is anyone, regardless of their credit history or credit score, can get an auto loan. However, while it’s possible to obtain an auto loan with no credit, special preference is given to borrowers who have a good credit history. If you want better loan terms, experts recommend trying to raise your credit—or at least establish your credit—before attempting to get an auto loan. Watch this video for more information.

    Regardless of whether you have good credit, bad credit, or no credit at all, the loan officers here at GCS Credit Union can help you secure the car loan you need to purchase the new or used car you deserve. We are dedicated to helping our members in O’Fallon and across Illinois and Missouri secure the very best auto loan rates and terms, regardless of their credit situation. For additional information about auto loan services, please call us at (618) 797-7993.

  • Saving Money When You Head Back to School [INFOGRAPHIC]

    It’s finally summer, but it will be time to go back to school before you know it. As you start to think about your next semester in college or graduate school, consider how you can make your money work harder for you. Consider shopping for textbooks at used stores or online, as you can save quite a bit of money this way. If your schedule allows, you may want to get a part-time job and deposit your earnings in a checking account at a credit union in O’Fallon . Opening checking and savings accounts at a credit union lets you track your expenses more easily, and can give you a snapshot of your financial situation. Check out this infographic to learn more about how to save money when you go back to school. Please share with your friends and classmates!

    Saving Money When You Head Back to School Infographic

  • Things to Know about Auto Loans

    Things to Know about Auto Loans The average price for a new vehicle in the United States is more than $31,000. Even pre-owned cars and trucks are expensive, with prices averaging more than $17,000 at a dealership. Fortunately, you don’t need to wait until you have enough cash saved in the bank to buy the new or used car you really want. With an auto loan from your local credit union , you’ll be able to drive away in the car you deserve, and not necessarily the only car you can afford right now. Before you start shopping for vehicles or comparing auto loan rates, here are some things you should know about auto loans in O’Fallon.

    Get the Best Rate Possible
    Auto loan rates are determined by a number of different factors, some of which are out of your control. However, there are steps you can take and things you can do to get the best rate possible on a new or used car loan . For example, be sure to check your credit report and fix any errors before applying for financing. And if your credit score is low, consider asking a loved one to co-sign on your auto loan application to help you secure better terms.

    Know How Much You Can Afford
    An auto loan will allow you to drive away from the dealership behind the wheel of a new or used vehicle that might otherwise have been out of your price range. However, this doesn’t mean you should finance more than you can afford. Before you take out an auto loan, consider your current financial situation and determine the monthly payment you can afford each month. Your credit union can help you determine what your monthly finance payment will be so you can budget and plan accordingly.

    Ask for Help
    If you experience financial problems and are unable to meet your monthly minimum payments, contact your creditor as soon as possible. Auto loan lenders want to help you meet your obligations, so you may be able to negotiate a delay in your payment or a revised schedule of payments in the future. Ignoring your payments will only make things worse, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it most.

    If you need an auto loan, GCS Credit Union can help. We are dedicated to helping the members of our community secure competitively low rates and customized auto loan terms so they can have the dependable and reliable transportation they deserve. Visit a branch in O’Fallon or cal us at (618) 797-7993 to apply today.

  • Benefits of Your Visa® Debit Card

    Benefits of Your Visa® Debit Card When you sign up for a checking account at GCS Credit Union, you’ll receive a Visa debit card that’s linked to your account. Visa is accepted by most retailers, and carrying a debit car is a lot safer (and a lot easier) than carrying cash. With your debit card, you can make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted, even internationally! If you want to add a personal touch, your Visa debit card can be personalized with your favorite photo.

    If you aren’t yet a member of GCS Credit Union, visit any one of our branches in O’Fallon and throughout Illinois to open your free checking account today. We offer all the convenience services you would expect from a large bank, including online checking account access and online bill pay, but with the added personal touch of a credit union. For additional information on our banking services, please visit our website or call us at (618) 797-7993.