• How to Make Contributions to Your IRA

    Contributing to your IRA An IRA is a great way to save for your retirement, and the more you contribute, the better off you will be. By understanding tax guidelines and making contributing a priority, you can maximize your IRA savings. Talk to one of the member representatives at your credit union if you’re unsure about the basics of your IRA, and try these tips to keep money flowing into your IRA account.

    Understand the Contribution Guidelines
    Every year, the IRS sets contribution limits to both Roth and traditional IRAs. These limits apply collectively across your IRAs, so if you have more than one, you can still only contribute up to the maximum amount for that tax year. If you understand these guidelines, not only will you ensure you receive the best tax benefits for your contributions, but you can also budget for monthly contributions that allow you to save the ceiling amount.

    Set Up Direct Deposits
    The easiest way to save money is to not be tempted to spend it in the first place—and the more you contribute to your IRA, the longer your money has to earn interest for your retirement. Consider setting up a regular direct deposit from your checking account to your IRA account. If you set this up for the same day or the day after your paycheck hits your account, the money will go into the IRA before you even see it in your account and factor it into your available spending money.

    Look for Extra Cash
    Even if you are struggling to make the maximum contributions to your IRA because of your income, you can still find avenues to generate extra money to fund it. Have a yard sale, sell collectables online, cancel your cable, or consider a side job. Even putting a little extra into you IRA can have a significant impact on your retirement.

    GCS Credit Union makes retirement planning easy with traditional and Roth IRAs that offer competitive dividends with no set-up fees. Talk to a representative at our credit union in O’Fallon today about IRAs, online banking, and our other financial services by calling (618) 797-7993.

  • Spotlight on Savings Tips

    Everyone knows that they should put money aside for a rainy day, but that is often easier said than done. Even with the best of intentions, money you had planned on putting in your savings account can easily disappear on things like coffees, shopping trips, and nights out. However, with the help of your credit union accounts and some smart strategies, you can tackle your savings problems once and for all.

    Saving Money If you have a checking account, set up a direct transfer once a month into your savings account and plan for that transfer as one of your normal monthly expenses. You can also consider having a portion of your check deposited directly into your savings account. If you have an unexpected windfall, use online banking to transfer it to savings. You can also cut spending with simple swaps, like packing a lunch instead of eating out or making your own coffee at home.

    GSC Credit Union offers a range of accounts to help you manage your expenses. To join our credit union in O’Fallon or find out more about our services, please call (618) 797-7993.

  • Reasons to Do Your Banking at a Credit Union

    Credit Union in O' Fallon

    When you’re selecting a financial institution to use for your money management, drive past the major banks and head instead to a credit union. Credit unions combine all of the convenience and services of banks but with added benefits for members that banks can’t match. Whether you’re looking for a checking account , a Visa Rewards credit card, or an auto loan, here are some of the reasons a credit union may be a good fit for you.

    At a bank, you’re a customer. At a credit union, you’re a member. This distinction makes a major difference in the rates you get on loans as well as the fees for services. Banks are for-profit institutions, which means that they have shareholders who expect them to make money. Credit unions are non-profit groups that are entirely owned and run by their members. Because credit unions do not make a profit, any income generated by their services gets re-invested back into products for members, including low-interest rate loans and free services.

    There is a misconception that credit unions are not as convenient as banks. While that may have been the case at one time, today’s credit unions have multiple locations and offer robust online banking tools at your fingertips. A cooperative network of credit union ATMs makes withdrawing money without facing a fee easy.

    Because you’re a member instead of a customer, the staff at your credit union knows you as more than just an account balance. This personal connection can be beneficial when you’re applying for financing because it allows the credit union to consider your entire financial picture and circumstances instead of simply approving or denying you based on a formula.

    Contact GCS Credit Union to discover the difference of banking with a credit union . Our credit union in O’Fallon offers a broad range of services and is invested in the financial wellbeing of all of our members. To find out more about membership, call us today at (618) 797-7993.

  • How to Open a Bank Account

    Opening a bank account at your credit union makes it easier to manage your money and track your spending. The process of opening an account is simple and can be accomplished in a few simple steps. Watch this video to learn more.

    Opening an account, be it checking or savings, is the same at most financial institutions. You will need to complete an application and provide the identification required by your credit union. You will also need an opening deposit. Having an account gives you access to things like online banking to make money management even easier.

    If you’re interested in opening an account, contact GCS Credit Union today. Our credit union in O’Fallon offers a range of account options for members as well as auto and mortgage loans. Call (618) 797-7993 to learn more.

  • Understanding How Checking Accounts Work

    A checking account is one of the most essential tools you can have to manage your finances. When you use your checking account to spend money, you will be able to easily track where your money is going, which can help you stick to your budget and make financial decisions. Checking accounts are easy and straightforward to use—here is how they work.

    Checking Accounts in O'Fallon Opening an Account
    To open a checking account, you will need to complete an application either online or in person at your credit union. You will be asked to provide identification and your Social Security number, and you may also need other documentation, such as proof of your current address. Once your account is set up, you will need to make an opening deposit to fund the account. Depending on the type of account you select, there may be no minimum deposit requirement, or you may be required to deposit at least a certain amount.

    Choosing Your Account Features
    You can choose to have paper checks, a debit card, or both for your account. You can also use your checking account to receive direct deposits and set up automatic bill payments. Ask your credit union about all of the features available to you and what fees are associated, if any.

    Managing Your Account
    You can manage your checking account using a written check register or an online banking system. Simply enter all of your deposits and expenditures and periodically ensure that your information matches the information your credit union provides about your account. When you spend money with a debit card, in most cases, the merchant will automatically verify the amount with your credit union, and the withdrawal will be made from your account. Paper checks essentially go through the same process, though it may take a day or two for the money to leave your account.

    The representatives at GCS Credit Union are available to help you set up and manage your checking account at our credit union in O’Fallon. If you have questions about checking, online banking , or other financial services, please call (618) 797-7993.

  • The Auto Loan Process

    Auto Loan Process Buying a new car can be a thrilling experience. To ensure that you are able to afford the car of your dreams, you may want to explore auto loans in O’Fallon. By working with your credit union to secure an auto loan, you will receive valuable financial assistance towards the purchase of a new car. When you are setting up an auto loan, you will need to start by checking your credit. If you have a good credit score, your bank will be able to get you pre-approved for a loan. With loan pre-approval, you will be ready to visit the car dealership and sign off on your brand new vehicle.

    To learn more about auto loans in O’Fallon , be sure to contact GCS Credit Union by calling (618) 797-7993. Our friendly customer service representatives will be thrilled to tell you more about our online bill pay options, and we can assist you with a full range of other banking services.

  • Making Your IRA Last

    Investing in an IRA

    When you are planning for your future retirement, it is a great idea to talk to your credit union about setting up an IRA. An IRA can be linked to your online banking , and will provide you and your loved ones with a comfortable cushion when you decide to retire. After you join a credit union in O’Fallon, you may want to ask about your IRA retirement plan options. To help you get the most out of your retirement, here are some tips for making your IRA last.

    Set Up Yearly Payouts
    If you are planning on having non-spouse heirs attached to your IRA, you may want to set up yearly payouts. Many IRAs require that any heirs that are not married to the beneficiary withdraw from the IRA at least once every calendar year. By setting up yearly payouts, you can ensure that your IRA remains active .

    Extend Withdrawal Periods
    To make your IRA last for as long as possible, you may want to ask your financial advisor about how you can extend your withdrawal periods. By only taking out the minimum required deduction each year, you can allow more of your funds to become tax deferred.

    Consider Minimum Distributions
    When you set up an IRA, you will be required to take out minimum distributions after you are over 70 ½ years of age. By contrasts, any of your named beneficiaries must take out minimum distributions as soon as the account owner passes away. To help your IRA last, you should be sure to talk to your financial advisor about how minimum distributions work.

    If you are interested in setting up an IRA near O’Fallon, do not hesitate to contact GCS Credit Union. We proudly serve our many satisfied banking customers with a range of estate planning services, and we can help you prepare for retirement. For more information about our quality banking services , give us a call at (618) 797-7993.

  • Essential Checking Account Management Tips

    Checking account management is an essential part of online banking in O’Fallon. If you are wondering how to make sure that your checking account remains in good shape, there are several steps that you can follow. For example, it is important to make sure that you always maintain a positive balance in your checking account. To learn more essential checking account management tips, check out this video.

    When you are seeking a credit union in O’Fallon, be sure to contact GCS Credit Union. Our credit union offers online checking accounts and a variety of other convenient and innovative services. To learn more about banking at our credit union , give us a call at (618) 797-7993.

  • Getting Approved for Your Home Mortgage Loan

    Getting Approved for Your Home Mortgage Loan Whether you are a first-time home buyer or are seeking to expand with a new living space, buying a home is a major endeavor. Home mortgage loans in O’Fallon are designed to provide you with the financial assistance you need to transform your home buying dreams into a reality. By working with your credit union to set up a home mortgage loan, you will be well on your way to purchasing a new house. Read on for some handy tips for getting approved for your home mortgage loan.

    Review Your Credit Score
    One of the most important factors to consider when you are applying for a home mortgage loan is your credit score. If you have a credit score of 680 or higher, you will be a good candidate for approval. In the event that your credit score is lower than you would like, you can talk to your financial advisor about steps that you can take to boost your credit.

    Save Up for a Down Payment
    Along with taking out a home mortgage loan, you will also be responsible for making a down payment towards your property. To help you get approved for your loan, it is a good idea to save up enough cash to make a 20 percent down payment.

    Pay Down Your Debt
    When you are applying for a home mortgage loan, it is a good idea to pay down other forms of debt as much as you possibly can. For example, you may want to make payments towards your credit card bills. By paying down your debt, you will be more appealing to your home mortgage lender.

    At GCS Credit Union , our financial specialists can help you get approved for your next home mortgage loan. When you choose to bank with our credit union, you will also benefit from other great services, such as a Visa rewards checking card. For more information about how we can help you with your home loan today, give us a call at (618) 797-7993.