• Understanding How to Qualify for a Mortgage

    Not many people are ready to pay for a home up front and in cash, which is why it helps to understand the process of qualifying for a home mortgage loan . You will want to have an accurate idea of your finances and your credit score; having preapproval can also be a huge bonus. Here is how to qualify for a mortgage.

    Financial Picture

    Before searching for a mortgage, make sure you have a crystal clear idea of what your finances are like. Go over your checking and savings accounts, and then look at your credit cards. A mortgage lender will be more inclined to offer better rates if you seem like you will be able to pay them off in a timely manner and without problems. Consider using mobile banking to look at current and past bank statements and get an idea of your financial trends.

    Credit Score

    Whenever interest rates are involved, your credit score probably will be as well. Fortunately there are many ways you can boost your score . Be sure to make all of your payments on time to show that you are reliable and financially trustworthy, and keep older credit cards open if you have paid them off; this offers some insight to your credit history. Take a look at your credit score and see what you can do to boost it up before applying for a mortgage. The higher your score is, the more favorable your chances are.


    Those who have excellent credit scores and have demonstrated financial responsibility may be granted preapproval. This means that you will be guaranteed a certain amount of money from a lender, offering you valuable peace of mind during this process.

    Do you still have questions about how to qualify for a mortgage? Contact GCS Credit Union or visit our website. We are a credit union in O’Fallon that offers online checking accounts, auto loans, and home mortgage loans. If you live in the area, feel free to give us a call at (618) 797-7993 or stop by and see us to learn more about our services.

  • Paying Down Credit Card Debt

    Outstanding credit card debit may hang over your head and weigh you down; it can also make it difficult to get favorable rates on auto and home mortgage loans. Watch this video clip for tips on paying down credit card debt.

    Debt can be overwhelming, but handling it the right way can help you come out on top. If your credit cards carry different interest rates, consider paying off the ones with higher rates first; this will allow you to save some money as you work on paying off your cards with lower rates.

    If you would like additional tips on paying down credit card debt, contact GCS Credit Union or visit our website. Our credit union in O’Fallon is happy to offer a plethora of services including home mortgage loans and online checking accounts. Give us a call at (618) 797-7993 to learn more about us today.

  • Tips for Managing Your First Checking Account

    Opening your first checking account can be exciting, but it is important to be careful. You will need to keep an eye on your debit card as well as the balance in your checking account in order to prevent fees and penalties. You must also keep your cards and information protected. Here are a few tips for managing your first checking account.

    Consider Overdraft Protection

    Your first checking account will teach you to be responsible with your money; in some cases, it will also teach you about the consequences that may occur when you fail to do so. Fortunately you can make use of a safety net called overdraft protection. An overdraft occurs when the amount of money you attempt to spend or withdraw exceeds the amount of money you have in your account. This typically incurs fees, but overdraft protection can give you some extra flexibility.

    Keep Your Cards Safe

    Just because your credit and debit cards have your name on them does not mean that other people cannot get away with using them. This is why it is crucial that you keep your cards in a safe place and refrain from giving them to others. Do not enter your information or make online purchases if the seller does not appear to be completely trustworthy. If you lose a card, cancel it or freeze your account as soon as you notice; if someone else has it, this will prevent them from using it.

    Use Online Banking

    Today’s technology makes it much easier to manage your checking account. Online banking can provide you with electronic statements at any time of the day or night. You can also use this feature to transfer money from your savings account into your checking account or vice versa.

    In addition to checking accounts, GCS Credit Union offers online banking and home mortgage loans in O’Fallon. You can learn much more about our credit union by giving us a call at (618) 797-7993 or visiting our website. If you live in the area, feel free to stop in and meet with us today.

  • Good Reasons to Use Your Home Equity

    Your home equity might offer you some financial flexibility, but it is important to understand how you should use it. Always use your home equity responsibly, and talk to your credit union if you need assistance. Here is an overview of a few good reasons to use your home equity.


    There are right and wrong ways to use home equity, and there are a few factors to consider before making a decision. Using your home equity to make investments might be a good idea, but it depends on the situation. If you pull equity out of your home with a very low-interest rate and use it to make an investment with a higher interest rate, then you can make money off of your equity. Alternatively, you might decide to use home equity to invest in yourself by continuing your education.


    If you have plans to renovate your home, it could be smart to use home equity to fund it . It is important to live in a comfortable home that you enjoy, and many homeowners use their equity to ensure that their living spaces satisfy their needs. You might want to add a deck to your backyard or completely redesign your kitchen, and you can use the value that you have derived from your home to further improve your house itself.


    It is important to have an emergency fund, especially if you have a family. Fortunately, this can be another viable use for your home equity. It is important to be careful when using your home equity for emergencies, because you will be required to pay off your equity on a regular basis. Consider the nature of the emergency before using your equity.

    Are you interested in learning about more good reasons to use your home equity? Contact GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon or visit our website. We are proud to provide online banking and checking account services. If you live in the area, stop by and meet with us or call us at (618) 797-7993 to find out more about what we can do for you today.