• What You Need to Know About Getting an Auto Loan

    When you are in the market for a car, getting the best auto loan can make a big difference in your monthly payment. To find out more about auto loans and how they work, watch this video.

    Before you apply for auto loans, check your credit score. The higher your score, the better interest rate you will get. Next, look around at different rates. Almost always, credit unions can beat rates offered by banks and dealers.

    At GCS Credit Union , we make it easy to apply for auto loans in O’Fallon with a simple, straightforward loan process. To learn more about all of our services, including online banking, call (618) 797-7993.

  • The 411 on Your Credit Score

    Your credit score has an enormous impact on your ability to get approved for loans and credit and the interest rates you’ll pay. Despite the fact that credit scores are so important, many consumers are confused about what they mean and how they are calculated. When you are a credit union member , you always have access to financial advice to help you understand your credit score and what you can do to improve it. Here is a look at the basic information you need to know about your credit score.

    What is a credit score?

    Your credit score is a three digit number that is calculated based on your past financial behavior. Lenders use it to determine the likelihood that you will repay loans or manage credit cards responsibly. If your credit score is low, you may struggle to get approved for things like auto loans or mortgages. The higher your score is, the more likely you are to get good interest rates on loans and other financial products. Scores range from 500 to 850.

    How are scores calculated?

    Credit scores are calculated based on a number of pieces of information about your past financial management that is contained in your credit report. The most important factor in your credit score is the number of late payments you have on your report, followed by how much debt you currently have. Other factors that are considered when calculating your credit score include the mix of credit types you have, the length of your credit history, and how many new accounts or requests for credit checks you have made.

    How can I keep a good score?

    The best way to keep a good credit score is to pay your bills on time. You should also aim to keep your credit card balances to less than 30% of your total available credit. Avoid applying for new credit that you don’t need.

    At GCS Credit Union, we’re committed to the financial health of the members of our credit union in O’Fallon. If you need help managing your credit, make an appointment to talk to one of our team and find out about our credit and loan services, including our Visa Reward credit card . Contact our credit union today by calling (618) 797-7993.

  • Getting the Most from Online Banking

    If you’re like most people, it can seem like it gets harder and harder to fit everything into your day. Why should banking be another inconvenient item on your to-do list? GCS Credit Union offers online banking services so you can manage your money in a way that fits into your schedule.

    Our online banking services provide you with comprehensive money management tools. Get eStatements anywhere to manage the money going into and out of your accounts and set up transfers between your accounts in just a few clicks. See the checks that have cleared your account, download financial management software, and make your loan payments directly from your computer or phone.

    If you are a GCS Credit Union customer who needs to set up online banking in O’Fallon or simply want someone to walk you through all of the features, stop by one of our credit union locations today. You can also call us at (618) 797-7993.

  • What Should You Consider When You Refinance Your Mortgage?

    Refinancing home mortgage loans can save consumers significant amounts of money, but only if it’s done correctly. There are many things to consider before deciding if now is the time to approach your credit union about refinancing. Keep these things in mind as you weigh your options.

    Interest Rates

    Refinancing is all about saving money and lowering your monthly payments, so the interest rates should be lower than when you got your loan. Take a careful look at how the current interest rate will affect your payment. Generally, it is not worth refinancing unless the current rate is at least two points below the rate at which you are locked in. Keep in mind that the current interest rate may not be the rate you are offered during your refinancing. A number of factors, including your credit score, can impact the interest rate you ultimately receive.

    Penalties and Fees

    When home mortgage loans are refinanced, the first loan is paid off with the new loan, which could be considered an early payoff. There are often large fees attached to paying off mortgages early, so consider the fee you will be charged to make sure refinancing will actually save you money. There are also fees similar to closing costs attached to refinance loans, and in some cases, hefty penalties for trying to pay off the second loan early. Include these costs in your calculations, particularly if you plan to move in the near-future and could potentially face another round of early payoff penalties.

    Refinancing Reasons

    Refinancing your home can be a smart financial move you have a plan for the savings. If you hope to refinance to pay off debt and get ahead, doing so could change your financial life, as long as you change your spending habits. Refinancing to stay afloat without a plan to change your circumstances could ultimately work against you.

    Let the experts at GCS Credit Union help you make the right decision about refinancing. The team at our credit union in O’Fallon works for you, not an executive board, and are committed to your financial success. Learn more about mortgages, online banking, and more by calling (618) 797-7993.