• When to Consider a Debt Consolidation Loan

    If you’re overwhelmed by debt, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, debt can become a damaging cycle of high interest rates and other fees, especially when you have multiple accounts you have to manage. If you’re struggling to see the light with your debt, your credit union may be able to help in the form of a debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation can make your payments more manageable and can help you save money by lowering your interest rate.

    A debt consolidation loan from your credit union rolls all of your accounts into one loan, so you only have to pay a single payment each month. Because the interest rates are usually lower with debt consolidation loans than with other accounts, you could save a significant amount of money over time.

    Simplify your accounts and take control of your budget with a debt consolidation loan in O’Fallon from GCS Credit Union. To learn more about the approval process, please call (618) 797-7993.

  • What Are the Top Reasons to Buy a New Car?

    Making the leap to buying a new car isn’t always an easy decision, especially if your car is technically still running. What are some of the reasons you should consider looking into auto loans? Watch this video to find out.

    Many of the benefits of new cars have to do with upgraded technology. From touchscreens with navigation to self-adjusting headlights, the features that are standard in many new cars can make driving more enjoyable and keep you safer on the road.

    At GCS Credit Union , our great rates on auto loans in O’Fallon make the decision to buy a new car easy. Find out more about the loan services at our credit union by calling (618) 797-7993.

  • Rent or Buy? Tips for Making the Right Housing Choice

    Although many people dream of home ownership, other people find that rental living is right for them. There is no right answer when you’re trying to decide between choosing a home mortgage loan and signing a lease. Because everyone’s situation is different, you can only consider which option is a fit for you. As you try to make this important decision, consider these factors while you weigh your options.

    Consider When You Will Want to Move

    If you are committed to staying in the area in which you are currently living, then buying a house could make sense for you. When you purchase a home, you will generally need to stay in it for at least five years in order to make back your upfront expenses on the house and get a return on your purchase. If you think you could want to move to a new area in less than five years or that there is a good chance you could be transferred because of your job, renting may make the most financial sense.

    Add Up Your Down Payment Savings

    Generally, to get the best possible terms on home mortgage loans, you will need a down payment of 20% of the purchase price of the home. Although you can find loans that require lower down payments, you will likely have to carry mortgage insurance until you reach 20% equity in the home. Mortgage insurance can be costly and will drive up your monthly payment considerably. Instead of making a low down payment, consider renting until you can save up more money.

    Take a Hard Look at Your Job

    If you’re satisfied in your career and have stable employment, then you could be ready to take on the responsibility of mortgage payments and the other costs of home ownership. However, if you’re planning a career change or think that your employment is at risk for any reason, you may wish to rent until you are on steadier ground.

    Let the experts at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon explore your options for home mortgage loans and make the right financial decision for your personal goals. Talk to a credit union representative today by calling (618) 797-7993.

  • FAQs About Your First Credit Card

    Getting your first credit card is exciting, but before you start charging, it’s important to understand how to manage it so it helps you build your financial future instead of becoming a burden on it. If you have questions about using your credit card, talk to a representative at your credit union, who can provide advice about using your card to build good credit. Here are the answers to some questions that may be on your mind about making the most of your first credit card.

    How can I pick a good credit card?

    The most important numbers to consider when you are getting a credit card are the limit and the interest rate. The card limit is the amount of credit you have available. You can only spend the amount of credit you have. As you pay for something with your card, your available credit is reduced, and when you make a payment, the available credit is restored. The interest rate is the amount of money you are charged for using the credit. The higher the interest rate, the more expensive the credit is. You are charged interest whenever you have a balance on your credit card.

    When do I have to make payments?

    Credit cards require monthly payments. You should aim to pay off your entire balance each month, to avoid paying interest. If you can’t pay the balance in full, you must pay at least the minimum payment required by your card company to avoid late fees and other penalties.

    How does a credit card affect my credit score?

    If you keep your credit card debt below 30% of your available credit and you always pay on time, having a credit card can make your score increase, because it shows that you can manage credit effectively. If your card is charged to the limit and you make late payments, a credit card can have a significantly negative impact on your score.

    GCS Credit Union offers a Visa Rewards credit card with a competitive interest rate and many other benefits. To learn more about joining our credit union in O’Fallon or how to apply for a credit card, please call (618) 797-7993.