• FAQs About Share Certificates

    If you are looking for a way to boost the power of your savings without making a risky investment, a share certificate could be right for you. Share certificates are issued by credit unions and reach maturity after a set period of time. Typically, they can be opened with a small deposit, making them a good addition to many people’s overall savings strategy. Could a share certificate be right for your savings goals? Here are the answers to questions you may have about this credit union savings tool.

    How is a share certificate different from a CD?

    Share certificates are essentially the same thing as a CD, or certificate of deposit. When this kind of savings vehicle is issued by a credit union instead of a bank, it is called a share certificate instead of a CD, but it functions in the same way. Share certificates are as safe as CDs, as they are protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. The difference is that share certificates often earn higher interest than CDs, since credit unions are nonprofit institutions.

    What are the benefits of share certificates?

    Share certificates offer a way to earn higher interest on your savings than you would in a standard savings account. They are an alternative to risky investments and allow you to start saving with a relatively small opening deposit. Share certificates have fixed interest rates that increase incrementally, so you know exactly how much interest you can earn and how long it will take.

    What if I have to remove my money from a share certificate early?

    Share certificates are intended to be long-term savings tools, but sometimes, it is necessary to withdraw the money early. If you do, there may be a penalty, and you will miss out on some of the interest. The specifics of the penalties depend on the share certificate you choose.

    If you have questions about share certificates or other savings tools, call GCS Credit Union today. You can speak to a member of our credit union team in O’Fallon about how we can help you reach your financial goals by calling (618) 797-7993.

  • Is Your Christmas Club Account Overdue for a Deposit?

    GCS Credit Union’s Christmas Club account is the perfect way to avoid stress and debt during the holiday season. With this savings account, you can save up money a little at a time throughout the year and watch it grow with interest, so that when it is time to start spending, you’re ahead of the game. If you haven’t made a deposit into your credit union Christmas Club account recently, here are some of the benefits you could be missing out on.

    There is no minimum balance or service fee on the account, and it earns a competitive rate throughout the year. Funds mature on October 15 each year, when they are automatically transferred to your checking account. There are no penalties for early withdrawal, and you can set up a direct deposit into your account for easy savings.

    To learn more about all of our credit union accounts, call GCS Credit Union today. Get more information about online banking, auto loans, and more by dialing (618) 797-7993.

  • Saving Money as a Teen

    Learning to save money as a teen is a skill that will help throughout life, but learning the best ways of saving can be challenging. This video offers suggestions for teens who need strategies for building up the balances in their credit union accounts.

    Thinking before you spend is a critical part of saving money. For example, consider how long you had to work for the money you will need to spend on something. This will help you better evaluate your decisions, so you don’t spend needlessly when you could be saving.

    GCS Credit Union makes it easy for teens to learn how to manage money with our Student Success Account Package that combines savings and checking accounts. Contract our credit union in O’Fallon today at (618) 797-7993 to learn how to open one of our teen-friendly accounts.

  • How Do Late Payments Affect Your Credit?

    If the inner workings of your credit score are a mystery to you, you’re not alone. Most people simply aren’t sure how their credit scores are calculated. The formula is surprisingly complex and difficult to understand for something that is such a vital part of your financial wellbeing. If you’re a credit union member, the team there can answer many of the questions you have about your credit score, but one query comes up frequently: How do late payments harm your credit score? There is no easy answer, but there are some general facts that will help you better determine just how much a late payment will harm your score.

    When is a payment considered to be late?

    The good news is that if you remember you forgot to pay a bill a few days after the due date, your credit is unlikely to be impacted at all. Creditors can begin reporting late payments to credit bureaus when the payment is 30 days late. Creditors will report a payment and specify how late it is. For example, a creditor may decide to report your account to a credit bureau when it is 60 days late, and specify it as such. Late payments can be reported multiple times as the debt gets older, up to 150 days late, at which point it may be reported as charged off.

    How much can a late payment impact a score?

    There is no set rule for how much a late payment will impact your score. How late your payment is, how often you have paid late, and how long it has been since the late payment was reported will factor into how it influences your score. Generally, the higher your credit score is, the more a late payment will affect it. In some cases, a single late payment could reduce your score by 110 points, if your credit score is high. If your score is lower, the impact may be 80 points or less.

    Managing your credit score is hard, but at GCS Credit Union, our team is here to support you as make smart decisions to on the path toward your financial goals. Talk to a credit union representative in O’Fallon today by calling (618) 797-7993 for more information.