• Simple Financial Advice That Everyone Can Follow

    From home mortgage loans to investments, personal finance can get pretty complicated. But there are some simple financial rules that anyone can follow to achieve better financial stability. When you watch this video, you’ll hear a financial expert talk about what he’s learned over the years.

    Some of his financial guidance includes avoiding buying and selling individual stocks, and instead buying well-diversified mutual funds and index funds. He also recommends saving 10% to 20% of your income and paying off your credit card balance in full every month.

    For financial advice tailored to your specific situation, talk to a financial planner at GCS Credit Union. Call (618) 797-7993 to locate our credit union in O’Fallon or to find out about becoming a member.

  • What to Do if You Fall Behind on Auto Loan Payments

    If you’ve lost your job or faced recent unexpected expenses, you may be worried that you’re going to fall behind on your auto loan payments. Ideally, you should take action before you miss a payment. As soon as you know that you can’t make an upcoming payment, get in touch with your auto loan lender to work out a solution.

    Request a loan forbearance agreement.

    If you have a temporary financial problem, a loan forbearance agreement can give you the wiggle room you need. Your lender may agree to let you skip a couple of payments. Those payments would be added to the end of your loan, so you’ll still end up making them eventually. A similar agreement is to make small payments for a few months. However, if you think your financial problem will last longer than the forbearance period, it may be best to explore other options.

    Refinance your auto loan.

    If your financial problem is a long-term one, and you have strong credit, then refinancing the auto loan may be your best option. Refinancing the loan may give you a lower interest rate or a longer life of the loan. Either modification would result in smaller payments. Of course, your original lender might not be willing to refinance. Consider going to a credit union instead. Credit unions are known for working with their members to develop customized financial solutions.

    Sell your vehicle.

    While it might not be the most ideal option, selling your vehicle may be the only feasible path forward if you can’t refinance or get a forbearance agreement. Of course, selling your vehicle will only improve your situation if the sale price is at least equal to the amount you have left on the loan. Another option may be to sell your car to someone you know who is willing to take over the loan or lease.

    GCS Credit Union offers auto loans in O’Fallon at the highly competitive rates you need and the customized terms you deserve. Come in and speak with a member representative today, and we’ll work to structure your auto loan to suit your needs. Call (618) 797-7993.

  • Becoming a Member at Our Credit Union

    If you’re looking for an online banking option, and you’re also interested in getting great interest rates on loans and savings accounts, then it’s time to join GCS Credit Union in Illinois. If you live, work, or go to school in one of our covered counties, then you’re eligible to become a credit union member. Legal entities, including businesses, members of approved employee groups, and the family members of credit union members are also eligible. Once you open an account, you’ll remain eligible for life, even if you move to a non-qualified county or stop working for a qualified employer.

    If you’re eligible, all you have to do is complete the simple application form. We’ll ask you for identifying information, including your date of birth. A representative may ask to see your driver’s license or other proof of identification before approving your membership.

    To become a member at our credit union in O’Fallon, call (618) 797-7993, visit a branch near you, or complete our online application. The entire team here at GCS Credit Union looks forward to helping you save money and benefit from better interest rates.

  • How Much Money Should You Save Every Month?

    If you save as much as you can throughout your life, you shouldn’t have much stress as you approach retirement age. Of course, everyone saves different amounts because everyone’s financial situation is unique. What works for you might not work for someone else. If you’re having trouble sorting through your personal finances, or you just want an expert to review your situation, consider talking to a financial planner at a credit union. Here’s a quick look at how much you should be saving each month as you start planning for your future.

    Overall Savings

    Since people’s income varies widely, many financial experts recommend saving a percentage each month. A typical recommendation is to save at least 10% to 20% of your income. Some people are able to save more, others less. It may not be possible to save 20% of your income if you live on a $30,000 salary and have significant medical expenses, for example. Just try to save as much as you can every month, and be on the lookout for new ways to cut expenses and increase savings.

    Goal-Oriented Savings

    Within your overall savings, you should have separate funds. Your retirement funds should comprise the biggest portion of your savings. For example, if you save 20%, then your retirement savings may comprise 15%. The remaining money should be saved for other long-term and short-term goals, such as buying a house, buying a new car, and putting the kids through college. Additionally, everyone needs emergency savings. Ideally, you should have three to six months of income saved just in case of a major catastrophe, like prolonged unemployment.

    Saving Tips

    There are countless ways to cut expenses and increase your savings. You might decide to get a side hustle in addition to your full-time job, for instance. You could also eliminate your cable bill and opt for a less expensive TV streaming service instead. If you have a spouse or partner, and one of you works from home, perhaps it would be possible to only keep one car on the road. Figure out what will work for you, given your lifestyle.

    At GCS Credit Union, our members have access to a bundle of superior savings options, including money market accounts, share certificates, savings accounts, and Roth or traditional IRAs. Plus, members can use our online banking features in O’Fallon and beyond to take control of their finances. Join our credit union today by visiting a local branch or calling (618) 797-7993.