• What is MARTI?

     srcset=Do you need assistance with your account after hours or when you’re not near a credit union branch? If so, then you need to meet MARTI! MARTI is the automated teller at GCS Credit Union and can help you with a variety of transactions, saving you time and hassle.

    Using MARTI is easy once you are a member of GCS Credit Union. When you open a credit union account, you will be issued a PIN. Then, whenever you need to use MARTI, you can dial (618) 797-7005 or (800) 392-8092 and wait for the prompts. You will be asked to enter your account number and the PIN you were given. After your information is verified, MARTI will walk you through a number of transactions you can perform via phone.

    In addition to telephone banking with MARTI, GCS Credit Union also offers mobile and online banking in O’Fallon for your convenience. You can learn more about all of our services by calling 618-797-7993.

  • Ideas for Paying Down Student Loan Debt

     srcset=

    Student loans are among the largest and most challenging kinds of debt that most people face. Although many people come out of school with tens of thousands of dollars in debt—and some people who pursued medical or law degrees facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in repayments—it is possible to tackle your debt without postponing the rest of your financial growth. Your credit union can be a great source of information in that regard, so be sure to use the services that they provide. This advice will also help.

    Understand Your Loans
    For many people, student loan debt trouble starts with not truly understanding their loans. Over the course of a college career, loans can be moved from lender to lender many times, and there may be several small loans from different lenders that make it difficult to understand what you owe and who you need to pay. Take a moment to be sure that you truly understand all of your loans and that they are all accounted for as you consider repayment terms.

    Ask Your Employer
    Some employers offer student loan forgiveness plans or assistance with loan repayments, so ask what is available to you. In some cases, you can choose a job that comes with substantial loan forgiveness. For example, some states offer loan forgiveness after a certain window of time making payments, if you work in public service.

    Sign Up for Auto Payments
    Enrolling in an auto payment program on your loan will usually allow you to get a lower interest rate. Although the reduction in rate will usually be modest, it can add up to a significant amount of money over time, which will help you pay off your debt faster. Plus, you’ll never need to worry about missing a payment.

    Find out more about smart financial strategies by scheduling an appointment with a team member at GCS Credit Union. We’re here to serve our members, not profit off of them, and we’re invested in your financial success. You can learn more about joining our credit union in O’Fallon by calling (618) 797-7993.

     

  • Can Closing a Checking or Savings Account Hurt Your Credit?

     srcset=

    Because checking accounts and savings accounts are not credit accounts, closing them will not impact your credit. However, keep in mind that closed banking accounts may show up on banking reports, so your closed account could impact your future ability to open new accounts.

    GCS Credit Union is committed to helping all of our members understand credit and other parts of managing their finances effectively, so that they can reach their goals. To learn more, contact our credit union in O’Fallon at (618) 797-799.

  • Should You Consider Getting a Personal Loan?

    If you’re considering making a large purchase, a personal loan could help you finance the expense. These kinds of loans are installment loans, which means that you will receive a lump sum and then repay it through monthly payments, until you have completely paid it off. Unlike auto loans or home mortgages, personal loans aren’t for anything in particular, and you can generally use them for anything. However, as with any kind of loan or credit you get, it is important to consider the terms and your ability to pay it back before signing for a personal loan. Is a personal loan right for you? These are some of the signs that you should consider getting one.

    You have high-interest debt that you want to consolidate.
    If you have high balances on credit cards, a personal loan could be a good solution to get your bills under control. Most personal loans have lower interest rates than credit cards, so by getting a loan to pay off all of your credit card balances, you can save a significant amount of money on interest expenses. If you’re paying on multiple cards, then consolidating your debt in this way will also streamline the process of paying off your cards, since you’ll only have to make a single payment going forward. However, resist the urge to drive your balances back up once you zero out your credit cards.

    You’re planning a home improvement project.
    Home improvement projects can be great investments, since they can add value to your home. However, financing them sometimes means running up big credit card bills with high interest rates or borrowing against your home. A personal loan allows you to avoid these scenarios and pay for your project with an unsecured loan with lower rates than your credit cards.

    You have considered how to repay it.
    In order to stay in control of your finances, avoid borrowing any money you haven’t made a plan to repay. Be sure you understand the terms of the loan up front, so that you can plan for repayment accordingly.

    If you’re interested in applying for a personal loan, contact GCS Credit Union. We offer competitive rates and can help you find the best loan for your needs. Call our credit union in O’Fallon today at (618) 797-7993.