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.

Paying Down Credit Card Debt

Outstanding credit card debit may hang over your head and weigh you down; it can also make it difficult to get favorable rates on auto and home mortgage loans. Watch this video clip for tips on paying down credit card debt.

Debt can be overwhelming, but handling it the right way can help you come out on top. If your credit cards carry different interest rates, consider paying off the ones with higher rates first; this will allow you to save some money as you work on paying off your cards with lower rates.

If you would like additional tips on paying down credit card debt, contact GCS Credit Union or visit our website. Our credit union in O’Fallon is happy to offer a plethora of services including home mortgage loans and online checking accounts. Give us a call at (618) 797-7993 to learn more about us today.

Reaping the Benefits of a Personal Loan

Although it is not always preferred, borrowing money makes sense in many different cases. Before heading to your credit union to apply for a personal loan, it is a good idea to think about what you might use it for. Keep reading to see how you can reap the benefits of a personal loan.

Getting Out of Debt

A personal loan can be extremely helpful when it comes to getting out of debt. Living in debt can be crippling; it can prevent you from getting favorable interest rates or even qualifying for loans, and it can make it difficult to keep food on the table while paying off your lenders. Fortunately a personal loan can help you break free from your debt. Since these loans typically feature fixed repayment periods, you can rest assured that you will be debt-free once you have finished your monthly payments.

Improving Your Credit Score

Your credit score is important for a number of reasons, and it is often used to determine the interest rates that a lender can offer you. Incurring more and more debt and making late payments can hurt your credit score, which can then leave you with little flexibility when it comes to interest rates on loans. A low credit score may even keep you from obtaining a mortgage. You can use your personal loan to build your credit by making your payments on time.

Saving Your Funds

There are plenty of ways a personal loan can help you save money in the long run, but what can it do for you in the short term? You might be able to refinance a steep interest rate using your personal loan, allowing you to pay a smaller total and still end up with zero debt.

If you would like to learn more about what you can do with a personal loan, call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993. Our credit union in O’Fallon specializes in a multitude of services from auto and home mortgage loans to online banking and bill paying. Visit our website to learn more about us.

Are You Ready for Your First Credit Card?

Just like your first car or your first night out without a curfew, a Visa rewards credit card can offer you a new sense of freedom. However, this freedom must be used responsibly. Read on if you are wondering if you are ready for your first credit card.

When used properly, your first credit card can help you build credit and prove your trustworthiness and reliability. When used improperly, on the other hand, it may get your credit started on the wrong foot. Having a credit card means regularly paying off your debts, and you must have a steady source of income in order to make these payments. You may be ready for your first credit card if you already have experience in making regular payments; the process is similar to paying towards your cell phone bills, monthly rent, or student loans.

Does it feel like it is time for your first credit card? Call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993 so we can set you up with a Visa rewards credit card. We also offer checking accounts and auto loans in O’Fallon. Feel free to visit our website or stop in and meet with us for more information.

Signs a Home Equity Loan Is Right for You

Financing a home addition may be difficult if you have nothing but your checking account to work with. If you own your home and work together with your credit union , however, this type of financing may be right for you. Here are a few signs that a home equity loan is right for you.

You Own Your Home

If you want to celebrate the fact that you own your home by adding a new pool, deck, or other home addition, you might be able to use your house itself in order to finance the project. As a homeowner you can talk to your credit union about securing a home equity loan, which is like a mortgage except it is not intended to pay for your house. Instead, you receive a check from your credit union with a fixed interest rate and term that you can use for anything you want. This means that your new pool or deck may suddenly become affordable.

You Have a Single Expense

New pools and decks are examples of singular expenses, and these one-time purchases may warrant the use of a home equity loan. If you had something else in mind that might require a series of payments, you might be better off with a home equity line of credit rather than a home equity loan. With the single payment that your home equity loan offers, you can spend it and start paying it off immediately.

Your Credit Is Subpar

A home equity loan considers your home collateral, so factors like credit score and history are not as important as they are when it comes to getting a mortgage. As long as you have your home appraised and prove your income, you can overcome a shaky credit history and obtain the funds you need.

For more signs a home equity loan is right for you, call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993. Our credit union in O’Fallon is committed to providing online checking accounts, home mortgage loans, and a range of other services. Feel free to visit our website for more information about our credit union today.

Tips for Managing Your Credit Score

Your credit score is just a three-digit number, but it can have a huge impact on your life. Whether you have good credit, bad credit, or no credit at all, it’s important that you take steps now to manage your credit score going forward. How well you take care of your credit score now will affect many important aspects of your life later on, such as your ability to get an affordable auto loan or home mortgage loan in O’Fallon . These tips will help you take control of your credit for good.

Tips for Managing Your Credit Score Monitor Your Credit Report
According to a recent study by Credit.com, approximately half of all people with a credit report have never seen it or had not looked at it for more than a year. If you want to take control of your credit score, you need to start by monitoring your credit report more closely. You are entitled to one free copy of your report annually, and there are services that allow you to track and monitor your credit report in real time for a small monthly fee.

Limit Your Credit Usage
The more credit you use, the riskier you look in the eyes of creditors. To effectively manage your credit score, try to limit your credit usage as much as possible. This means you should pay in cash whenever possible and reserve your credit card for emergencies or purchases that you intend to aggressively pay back. The lower your debt-to-income ratio, the higher your credit score will usually be.

Stay on Top of Monthly Payments
One of the easiest ways to manage your credit score is to pay all of your debt obligations on time and in full each month. Creditors will report late payments and nonpayment to the various credit bureaus, which will end up on your credit report and may lower your score as a result.

GCS Credit Union offers all of the tools you need to take control of your finances. We can also help you secure a competitive rate on a personal loan or credit card if you’re in the process of rebuilding your credit. To learn more about our member services, visit any one of our branches or call us at (618) 797-7993. You can also visit our website to see our current loan rates.

What Goes on Your Credit Score?

If you are looking to apply for a home mortgage or auto loan in O’Fallon, you will want to check your credit score first. Better scores can lead to more favorable loans. Watch this video to find out what goes on your credit score.

Paying your bills on time leads to a higher score, as does the possession of a reasonable amount of outstanding credit and debt. A longer history of positive credit is preferable, although brand new credit may not necessarily hurt your score. While an abundance of credit cards can be bad, a variety of credit is good for your score.

Would you like to know more about your credit score? Call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993. We are proud to serve the O’Fallon area with a variety of online banking services as well as checking accounts and auto and home mortgage loans. Feel free to visit our website or stop by today.

Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

A favorable credit score can help you to secure better auto and home mortgage loans in O’Fallon, which can help you save money in the long term. Building and maintaining your credit is a gradual process, however, and it helps to know what you should and should not do. Here are a few tips for improving your credit score.

Understand Good Debt
When you finally pay off your car or house, you should feel proud of yourself. Instead of having this expenditure erased from your credit report, you should keep this type of transaction as a trophy for your success. The longer the list of paid debts, the better your credit score may be ; establishing positive credit history is important when it comes to proving your trustworthiness. The “good debt” that is represented on your credit report indicates reliability.

Be Punctual
People are generally rewarded when they do things on time, and a boosted credit score may be your reward for punctuality when it comes to paying bills. Paying your bills late can damage your credit score and thus reduce your chances of finding appealing interest rates on home mortgage and auto loans. Keep in mind that online bill paying may take a few days to process; if you tend to be somewhat forgetful, it is a good idea to sign up for automatic payments if possible.

Know What Not to Do
You can improve your credit score by not implying that you are a risky borrower. In addition to paying your bills regularly and on time, refrain from charging more of your purchases to your credit card. This way there is no reason to believe that you will have any trouble paying back the money that you borrow.

Would you like more tips for improving your credit score? Call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993 or visit our website . We are happy to serve the O’Fallon area with a variety of services including online checking accounts and home mortgage loans. If you live in the area, stop in and meet with us to learn more about our credit union today.