• What You Need to Know About Purchasing a Second Home

    Have you ever dreamed of owning a vacation home? A home mortgage loan from a credit union can make that dream a reality. However, there are several important factors you’ll need to consider. The location of the second home is a crucial factor. Make sure that you enjoy the destination enough that it makes sense to buy a second home there. And since it isn’t your primary residence, you’ll need to find a real estate agent who is familiar with the neighborhoods in the area.

    Mortgages for Second Homes

    Qualifying for a mortgage for a second home can be tricky if you’re still paying off your first home. You might consider talking to the credit union about refinancing your first house in order to take advantage of lower interest rates or a lower monthly payment. The money you’ll save can help you qualify for a second mortgage. Be sure to factor in closing costs and private mortgage insurance (PMI) in your budget.

    Additional Costs of Maintaining a Second Home

    Since you’re already a homeowner, you’re familiar with the typical costs of maintaining a house. You’ll need to factor in utilities, maintenance, and repairs. Be aware that the cost to maintain a second home is typically higher than the maintenance expenses for a first home. Since it isn’t your primary residence, you’ll need to pay a property maintenance service to check on the home while you’re away.

    Tax Implications of Owning a Second Home

    You might want to rent out your second home when you aren’t using it. This can help offset the additional costs of maintenance, not to mention pay off that second home mortgage loan. However, it’s a good idea to talk to a tax advisor before you turn your second home into a profitable business. You’ll need to pay taxes on the rental income.

    If you’re thinking about buying a vacation home, you can get the personalized financial guidance you need at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon. Meet with our financial planner to discuss your financial situation and find out how much home you can afford. We offer highly competitive home mortgage loans with flexible, customizable terms. Call (618) 797-7993.

  • This Year’s Top Mortgage Tips

    Buying a home will likely be among your most significant financial investments, so it’s important to do plenty of research beforehand. Before you start browsing real estate listings, visit a credit union to discuss getting preapproved. Once your credit union preapproves you for a mortgage, you’ll know exactly how much home you can afford. While you’re at your credit union, take some time to investigate your home loan options. Consider whether a fixed-rate mortgage or adjustable-rate mortgage might be better suited to your needs. For example, if you intend on living in your home for a long time, a fixed-rate, 30-year loan might be better than an adjustable-rate mortgage.

    Another important consideration is your savings account. Credit union representatives strongly advise against draining your savings account for your down payment and closing costs. It’s important to have at least three to six months of living expenses left in your savings account, just in case of unexpected emergencies.

    When you’re ready to become a homeowner , GCS Credit Union is here to help. Call (618) 797-7993 and ask us about our competitive home mortgage loans in O’Fallon and our online checking accounts.

  • Getting a Great Deal on Your Mortgage

    If you are like most people, you dig through countless ads and websites for the perfect home for you and your loved ones. Do you put the same amount of time and effort into shopping for the right home mortgage loan in O’Fallon?

    Almost all Americans rely on home mortgage loans to finance their homes. In fact, experts advise meeting with a credit union to discuss your mortgage even before you start looking for a new house. Your credit union will review your entire credit history, including your Visa Rewards Credit Card bill, other credit card balances and debts, and total family income, before helping you secure a good rate. A credit union generally does its own mortgage lending, which is why it is able to offer superior rates. Banks have comparatively fewer options because they only offer their own products. To get the best rate, make sure to interview the individual who will handle your loan in person.

    GCS Credit Union is pleased to offer all our O’Fallon members superior rates on home mortgage loans. To make the process even easier, we also offer online banking and online bill pay. Visit us online or call (618) 797-7993 to learn more about our services.

  • A Guide to Your First Mortgage

    Before you even begin looking for a home, you should investigate your home mortgage loan options. If you have a well-paying job, good credit, and a decent amount of money in your checking account, it shouldn’t be difficult for you to secure a home mortgage loan. If you’ve had some financial difficulties in the past ten years, you may need to begin looking for a loan a year in advance of house hunting.

    Your lender will pull your credit report to determine whether you qualify for a loan, and at what interest rate. If you check your credit report ahead of time for potential problems, you can fix them before visiting a home mortgage loan officer at your credit union. Credit unions often have the most competitive interest rates and the lowest fees for home mortgage loans.

    At GCS Credit union, we offer the most competitive rates on home mortgage loans in O’Fallon . We will help you customize your financing, secure the best rate possible, and we’ll provide educational resources to ensure you understand the terms of your loan. To learn more about our home mortgage loan services, call us today at (618) 797-7993.

  • Understanding How to Qualify for a Mortgage

    Not many people are ready to pay for a home up front and in cash, which is why it helps to understand the process of qualifying for a home mortgage loan . You will want to have an accurate idea of your finances and your credit score; having preapproval can also be a huge bonus. Here is how to qualify for a mortgage.

    Financial Picture

    Before searching for a mortgage, make sure you have a crystal clear idea of what your finances are like. Go over your checking and savings accounts, and then look at your credit cards. A mortgage lender will be more inclined to offer better rates if you seem like you will be able to pay them off in a timely manner and without problems. Consider using mobile banking to look at current and past bank statements and get an idea of your financial trends.

    Credit Score

    Whenever interest rates are involved, your credit score probably will be as well. Fortunately there are many ways you can boost your score . Be sure to make all of your payments on time to show that you are reliable and financially trustworthy, and keep older credit cards open if you have paid them off; this offers some insight to your credit history. Take a look at your credit score and see what you can do to boost it up before applying for a mortgage. The higher your score is, the more favorable your chances are.


    Those who have excellent credit scores and have demonstrated financial responsibility may be granted preapproval. This means that you will be guaranteed a certain amount of money from a lender, offering you valuable peace of mind during this process.

    Do you still have questions about how to qualify for a mortgage? Contact GCS Credit Union or visit our website. We are a credit union in O’Fallon that offers online checking accounts, auto loans, and home mortgage loans. If you live in the area, feel free to give us a call at (618) 797-7993 or stop by and see us to learn more about our services.

  • The Steps of Shopping for a Home Mortgage Loan

    Home mortgage loans are often confusing for new homebuyers, but they don’t have to be. Work closely with your credit union to navigate the mortgage process, and you will find the right loan for your needs. When you decide to apply for a home mortgage, follow these steps.

    Decide What You Can Afford
    Before you go house hunting, know your price range. Being unrealistic about what you can afford can cause problems in the future, including the loss of your home if you default on payments. Take a close look at your income and expenses, remembering to include costs like maintenance and insurance that you will have in addition to your mortgage payment. If you’re not sure what is a realistic mortgage amount for you, talk to your credit union rep for advice.

    Consider Mortgage Types
    Home mortgages can vary in both term and interest rates. 15- and 30-year mortgages are the most common types. 15-year mortgages usually have lower interest rates, but you will reap tax benefits for longer with a 30-year mortgage. Interest rates can be fixed or adjustable. Adjustable loans can start out with lower rates, but you have to be prepared to face significant payment increases if rates go up in the future. There is no right type of mortgage for everyone. Your credit union representative can help you select a loan based on your needs, income, and financial history.

    Gather Your Documents
    Your credit union will require a great deal of information from you as you apply for a mortgage, and any delay in providing supporting documentation can interfere with the processing of your loan. Before you apply, gather pay stubs, tax statements, and other documents your credit union needs so you can get the fastest possible decision.

    Let GCS Credit Union help you with the process of getting a home mortgage in O’Fallon. Get started using our online banking services or stop by a branch today. You can also call (618) 797-7993.

  • Understanding Your Mortgage

    Home mortgage loans are debt-secured against a piece of property. When your credit union issues you a mortgage to pay for a home, they are providing you with a loan with the understanding that, if you default on payments, they can recover the property to cover their losses. Watch this video to learn more.

    Mortgage loans vary in terms of interest rate and duration of the loan. When you buy a house, it is important to get a loan that meets your budgetary needs. A loan with a shorter term will involve higher monthly payments; a longer mortgage may have lower payments, but you may pay more interest over time.

    At GCS Credit Union, our member representatives will help you select the best loan for your needs and show you how to use online banking to manage your account. If you are interested in home mortgage loans in O’Fallon , call us at (618) 797-7993.

  • Getting Approved for Your Home Mortgage Loan

    Getting Approved for Your Home Mortgage Loan Whether you are a first-time home buyer or are seeking to expand with a new living space, buying a home is a major endeavor. Home mortgage loans in O’Fallon are designed to provide you with the financial assistance you need to transform your home buying dreams into a reality. By working with your credit union to set up a home mortgage loan, you will be well on your way to purchasing a new house. Read on for some handy tips for getting approved for your home mortgage loan.

    Review Your Credit Score
    One of the most important factors to consider when you are applying for a home mortgage loan is your credit score. If you have a credit score of 680 or higher, you will be a good candidate for approval. In the event that your credit score is lower than you would like, you can talk to your financial advisor about steps that you can take to boost your credit.

    Save Up for a Down Payment
    Along with taking out a home mortgage loan, you will also be responsible for making a down payment towards your property. To help you get approved for your loan, it is a good idea to save up enough cash to make a 20 percent down payment.

    Pay Down Your Debt
    When you are applying for a home mortgage loan, it is a good idea to pay down other forms of debt as much as you possibly can. For example, you may want to make payments towards your credit card bills. By paying down your debt, you will be more appealing to your home mortgage lender.

    At GCS Credit Union , our financial specialists can help you get approved for your next home mortgage loan. When you choose to bank with our credit union, you will also benefit from other great services, such as a Visa rewards checking card. For more information about how we can help you with your home loan today, give us a call at (618) 797-7993.

  • Getting the Most Out of Your Home Mortgage Loan

    Home Loans in O'Fallon If you dream of owning your own home someday, the first step is to secure a home mortgage loan. GCS Credit Union is the dedicated, knowledgeable partner you need to guide you through the process. And if you already have a home mortgage loan in O’Fallon , we can help you refinance and secure more competitive rates and customized terms that work for you. To help first-time homebuyers get off on the right foot, here are some tips that will save you time, money, and stress when navigating the mortgage process.

    Get Pre-Approved
    One of the best things you can do when buying a home is to get preapproved for a home mortgage loan before you make an offer on a house. Not only do sellers often prefer buyers who are preapproved, but preapproval can also help you close faster so you can lock in the price and complete the transaction before someone else comes in and outbids you.

    Maintain Your Credit Profile
    In the months leading to your home purchase, try to avoid changing your credit profile too much. Don’t close or open any new credit cards and try to keep the balances on your cards within a range that won’t affect your debt-to-income ratio, a key factor in determining mortgage rates.

    Deposit “Gifts” Early
    If a family member is helping you with some or all of your down payment, try to deposit the gift into your checking or savings account at least two months before you apply for a mortgage. Otherwise, the gift-giver will need to visit your credit union and sign a letter stating that the money is a gift and no a loan.

    Not only does GCS Credit Union offer competitively low rates for home purchase, refinance, and construction, but we also provide our members with professional loan advisors and other helpful resources and financial planning tools. Call us at (618) 797-7993 to find the branch location nearest you or to schedule an appointment with one of our home mortgage loan advisors.

  • Busting Common Mortgage Myths

    Mortgage Myths

    Buying your first home should be a little scary—after all, that’s part of the fun—but it shouldn’t be scary for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths and misinformation surrounding home mortgage loans in O’Fallon that are frightening off many first-time homebuyers. If you’re overly concerned with some of the tales you’ve heard about home mortgage loans, this brief guide will ease your mind by busting some of the most common myths about home mortgages.

    Myth: You Need Perfect Credit to Qualify
    Although a high credit score will certainly help you get a better loan, less-than-perfect credit isn’t a deal-breaker when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage . Other compensating factors such as a larger down payment and a low debt-to-income ratio can offset some minor credit blemishes and financial scrape-ups to help you qualify for a home mortgage loan.

    Myth: You Need to Put Down at Least 20 Percent
    Speaking of down payments, one of the most recurring mortgage myths is that buyers need to put down at least 20 percent of the purchase price. Again, while it helps to have a sizeable down payment, many lenders offer loans that don’t require a down payment anywhere close to 20 percent.

    Myth: Renting is Cheaper than Buying a Home
    You’ve probably heard people say that renting is the better option if you’re looking to save money. While this may be true in the very short term, it’s almost always less expensive to pay a mortgage than to rent a comparable home. As a homeowner you will also build equity, whereas the money you pay over the course of a lease term belongs to the landlord.

    With the right lender on your side, buying a new home can be one of the most joyous occasions in your life. GCS Credit Union offers a wide range of home mortgage loans and refinancing programs that help our members settle into their homes with manageable payments and flexible terms. Visit one of our branches to apply for a home mortgage loan , or call us at (618) 797-7993 to speak with one of our loan officers for additional information.