Obtaining a car loan thru Guardian Credit Union

Here at GCU, we know car shopping can be an overwhelming task, but our branch loan reps are here to make the process fast, easy, and painless.

We can have you in your new car the same day! It’s easy, just follow these four steps!

1. Check your Credit and get pre-approved.

Call (414) 546-7450 to speak with one of our professional loan representatives to start the process or simply apply online. We can have you pre-approved in minutes and on your way to pick out the car of your dreams. No matter your credit score, we have a variety of loan options available for all qualified members.

2. How much can you afford?

An important piece in the auto buying process is to review your monthly budget to find out your income and expenses. This process will allow you to find a range of what a “comfortable” payment would be.  Applicants can take a look at our loan calculator to figure out where your payments might be at based on the loan amount needed or requested. Car loan terms are available up to 84 months on new vehicles and 72 months on used vehicles with varying interest rates.

3. Go Shopping.

Whether you prefer to shop online or in person we can help you along the way. If you’d like to shop from the comfort of your home or mobile device, try out our online Auto Resource Center. Once you have narrowed your search, we can help you determine the value of the vehicle and your estimated payment amount. After you have determined the vehicle is right for you and have a purchase contract you are ready to come see a professional loan representative to close on your new auto loan!

4. Time to close and start driving your new car!

After you have communicated a time with your professional loan representative to come sign the necessary documents, we will have you on your way with check in hand to purchase your car, all within 15 minutes. They will answer any questions you may have at the time and let you know about our great products we offer to make sure you and your car are protected against any unexpected events that could occur.

Unable to make it to a branch? Ask about how you can sign electronically without coming to the branch.

At Guardian Credit Union, we are here to make your car buying experience as easy as possible. Even if you have never bought a car before and don’t know where to start, call one of our professional loan representatives and they will help you along the entire way.

Ready to get started? Apply this weekend (February 9-11), and take advantage of our Cheers to the Weekend promotion!

What do you need to know about the new tax laws?

shutterstock_516465079By: Guardian Tax Services

At this time of year, most people are still thinking about their 2017 income taxes. And rightfully so. (By the way, did you know GCU offers tax services?)

But it’s not too early to begin thinking about what the new tax laws mean for the 2018 tax year.

On December 22, 2017 the president signed into law H.R. 1 – Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These new tax laws will not only lower tax rates (for most) but also eliminate numerous tax provisions. The individual provisions would expire by the end of 2025, but most of the corporate provisions would be permanent. Here are some important changes to keep in mind for the 2018 tax year.

Tax Rates for Individuals and Couples are Lowered

The number of tax brackets are still the same however the income threshold amounts have changed. Here’s how much income would apply to the new rates:

— 10% (income up to $9,525 for individuals; up to $19,050 for married couples filing jointly)

— 12% (over $9,525 to $38,700; over $19,050 to $77,400 for couples)

— 22% (over $38,700 to $82,500; over $77,400 to $165,000 for couples)

— 24% (over $82,500 to $157,500; over $165,000 to $315,000 for couples)

— 32% (over $157,500 to $200,000; over $315,000 to $400,000 for couples)

— 35% (over $200,000 to $500,000; over $400,000 to $600,000 for couples)

— 37% (over $500,000; over $600,000 for couples)

Standard Deduction was Increased

For single filers, the law increases it to $12,000 from $6,350 currently; for married couples filing jointly it increases to $24,000 from $12,700. The net effect: The percentage of filers who choose to itemize would drop sharply, since the only reason to do so is if your deductions exceed your standard deduction.

Personal Exemptions was Eliminated

In 2017 you could claim a $4,050 personal exemption for yourself, your spouse and each of your dependents. Under the new law this option has been eliminated.

State and Local Tax Deduction Gets a Cap

The new law will preserve the state and local tax deduction for anyone who itemizes, but it will cap the amount that may be deducted at $10,000.

Child Tax Credit Gets Expanded

The credit is doubled to $2,000 for children under 17 and the income threshold has been increased. Filers may claim the full credit to $200,000 for single; $400,000 for couples. Like the first $1,000 of the child tax credit, $400 of the additional $1,000 also will be refundable.

Temporary Credit for Non-Child Dependent was Created

The law allows parents to take a $500 credit for each non-child dependent whom they’re supporting, such as a child 17 or older, an ailing elderly parent or an adult child with a disability.

Cap on Mortgage Interest Deduction was Lowered

Filers who take out a new mortgage on a first or second home can deduct the interest on debt up to $750,000. Also, the law would no longer allow a deduction for the interest on home equity loans.

Mandate to Buy Health Insurance was Eliminated

There is no longer a penalty for not having health insurance.


Sources of Information:


TheTaxBook News Release 12/26/17

 Want to ensure that your taxes are prepared completely and accurately every year? Consider having a GCU accounting professional do the job. Learn more about how to take advantage of Guardian Tax Services.


Guardian Cares 2017: MADACC

Kayla Sanders, Branch Supervisor

 Guardian Cares is a fundraising opportunity that occurs every year in an effort to raise money for a local charity in Milwaukee.

GCU employees were given 5 charities to vote on for Guardian Cares 2017 and Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) was the final vote.

MADACC was founded in August of 1999 and provides temporary care for sick, abandoned, or animals that have shown consistent behavioral problems in all 19 municipalities of Milwaukee. MADACC has taken in over 12,000 animals in need since then.

MADACC provides many services to ensure the safety of animals, including returning lost animals to their owners. MADACC receives many run a ways on and around the Fourth of July due to the fireworks scaring the animals away. When the animals show up at MADACC they do everything they can to reunite the animals with their families. If they are unable to find their families they are then put up for adoption. MADACC encourages a safe and responsible home for the animals they take in once they are adopted. It is very important to them to educate the public on what it means to take care of a household pet and the responsibility it entails.

In exchange for certain donation amounts you not only are donating to an amazing cause but could go home with an awesome token of Guardian and MADACC’s appreciation. Current items that we offer for donation prices are:

  • Bosque Tumbler – $25
  • Guardian Cook Book – $12
  • Rocket Cup – $7
  • Mobile Phone Holder – $5
  • $1 Donation Sign

So if you want an awesome GCU token, or have a cuddly friend that’s close to your heart please come in and donate at your nearest Guardian Credit Union today! Take a look at the locations tab under our website to find the one closest to you!


50 Simple Health Tips

Jennifer Jorgensen, Mortgage Servicing Specialist

Adapting a healthier lifestyle doesn’t necessarily require major changes that are hard to do. You may be surprised at how these simple, small tips can change you, your body and how you feel overall with almost little to no effort.

  • Walk for 30 Minutes a Day

Just walking 30 minutes a day can greatly improve your health, such as reducing your risk of heart disease and helping you to shed some pounds. Make your walks more exciting by walking your dog, teaming up with a friend or join GCU on one of our 5k run/walks! https://www.guardiancu.org/about-us/events

  • Drink Lots of Water!

We all know that water keeps us hydrated, but it also aids in weight loss and healthy digestion. It can even boost your energy and mood! Scared to try a “cleanse” or expensive detox? Just drink more water, as this is your safest and free way to flush out toxins in the body.

  • Portion Control!

Try something as simple as eating off a smaller plate to trick your mind into thinking that you’re eating a full plate of food. You’ll feel much fuller sooner just by having your meal size put into a different perspective. Be sure to drink water before, during and after your meals to prevent over-eating.

  • Think Positive Thoughts

Just taking a moment to reflect on all the good things in your life can eliminate depression and increase your lifespan. Believe it or not, it can also build up your resistance to the common cold! Let the small things roll off your shoulders and embrace the beauty in the big picture.

  • Get 7-8 Hours of Sleep Each Night

Our bodies and mind go through essential cycles each night while we sleep. Skimping on sleep can cause weight gain and prevent you from losing fat during your workouts. Severe lack of sleep over an extended period of time can put you into an overwhelming spell of depression.

  • Meet with Friends

Schedule a lunch or night out with a group of friends or family! Taking time out of our busy lives to relax and socialize is essential for excellent mental health and a sharp memory! Join GCU in summer for our kite-fly events or movie nights with your friends!

  • An Apple a Day Does Keep the Doctor Away

Apples are packed full of antioxidants and fiber, among many other things. These antioxidants could reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease! Did you know that eating an apple can also freshen breath? 

  • Take the Stairs!

To add some extra steps in your day, skip the elevator or escalator to get an easy, yet affective mini workout that will burn calories and tone muscles—with little to no effort from you!

  • Cook at Home

Slim your waistline and fatten your wallet by staying in and cooking at home! On average, home-cooked meals have significantly less calories and fat than the exact same dish at a restaurant.

  • Eat Breakfast!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This meal fuels you with the energy you need to start your day and boost your metabolism. In fact, skipping your breakfast could actually make you gain weight, so eating any breakfast is better than no breakfast at all.

  • Stretch Daily

Begin and end your day with a series of stretches suited best for your body and its needs. In addition to increasing flexibility, stretching can help relieve muscle tension, inflammation, soreness and your every-day aches and pains.

  • Attend Your Annual Exams

Make a habit of scheduling visits to your primary physician, dentist, eye doctor and any other specialists on an annual or regular basis. Having a simple check-up can be much cheaper than allowing any health issues to get out of hand.

  • Get a Furry Friend!

Studies have proven that owning a pet can help reduce stress and anxiety in humans. Additionally, if you own a pet, your chances of having a heart attack or stroke decrease significantly. Your pet could be a life-saver! You and your pet can join GCU in attending the annual MADACC Run, Walk, Wag 5k in July! Stop into a branch for details! https://runsignup.com/Register/?raceId=6094

  • Laugh More!

Not only can laughing burn calories, but it can surely improve your mood! It may even add years to your life. Pop in your favorite comedy movie, share a funny story with your friends, or just try to find the humor in as many situations and conversations possible!

  • Listen to Music

The great thing about music is that it can either pump you up for a great workout or motivate you while cleaning around the house, or it can help you to fall asleep faster and more peacefully when listening to a more soothing genre.

  • Get Plenty of Fresh Air

Taking a moment to briefly step out during the day to get some fresh air can be essential to your body. It can clear your mind and give you the energy you need to return to your tasks and perform them accurately and efficiently.

  • Drink Tea

Tea of all varieties is rich in antioxidants that are beneficial to our bodies. It can help strengthen your immune system, protect your bones and even aid in weight loss! Use tea as a healthy alternative to coffee, or use the non-caffeinated teas, such as Rooibos or Chamomile, to ensure a good night’s sleep!

  • Eat When You’re Hungry

It’s extremely important that you never starve yourself, even while dieting. Effective diets of any kind encourage you to eat whenever you’re hungry; just make sure these snacks are healthy and wholesome so it can satisfy your hunger for a longer period of time.

  • Find a Hobby

A hobby that you genuinely love to do can act as a small escape from all the hustle and bustle in your busy life. Taking the time to do something you truly enjoy will greatly reduce stress and give you the patience you need to take on your daily tasks!

  • Eat Slowly

Try to slow down when eating each meal. Set your fork down between bites, eat with others, or just simply eliminate distraction to prevent eating mindlessly.

  • Try a Fitness Class

If you’re finding that your workout has grown boring, try signing up for a fitness class such as Yoga or Zumba. A relaxing session of Yoga or an energetic, up-beat Zumba class may not feel like exercise, yet you’re giving your body a great workout without even realizing it!

  • Cut Back on Soda

You may be shocked to see how much your body changes just by significantly cutting back on soda or giving it up all together. Exchange it for Seltzer water instead; flavored or not, it will give you the same carbonation we all seek in soda. If you’re in it more for the caffeine, try switching to plain, black coffee or tea.

  • Eat by Color

A simple way to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants in your day via fruits and veggies is to just eat colorfully. The more color you have on your plate, the healthier you’re eating.

  • Meditate

This is a very calming way to unwind and relieve stress after a long day. Meditation has a number of greater health impacts as well such as improving your concentration and slowing down the aging process.

  • Stay Organized

Clean up your workspace or bedroom, and you’ll find a boost in your energy as well as an improvement in even your sleep and eating habits!

  • Limit Alcohol Consumption

Try to cut down on your daily or weekly alcohol intake to a more controlled amount. Experts say alcohol in moderation does have some health benefits to it, such as reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes. The recommended amount is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

  • Fix Your Posture

Focus on good posture consistently until it becomes a habit. Doing so could rid you of any back and/or neck pain. Additionally, you can burn up to 350 calories a day just by sitting upright properly!

  • Pack a Lunch!

Packing and bringing your own lunch to work will help you to avoid temptations of going out to eat. Make it an extra tasty lunch so you’ll actually look forward to eating it!

  • Walk Outdoors

Leave phones and other electronics at home so you can really disconnect for a while. Walking in nature and taking in the surroundings can be extremely therapeutic; both your physical and mental health will thank you.

  • Organize the Fridge

Tuck all the tempting, indulgent food towards the back, and bring your fruits, veggies and lean meats forward to eye-level. You’ll be less tempted to reach back for something unhealthy—you may even forget it’s there! Out of sight, out of mind!

  • Color!

Adult coloring books have recently been trending in popularity due to their therapeutic qualities and mental health benefits. Spending time on coloring an intricate picture can help people cope with stress, anxiety and even PTSD.

  • Practice Meal Prep

Not only will you be inclined to make some healthier choices, but you’ll no longer have the added stress of worrying about what’s for dinner. It’s already (mostly) done! Just heat and eat!

  • Just Add Cinnamon

Cinnamon is very beneficial to your body and health, and it tastes great! Exchange sugar or artificial sweeteners for cinnamon instead, as this spice is naturally sweet yet sugar-free.

  • Donate to Charity

Donating money, clothes, food, etc. to charity can make you feel great knowing that you’re helping someone in need. Stop into GCU in summer during our Guardian Cares Campaign to donate to a local charity!

  • Grow Plants

Plants are known to serve more purpose than just being decoration; they can better our health, too! They release extra oxygen, clean the air and can even prevent colds and dry skin! Some of the most beneficial plants you can have around consist of Peace Lilies, Spider Plants, Bamboo and Aloe Vera.

  • Read

Grab your favorite book, kick back and relax knowing that you’re benefiting your mental health. Reading can strengthen your creativity and writing skills and improve memory. Use reading as a way to unwind at the end of the day to put you in a stress-free state.

  • Track Progress

This can literally be anything you want to work on. Track you weight, steps, water intake, food/diet habits, etc. Keep a close eye on your progress to see your success, which can be further motivation for you to keep pushing to reach your goal.

  • Take Vitamins

Focus on what specific vitamins your body needs and find the appropriate ones for you. Most people lack important vitamins such as Calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin C.

  • Quit Smoking

The sooner you can quit, the better. You greatly reduce your risk of developing cancer, especially lung cancer. The benefits of quitting smoking begin as quickly as twenty minutes after your last cigarette with your heart rate returning back to a normal level.

  • Clean Linens Regularly

Ensuring that you’re sleeping in clean bedding at all times is essential to prevent allergies. Dust mites and other allergens build up in our beds over time. Try to make it a habit to wash and change bedding at least every two weeks.

  • Dance!

Dancing is an easy way to get in a great workout. You’re working multiple parts of your body in one session, improving flexibility and boosting your energy.

  • Practice Good Hygiene

Brush your teeth twice daily, shower regularly and get into a daily hygiene routine that works for you. Doing this will help you feel refreshed and energized for the day.

  • Travel

Taking time to go on a much-needed vacation helps to greatly reduce stress while you relax and have fun. Vacations allow us to recharge emotionally and mentally, which is something we may slack on in our daily lives.

  • Wear Comfy Shoes

Walking in bad shoes can effect more than just your feet—it can also do damage to your ankles, hips, knees and lower back. Finding the right shoes with the proper support can change how the whole body feels overall.

  • Avoid Processed Foods

It can become a challenge to stay on track when it comes to snacking, quick meals and convenient, on-the-go breakfasts. Unfortunately, these same items are considered a “processed food” which can be pumped with chemicals and potentially harmful ingredients. Instead, try to focus on fresh produce and whole-grains.

  • Workout your Brain

Completing a puzzle or other problem-solving games are excellent ways to promote stronger brain activity. Rather than letting your phone or calculator do the work for you, exercise your brain by doing the math in your head.

  • Apply Sunscreen

Make sure to apply it often or as needed to get optimum protection from the harmful rays of the sun. You’ll reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, facial brown spots and even wrinkles as it also slows down premature aging of the skin.

  • Don’t Grocery Shop Hungry

Avoid impulse purchases and poor food choices by shopping when you’re not hungry, and make a list of only the things you absolutely need from the store. Stick to the list to ensure you’re following your budget and not buying food that could potentially go uneaten.

  • Pay off Debt

Eliminating your debt and reducing bills can bring stress levels down significantly. You will no longer have the financial burden weighing you down, and you can then focus on pursuing other things that previously seemed unachievable.

  • Get Out What you Put In

These words-of-wisdom can be applied to almost any aspect in your life; work, home, fitness goals, social life, etc. You will encounter more positivity when you remain positive yourself, and you will see desired results if you dedicate the necessary time and hard work to achieve them.

Switching up a few old habits for some new ones or just trying some of the above tips a few at a time can have a great impact on your health. The changes you want to see may not happen overnight, but you can definitely make them all happen by setting goals, putting your mind to it and starting right now.

Interviewing Tips and Tricks

Caitlyn Medlock, Human Resources Coordinator


Let’s be honest, this job market is really a candidates market. With low unemployment rates, candidates really have the pick of the company they hope and dream to work for. However, to ensure you are landing your dream job, follow these interviewing tips and tricks below:

  1. Do your research!

Why would you apply for a company you know nothing about? Though the job title may be intriguing and you believe your skill sets may align quiet well with the role, it is essential to do you research on the company in which you may be applying for a role. Why would you want to work for a company that embodies the exact opposite in what you are looking for in a potential employer? What products does the company offer? How was the company founded? How long has the company been in business? What events does the company partake in within the community? Recruiters love when candidates know this information!

  1. Arriving to the interview:

A general rule of thumb it to arrive no more than 10 minutes before your interview. Though to may be really eager about the opportunity, you may have to wait up until 10 minutes dependent upon the recruiter or hiring managers schedule.

  1. Preparation

Bring copies of your resume. Bring any additional information that a recruiter may ask for – completed application, etc. dependent on the industry some may have everything electronic and some may only use hard copies still. Be prepared.

  1. Dress to Impress

When you are speaking with the recruiter, ask what their company dress code is. If employee’s wear jeans every day of the week then Business Casual is acceptable. If the dress code is Business Casual dress Business Professional. The goal is to dress to impress. Dress one step above what would be considered as general every day work attire within the company.

  1. Answer the Questions AND Sell Yourself

Interview questions can vary, but there is always an opportunity to provide the recruiter or hiring manager some insight on your best traits and skills! Keep in mind, always answer the original question but supporting details will never hurt your chances. This technique also helps the interview flow more like a conversation and eases everyone’s nerves.

Preparing for The Tax Season : 8 Tips To Get You Ready.


1. Create a Filing System

 If you don’t have a filing system for your tax records, you should start one. It’s always a good idea to save tax-related receipts and records. Keeping good records now will save time and help you file a complete and accurate tax return next year.

2. Adjust Your Withholding

If you’re an employee and you think that your tax withholding will fall short of your total 2016 tax liability, you may be able to avoid an unexpected tax bill by increasing your withholding. If you are having too much tax withheld, you may get a larger refund than you expect. In either case, you can complete a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, and give it to your employer.

3. Report Changes in Circumstances

If you purchase health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may receive advance payments of the premium tax credit in 2016. It is important that you report changes in circumstances to your Marketplace so you get the proper type and amount of premium assistance. Some of the changes that you should report include changes in your income, employment, or family size.

4. Make Charitable Contributions

If you plan to give to charity, consider donating before the year ends. That way you can claim your contribution as an itemized deduction for 2016. A gift by check counts for 2016 as long as you mail it in December. Remember that you must give to a qualified charity to claim a tax deduction.

5. Pay Property Taxes

Pay your property taxes by Dec. 31 to count for 2016. That way you can claim your property tax payment as an itemized deduction for 2016.

6. Contribute to Retirement Accounts

You need to contribute to your 401(k) or similar retirement plan by Dec. 31 to count for 2016. On the other hand, you have until April 18, 2017, to set up a new IRA or add money to an existing IRA and still have it count for 2016.

7. Contribute to a Health Savings Account

For 2016, if you have self-only HDHP coverage, you can contribute up to $3,350. If you have family HDHP coverage you can contribute up to $6,750. You can make contributions to your HSA for 2016 until April 18, 2017.

8. Pay Estimated Tax if Required

If you receive income that’s not subject to withholding, you may need to pay estimated tax. This may include income such as self-employment, interest, or rent.

Let Guardian Credit Union enhance your auto buying experience!


Enhance your auto buying experience – by Dave Zwaska, VP of Lending

Purchasing an auto is a BIG deal! It’s important to find the car that’s right for your budget, but that’s not always as straight-forward as it sounds. While researching vehicles prior to shopping is a great first step, you also need to consider if any back-end items (defined in Section 4) may be needed.

Below are some tips and tricks to help you make your auto-lending experience through Guardian Credit Union as easy as possible!

Many people go into the car-buying experience not truly understanding what they can afford. When looking at a member’s financial picture, our skilled lending staff reviews a member’s debt-to-income, employment history, value of collateral, credit score, and credit history. While all of these factors paint a well-rounded picture of your financial situation, only you know your actual budget and lifestyle. It’s critical that you take time to assess your budget on your terms to understand the monthly impact of your auto purchase.

There are definite benefits to both – it comes down to what you prefer.
New vehicles come with the reassurance of a new car warranty and the likelihood of no immediate repair costs. The downside is higher up-front costs since new vehicles are more expensive, and a vehicle significantly drops in value once driven off the dealership lot.
Pre-owned vehicles have already begun to depreciate (lose value), making the purchase price much less than a new vehicle. This immediate savings is great, but repair costs can arrive somewhat quickly since the vehicle is pre-owned. No one likes this kind of uncertainty, so there are back-end items you can use to off-set these higher, potential repair costs. By working with a member of our staff, you’ll be able to get all the tools you need to feel safe and confident with your pre-owned vehicle purchase! (See Section 4 for more details.)


Here at Guardian Credit Union, your financing experience is our #1 priority! We want to make sure you’re comfortable throughout your entire financing journey as the process can very overwhelming.
You can rest assured that we have the rate and term to match your financial needs, and you don’t even need to have your car picked out to get started. You can simply choose to apply online, over the phone, or at any one of our branch locations. If you have specific questions, one of our friendly Branch Loan Representatives is there to help you every step of the way to get you in your new vehicle as soon as possible!

Back-end products are additional financed products that will help cover your vehicle in a variety of ways, and Guardian Credit Union offers them all!
GAP insurance: In the event of a total loss situation, GAP insurance will cover the difference between what you owe and the replacement value of the vehicle. If you owe more on your vehicle than it’s worth, this product is definitely beneficial for protecting your financial health. Plus it comes at a very reasonable cost.
Warranty programs: A warranty program will lower your potential repair costs on pre-owned vehicles for certain types of repairs, and these protections last for years to come! Although these warranty programs come at a higher cost, the benefit can far outweigh the costs of the repair.
Other back-end products: Unemployment protection, credit/life insurance, and disability protection safeguard your loan and credit from unfortunate circumstances.

Be sure to apply at Guardian Credit Union to begin your auto buying journey! You can apply at http://www.guardiancu.org, or call one of our representatives at (414) 546-7450.