What is a certificate?
A certificate is a savings product that earns dividends (interest) on a certain amount of money during a set period of time. They typically earn a higher interest rate (APY) than a regular savings account. That’s because you’re committing to leaving your money in your account for the term of the certificate. They typically range from 3 months to 5 years. You can open one with as little as $500.
Is my money really locked up?
Not really. Your money will never be inaccessible. However, you can’t add to or withdraw from the certificate during the term you choose. You can do so when it matures, but not during. If you need to withdraw money from it before it matures, you may incur early withdrawal penalties. Those can equal up to three month’s worth of interest.
Is it a safe way to invest?
Absolutely! If you’re new to investing or prefer a guaranteed rate of return, certificates are the way to go. Your principal balance (the money you opened the certificate with) will never be at risk. You can never lose it. The interest rate is also fixed throughout the term of the certificate. So, if the market goes down, you’re locked into that higher rate. Your money is also insured up to $250,000 by NCUA (a credit union’s version of FDIC.)
What are you saving for?
Certificates are a great way to earn a higher interest rate on money you don’t plan on using right away.
IDEA: Some people use their tax return to build up a savings account. When you receive your tax return, open a 1-year certificate. When that matures, add your tax return money from that year, and so on. If you typically get thousands back every year, you could stockpile quite a bit of savings over a few short years!
Some things to save for:
- College costs
- Down payment for a car or house
- Emergency savings
If you don’t want to risk investing in the stock market or other, more volatile options, open a certificate!
Offers a higher rate than you can earn with a savings account or money market account
You get a guaranteed rate of return throughout the entire term
You’re not subject to market dips or investing slumps
You’re insured up to $250,000 through NCUA
Helps you save money and curb spending since you can’t withdraw money without losing interest
Your money isn’t liquid, which means you can’t touch it for the term of the certificate without incurring a penalty
May earn less than the stock market or other investment avenues
You have to claim the interest earned on your tax return even though you don’t actually get the money until the certificate matures
APY=Annual Percentage Yield. Programs, rates, terms, and conditions are subject to end or change at anytime without notice. $500 minimum to open. Early withdrawal penalties may apply and reduce earnings.
Savings Accounts 4
|Holiday, Vacation, and U-Name-It Savings||0.10%||0.10%|
|Teen and Kids Savings||0.10%||0.10%|
|Money Market Savings $2,500-$9,999||0.25%||0.25%|
|Money Market Savings $10,000-$24,999||0.30%||0.30%|
|Money Market Savings $25,000-$49,999||0.35%||0.35%|
|Money Market Savings $50,000-$99,999||0.40%||0.40%|
|Money Market Savings $100,000 and above||0.45%||0.45%|
Individual Retirement Account
|IRA Savings Traditional, Roth, and Coverdell ESA||0.10%||0.10%|
|12 Month Certificate||3.78%||3.85%|
|24 Month Certificate||4.50%||4.60%|
|36 Month Certificate||1.44%||1.45%|
|48 Month Certificate||1.54%||1.55%|
|60 Month Certificate||1.59%||1.60%|
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I’m ready to start saving!
If your money is already at the credit union, you can simply complete the certificate application. If your money is at a different bank or credit union, you will complete the certificate application and the ACH Authorization. This allows us to electronically transfer the money from your other bank or credit union to your account here.