Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

SHCU 1-year CD rate now 4.92%!


The Self-Help Credit Union (SHCU) scored well in my first impression on their customer service. A customer service representative (CSR) responded to my email questions in less than a day.

The CSR informed me that the high CD rates are correct and are updated daily. They've already gone up since yesterday. The 12-month CD is now 4.92% APY and the 6-month CD is now 4.63%. There was also a discrepancy in the CD minimum deposit requirements. One page specified $500 and another $1000. The CSR said it's $500. As it appeared, deposits can't be done by ACH transfers. You have to use either a check or wire transfer.

SHCU CDs have two unusual features. The good feature is that you can add to the initial deposit at any point. The bad feature is that they don't allow early withdrawals. This is probably a good reason not to go beyond a 1-year term in addition to the fact that you don't give up much in the interest (4.92% vs. 5.13% APY on 5-year CD).

The CSR also confirmed the fact that a person from any state can join. Becoming a member of the Center for Community Self-Help is all that is required to be included in their field of membership.

Another thing to consider about a bank or credit union is its history on deposit rates. Is the high rate just a teaser, or does the bank consistently maintain high rates. Since I just discovered SHCU, it's difficult to know for sure. But you can get some history from the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive has old copies of SHCU interest rates page dating back to 2001. Unfortunately, it doesn't have any 2005 pages yet. I was also able to find archived interest rate pages from Corus Bank and Netbank. Below is a comparison of 6-month and 12-month CD rates between SHCU and these two banks.

Bank/CU 6-mo APY 12-mo APY

October 2003
SHCU 1.16% 1.47%
Corus Bank 1.05% 1.00%
Netbank 1.70% 2.12%

October 2004
SHCU 2.21% 2.38%
Corus Bank 1.85% 2.11%
Netbank 1.80% 2.40%

November 4, 2005
SHCU 4.63% 4.92%
Corus Bank 4.35% 4.65%
Netbank 4.10% 4.45%

For these years, the CD rates at SHCU have been competitive. In October 2003, Netbank had the highest rates, but SHCU did have better rates than Corus Bank. Last year, SHCU had much higher 6-month rates than both banks and was just under Netbank's 12-month rate. Now SHCU is way ahead of both banks on both terms.

The more I've looked into this credit union, the more I like it. As I've mentioned here and in my previous post, there are some drawbacks, but you can't beat their CD rates.

Comment #1 by credit card debt (anonymous) posted on
credit card debt
Is joining the credit union a wiser move than using a credit card? Can you join of you are already in debt?