Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Very High CD Rates (4.88%/1yr) - Open to All

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I found a credit union that's open to all and has excellent CD rates. It's the Self-Help Credit Union (SHCU) headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. The short term CD rates are about 0.25% higher than the rates of the best national CDs. Even the longer term CD rates are excellent. Here's the list of the current rates:

Term APY%
3-month 4.38
6-month 4.61
12-month 4.88
24-month 4.99
36-month 5.04
48-month 5.09
60-month 5.14

The minimum deposit requirements are only $500. There's also a 30-month CD paying 5.01% APY but has a minimum deposit requirement of $2,500. These CDs also have the nice feature that allows additional deposits before maturity.

Most credit unions usually have restrictive fields of membership, but SHCU seems to be open to all who join its non-profit affiliate organization with a one-time membership fee of $25.

SHCU also has a decent money market account which pays 3.40% APY for balances between $500 and $500K. You can write 3 free checks a month with this account.

You might want to open a money market account first and then fund the CDs by transfering money from the money market account. When the CDs mature, you should be able to have the money deposited to the money market account where you can write checks to withdraw the money.

Their online banking features don't seem the best. It looks like you'll have to send in the application and deposit check by the mail.

Since I have never heard of this credit union before, I was a little skeptical. I don't want someone "self helping" themselves to my money. I did a little research, and it appears legit. It's NCUA insured with assets of over $184M and has over 16K members. Also, it has a 4-star safe and sound rating from Bankrate.com.

The CD rates are so high that I find them hard to believe. I've come across some small bank and credit union webpages with rates that haven't been updated since 2000. But this SHCU page seems like it's correct. The interest rates page has a date of 11/3/2005 although it could be dynamically generated automatically. I've sent a message through their contact page to confirm these rates. I'll let you know once I've received a response.

One additional perk with SHCU is that its mission is to create ownership and economic opportunities for minorities, women, rural residents, and low-wealth families. It's listed at GreenMoney Journal under community investing. It would almost make me feel guilty in getting such high returns. Seems like SHCU could do well just by offering CDs 1% less than what it offers now.

[edit: CD min. deposit correction: 11/04/05]


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