Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Countrywide's 12-Month Internet CD Yield Back at 5.65%

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Countrywide Bank has brought back the 5.65% APY for its 12-month internet CDs. In late September Countrywide had reduced this rate to 5.50% APY. Unfortunately, the 5.75% APY didn't return for those in California. The California rate table still shows 5.60% APY for the 12-month CD. However, the 6-month and 9-month CD rates continue to be about 10 basis points above the internet CD rates. For financial centers outside California, the 12-month CD rate remains at 5.50% APY.

The online application allows for joint accounts, and beneficiaries can be added. The disclosure pdf is avaialable at this CD overview page. The early withdrawal penalty is 91 days of interest for terms under 12 months and 180 days of interest for terms from 12 to under 84 months. The penalty can also eat into your principal is if you make a withdrawal before these number of days. The grace period at maturity when you can make penalty-free withdrawals is 10 calendar days. More CD info is also available at this FAQ page.

Please note, many readers have reported that Countrywide does a hard credit inquiry (that can ding your credit score) whenever you open an account, even if you already have other accounts with Countrywide. I thought I read that Countrywide may have revised their policy. Please leave a comment if you have recent experience on this.

Update: It appears Countrywide has changed their policy. Several readers have confirmed that they no longer do a hard pull for opening CDs or the savingslink account.

A reader in a previous post commented about a nice Countrywide CD feature:
Countrywide allows additions to their CD's during the first thirty days, thus if you put in the $10,000 needed to get their high rate, you have a month to add to the CD and get the same rate for the rest of the term.

This is in their disclosure booklet, and the CSR confirmed it.

This is indeed listed on page 18 of the account disclosure (pdf):
You may not make additions to principal outside of the Grace Period, with two exceptions 1) during the first 30 days after new account opening or 2) during the first 30 days after renewal of the Certificate of Deposit. All such permitted additions to principal shall be at the same rate disclosed at account opening for the term of the account or the same rate for the renewal term of the account unless the terms and conditions of the Certificate of Deposit state otherwise.

With the issues Countrywide has been having in its mortgage business (see post), it seems prudent to stay below the FDIC insurance limits. Note, there are many ways to extend your FDIC coverage over $100K. However, you have to be careful, especially if you use POD's. Please see this post for more info.

For more info on Countrywide's savingslink account and CDs, please see this post. To review Countrywide Bank's FDIC information, please see their FDIC page.

Thanks to ShraZZy who mentioned this rate update in the finding deals post.

  Tags: CD rates, IRA rates

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Comments
18 Comments.
Comment #1 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
I got a hard when I did a CD with them about a year an half ago, Then got another when I opened the Savingslink a couple months after. I did another CD a couple weeks ago and was assured by CSR that they no longer pull. There was no pull. Also I opened a Savingslink for my Mother a couple months ago and there was no pull on her

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I called and recently opened a CD this last Friday and both times was advised they no longer do a hard pull.

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Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened a SavingsLink account on 9/30/07 and they did not do a hard pull.

1
Comment #4 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks everyone for the hard pull info. I've updated the post. Hope more banks follow CW on this.

I also see CW made an improvement recently to savingslink in which you can now link up to 5 external accounts. However, it appears you still can't do an ACH transfer to fund a CD. Is that correct?

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Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I spoke to a CSR this afternoon. You cannot fund a CD with an ACH transfer. You can mail in a check, wire the money from another bank or drop off a check at one of their banking centers.

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Comment #6 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Recently opened account with Countrywide. SavingsLink account was open in 3 days. Everything went very smoothly. This was after I was refused an account because of more than 3 inquiries from Chex System. at Lehman Bros. I guess the credit check wasn't too tough.

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Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
'You can mail in a check'

No ACH is bush league. If you send a check first class mail you have no way to prove when it is received and they could apply a lower rate even if it was actually received within the rate lock period.

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Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I have had a bad experience with Countrywide online CD application process. I applied for three 12-mo CD's on almost consecutive days and they dropped my APY to a lower rate (5.50%) on my last two CD's. I returned all documentation and checks to them the next morning after receiving each packet. The documention within the packets read 5.65% APY for all three CD's. I have written them a letter via their secure email to review the account histories and requested that they honor the "as applied" rates. They have refused to change the rates citing that the application was not processed within the specified 10 calender days. Counting calander days, they processed the last CD 14 calender days after I applied online. Funny thing, the one CD they did honor the higher rate was processed 12 days after applying. Now, I read that they increased their rates back to 5.65%. What can I do? I feel I have been ripped off here! Any suggestions? Can the Federal Reserve Bank review this activity and force Countrywide to honor the original APY? If they can, I need help contacting the right channels. Thanks in advance.

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Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
They are lagging in their newspaper ads re rates. Today's Phila Inquirer had a large ad for them for 5.5 rate, yet it does appear at their site it is now 5.65

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Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
The California rate table now shows 5.70% for a 12-month CD.

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Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Best thing to do is go somewhere else. You only think you are getting a great rate with Cuntrywide. The same thing happened to me. I waited for their envelope to arrive and sent my check back with it, because they didn't take ACH deposits at the time. You won't get anywhere whining to them about the lower rate they stuck you with. They are cold as stone when it comes to their rules.

And when my CD matured, it took 17 days to be mailed back to me, so either way you lose interest $$ with Cuntrywide.

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Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Opened a 12month cd last thur at 5.50. Noticed yesterday rate went up to 5.65. Had to fight with three different people at there end before they honored the 5.65.

Page 17 of there CD handbook requires them to honor higher rates for 10days.

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Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
See link:

http://www.forbes.com/markets/2007/10/11/countrywide-mortgage-delinquencies-markets-equity-cx_ra_1011markets36.html


'nuf said.

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Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
With Countrywide, I have found the best way to access funds upon CD maturity is to direct proceeds to be transferred to preestablished money market account within bank. Once proceeds are in money market account, you can write a check against them. Even still, it seems the earliest execution I've seen is the next day, following visit to a Countrywide location where I signed paperwork. Account reps at these locations can only fax paperwork to central facility for processing, which can sometimes extend beyond a day. (Conversely, when you're depositing a check, say, for a new CD, reps can only send paperwork by overnight mail, accompanied by your check.) With Countrywide, we are dealing with processes that are from a past millennium.

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Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I just opened savings link account with Countrywide started process on
10/8 and account was funded by 10/10 used FNBO as external link all went well.
wanted to open a CD as well but could not fund from external account.
Bank rep informed me today that by 10/16 CD could be funded by external accounts.

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Comment #16 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
"And when my CD matured, it took 17 days to be mailed back to me, so either way you lose interest $$ with Cuntrywide."

17 days? Then obviously you don't know what you are doing. Have done a few with Cwide, First one i paid about $12 to have check sent overnight to me, Had check the next morning after it matured. My last one was even easier, I had the Savingslink account and they transfered the matured CD into it and in one day it was in my local linked account. Sounds more like you are disgruntled countrywide mortgage holder

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Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thanks for the Forbes link. Has very similar undertones with the beginnings of the Enron fiasco.

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Comment #18 by iCrazy (anonymous) posted on
iCrazy
Some comments above mentioned that "you cannot fund a CD with an ACH transfer". Well, that is not true. I just opened both 6-month and 12-month CD accounts with Countrywide and successfully funded my accounts using ACH pushes from other banks. You can just call them after you have opened the account to get your CD account number (Routing Number: 056009110), and then link that account from outside to do ACH push (when doing the ACH push, I select the account type to be "savings", since there is no "CD" type in the list, and it worked fine).

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