Southeast Financial Federal Credit Union has some competitive certificate rates. These include a 4.50% APY 12-month CD, a 4.60% APY 24-month CD, a 4.75% APY 30/36-month CD and a 4.80% APY 48/60-month CD. The minimum deposit is $500. These are also available in an IRA.
One nice feature of these certificates is a below-average early withdrawal penalty. This is listed under the rate table. For terms of more than 6 months, the penalty is no more than 60 days of interest on the amount withdrawn. The average early withdrawal penalty is 180 days of interest for long term CDs.
According to the credit union's Who-Can-Join page, you can call member services at 800-521-9653 and make a $5 donation to the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee to automatically qualify for Southeast Financial membership. You can also be eligible based on Select Employer Groups and where you live. Please check the Who-Can-Join page for more details. I just called to see if there would be any complications. According to the CSR, you should be able to do the $5 donation even if you live out of state. The application must be mailed along with the a check for the $5 donation and a minimum $5 for the savings account. Also, they need a copy of your driver's license.
The check for a CD can also be included with the membership application. According the CSR, the rate won't lock until they receive the application. However, she said you could include a note specifying the rate at the time that you mailed the application, and they may honor that rate. At the very least, they can send you back the check if the rates fall. She didn't know when the CD rates may change. The date on the rate table is January 1, 2008, so these rates may not last long. I did confirm that the listed rates are still valid.
Branches are located in the Tennessee cities of Athens, Nashville, Brentwood and Chattanooga, and in the Kentucky city of Bowling Green. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 24734). It has $344.0 million in assets and 60,453 members.