Update 9/26/09: It has been reported that the credit union no longer accepts applications by mail.
Crane Federal Credit Union has continued to offer competitive CD rates since I first reported on them in January. They currently have a 25-month certificate special with a 2.78% APY. They also have some competitive long-term certificates including a 3.04% APY 36-month CD and a 3.25% APY 48-month CD. Minimum deposit is $500. These are available as both regular and IRA certificates. The rates are listed at the credit union's rate table as of 7/28/09.
Membership is open to members of an association in which anyone can join. Here's what the credit union states in their Membership Page:
You are also eligible for membership if you belong to an associational group that has sponsored membership for their group. ProVision is an example of an associational group. ProVision provides funds to organizations in the communities we serve, with the purpose of helping to feed and clothe those in need. Anyone can join ProVision with a $5 membership fee. All members of ProVision are eligible for membership with Crane Federal Credit Union.
This credit union page has more details about ProVision. You can also be eligible to join the credit union via select employer groups. Refer to the credit union's SEG list for more details.
Sometimes when a credit union has easy membership, they may still require you to come into a branch. So I checked with the credit union, and I was told that people can open accounts by mail. If you contact them, they can send you an application. Membership requires $5 for the savings account deposit and $5 for the ProVision donation. You can also include instructions to open a certificate at the same time. Once you're a member, you can open certificates online. You'll first need to transfer money into your Crane checking or savings account.
At other credit unions, I've often funded a CD by first doing an ACH transfer into the savings account using a bank like Ally. Then I log into my credit union account, and open the CD using funds from the credit union savings account.
Branches are located in the Indiana cities of Odon, Crane, Washington, Linton, Bedford, Bloomington, Loogootee, Terre Haute and Plainfield.
Crane FCU continues to have strong ratings for soundness: 5 stars (superior) at BauerFinancial and 4 stars (sound) at Bankrate.com. Both ratings are based on 3/31/09 financial data. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 10544).
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