Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Competitive Mid-Term and Long-Term CD Rates at Northwest FCU - Easy Membership

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Northwest Federal Credit Union
Northwest Federal Credit Union is offering several competitive rates on its mid-term and long-term CDs. For a $25,000 minimum deposit, the new CD rates range from 2.29% APY for 24 months to 3.64% APY for 5 years as of 9/02/09. Higher rates (up 0.25%) are available to Premier Checking members and Heritage Club members. Below is a summary of the competitive rates as listed in the credit union's rate sheet (pdf) as of 9/02/2009.

Regular and IRA Certificate Rates as of 9/02/2009:

TERM APY APY APY
$2.5K MIN $25K MIN $100K MIN
2 years 2.24% 2.29% 2.39%
3 years 2.89% 2.92% 3.02%
4 years 2.97% 3.02% 3.13%
5 years 3.59% 3.64% 3.74%

Rates are typically changed on Tuesdays.

Add-On Certificate

They also continue to offer two Add-On certificates. The 1-year Add-On CD rate is a little low at 1.59% APY as of 9/02/09. However, the 2-year rate is more competitive with a 2.29% APY. Minimum deposit is $500. According to the Add-on Certificate page, you have the "ability to add on deposits over the term with no minimum amounts or limits to the number of deposits."

Those who opened these Add-On CDs in February are probably happy about their decision. At that time, the 2-year Add-On CD rate was 3.75% APY and the 1-year rate was 3.25% APY.

Certificate Details

Some important features of the certificates as described in the credit union's Share Certificates page and in the Certificates application form (pdf) include:
  • Early withdrawal penalty for terms over 6 months is 180 days of dividends on the amount withdrawn (or all dividends if closed within 6 months of opening)
  • Early withdrawal penalty may be waived for those with IRA certificates who are 59½ and over
  • 10 calendar-day grace period at maturity
  • You can specify maturity instructions in the application (transfer to your NWFCU liquid account, mail check or rollover to new certificate)
  • You can specify distribution of dividends (keep in certificate, deposit to your NWFCU liquid account or mail check)
  • You can specify dividend posting frequency
Readers in my February post described ways they were able to fund the CDs. One used the online application:
While applying online, you should have the option of opening a CD and funding it at the same time by ACH. I found that option very quick and easy.

Another reader used a wire transfer:
Sent my share deposit by wire (NWFCU does not charge for incoming, and WAMU has free outgoing, so it was free) About 3 hours later I saw funds in my share account and called NWFCU, who opened the CD over the phone for me.

Also, you can utilize the shared branches to make deposits into your NWFCU share savings account. Once it's in the savings account, you should be able to open the CD by phone. Here's what one reader described:
great customer service at the call center, plus they have "share credit unions" all around the country (easy to fund the cd, locally).

Membership

In addition to select employer groups, credit union membership is open to members of the American Consumer Council (ACC). According to the credit union's Who We Serve page:
If you find you are not eligible to join NWFCU via the relationships defined above, we can approve your membership with automatic enrollment in the American Consumer Council, an organization dedicated to consumer education, awareness, and economic growth. This nonprofit advocacy group was established in 1987 to ensure and protect consumers. There is no cost for you to join, nor additional paperwork. Simply select "I work for a member company or an organization" then choose "ACC" from the list of eligibility options on our membership form.

Membership requires a minimum deposit of $5 into your share savings account.

There's an online application via Andera.com that allows you to join and open accounts online. At the start of the application, you can select how you qualify for membership as instructed above.

Branches

NWFCU's branches are located in the Virginia cities of Manassas, Chantilly, Herndon and Vienna. You can also use shared branches for making deposits, withdrawals and for other services.

Financial/NCUA Info

The credit union's rating for safety and soundness has gone down a bit at Bankrate.com. It's now 3 stars (performing) based on 3/31/09 data. It had been 4 stars (sound) when it was based on 9/30/09 data. Its rating at BauerFinancial remains 5 stars (superior) based on 3/31/09 data.

NWFCU is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 5500). It's a large credit union with $1.7 billion in assets and 99,300 members.

Thanks to the reader who commented on NWFCU CDs in the blog hub post.

Other Competitive Certificate of Deposit Rates
  Tags: Virginia, CD rates, Northwest Federal Credit Union, IRA rates

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Comments
3 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I am a very happy NWFCU member (and get happier every time I add to my 3.75% add-on CD). Seriously, I think their call center staff is very good for an institution its size, and knowledgable about stuff of interest to Bank Deals readers, e.g., establishing POD accounts.

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Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I work for NWFCU and am glad to hear so many positive comments about my co-worker's service delivery. In addition to our savings rates, check out our credit cards. Our Visa is currently at 7% APR (variable) and has NO hidden fees, NO balance transfer fees and NO cash advance fees. Compare that to banks jacking up rates at whim before federal regulations stop them, and you'll find a credit card you can count on for life!

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I recently opened up a 5 yr. CD with no penalty withdrawal after 59 1/2.  It was a great rate and nice CSR at northwest to deal with.

1