Update 3/2/2011: The 1-year CD rate has fallen. If they offer deals in the future, this reader's review may change your mind about trying to join.
Justice Federal Credit Union is offering two very competitive rates on its 1-year CDs and IRA CDs: 2.00% APY for a $500 minimum and 2.10% APY for a $100,000 minimum. These rates are listed in the credit union's deposit rates page as of 2/13/2011.
As a comparison to internet banks on 2/13/2011, the best 1-year CD rate is 1.45% APY at Incredible Bank. For other easy-to-join credit unions, the best 1-year CD rate is 1.75% APY at Connexus Credit Union (requires an active checking account).
In December I had posted on their hot Anniversary CD special. That special didn't last long. However, they are still offering a generous refer-a-friend bonus. When a friend or family member joins and opens a savings account and one other account, you are rewarded with $50 and the new member receives $25. You can refer up to 3 people. Please refer to their membership drive page for the full details.
JFCU membership eligibility is based on employment in Select Employer Groups and membership in certain law enforcement organizations. A list of eligible law enforcement associations is available at this section of the membership page. A couple of these associations allow anyone to be a member for a fee. Once you are eligible, the instructions for joining provide an application that can be downloaded. Membership requires a minimum balance of $5 in the share savings account.
In 2007 JFCU had a very popular CD deal with a 6.25% 24-month CD. Many readers went through the membership process which wasn't easy. To review the issues, please refer to this post and the comments. Below is a list of the important membership issues from that post:
- Hard credit pull by Equifax is done
- National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) and National Native American Law Enforcement Association (NNALEA) are part of JFCU's FOM
- NSA membership costs $35, and you can join online.
- NNALEA membership costs $15. In 2007 readers reported problems with the NNALEA online application.
- Notarized copy of driver's license was required
- Proof of association membership was required. For the NSA, you must include the membership number.
In my December post, the reader pearlbrown provided some additional membership details:
If you join the CU through one of the two associations named, here are more details of the process as discussed with a CSR a few moments ago.
1. Join the NSA or NNLEA association. Be sure to get your association membership number.
2. Call JCU and open a savings account with them, paying their joining fee. However, the account is not considered opened until (a) JCU receives in the mail the documents evidencing your association membership and (b) their management has reviewed the application. This could take a couple of days.
3. You will need to also send in a notarized copy of your ID (ex.: driver's license). Funds can be wire transferred in.
Branches are located in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Many of their branches have restricted or limited access. They are members in the Shared Service Center which allows you to perform many banking transactions at credit unions around the country.
JFCU has an overall health score at DepositAccounts.com of 4 out of 5 with a Texas Ratio of 13.62% (excellent) based on September 2010 data. Please refer to our financial overview of Justice Federal Credit Union for more details. The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 151).
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