Community Choice CU (Easy Membership) Offers Two CD Specials


UPDATE 4/1/16: 57-month Share Certificate Special is no longer available.

UPDATE 3/16/16: In the Availability section below, I have detailed the rather frustrating experience of a DA reader when opening an account with Community Choice Credit Union.

Availability: Easy membership

Michigan-based Community Choice Credit Union (CCCU) has added two new products: an 11-month Share Certificate Special (1.27% APY) and a 57-month Share Certificate Special (2.50% APY).

The minimum opening deposit is $500 of new money, with no maximum balance cap.

As stated on CCCU’s Share Rates page, the Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP) for the 57-month Share Certificate Special reads as follows:

Terms 18 months or greater subject to a 180 day dividend penalty.

According to an extremely helpful CSR, the EWP for the 11-month Share Certificate Special is a 90 day dividend penalty.


UPDATE - We all love to hear the words, "Easy Membership Requirements." What we don’t want to hear is "Easy Membership Requirements, But It’s Complicated."

One of DA’s long-time readers contacted me after an extremely frustrating experience opening one of CCCU’s CD Specials. It seemed that she was stymied at every step of the process, because CCCU didn’t seemed prepared to easily handle out-of-state applications.

While opening the membership itself went smoothly, everything else was a struggle. For example,

  • There is no way to open a CD online for more than $4,955, and the online application does not have an check mail-in option.
  • A deposit had to be made into the Share Account via the Co-Op Network, and then a CCCU Rep opened the CD over the phone, after the Share Account deposit had cleared.
  • She was charged a $4 fee to use the Co-Op Network branch to make the deposit inside the branch.
  • She was initially told that "once the share account is opened, the CD owner must make at least one transaction every 6 months to avoid being charged a $5 inactivity fee." After much back and forth, CCCU’s Operations Department "figured out a way" to not require the activity on the Share Account.

To paraphrase what the DA reader stated in an email to me, everything at CCCU seems to be set up on the assumption that a member can easily walk into an office for any and every transaction.

Bottom line, Easy Membership does not always equate with Easy Everything.

Headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, Community Choice Credit Union offers membership through a variety of ways:

Easy membership: Members of the Detroit Historical Society are automatically eligible for CCCU membership.

Residency: Individuals who live, work, or worship in the Michigan counties of Allegan, Genesee, Kent, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Ottawa, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne are eligible for membership.

Employment: Employees of Kelly Services, Inc. and select divisions of General Motors qualify for membership.

Relationship: Immediate family members of any of the above also qualify for membership.

Complete eligibility details can be found on CCCU’s About Us page.

Joining CCCU and/or opening a CD can be done either online, or in person at any of the 14 suburban Detroit branches located in Dearborn Heights, Eastpointe, Farmington Hills, Flat Rock, Holland, Livonia (2), Milford, New Hudson, Redford, Royal Oak, Troy (new as of last month), Warren, and Wyandotte. As part of a recent merger with NuPath Community Credit Union, CCCU now has a branch location in Holland (western Michigan).

CCCU is also part of the CO-OP Shared Branch network that provides Credit Union members with access to more than 5,000 shared branches and nearly 30,000 ATMs.

Credit Union Overview

Community Choice Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 64880) has an overall health grade of "A" at, with a Texas ratio of 5.41% (excellent), based on December 31, 2015 data. In the past year, Community Choice Credit Union increased its total deposit by $160.78 Million, an excellent annual growth rate of 34.78%. Please refer to our financial overview of Community Choice Credit Union for more details.

The journey of Community Choice Credit Union began in the most humble of circumstances:

A few neighbors put five dollars in a fund from which anyone could borrow in a time of need.

Established in 1935 as the Redford Township Credit Union, the first "branch location" was the home of Arthur and May Jenkins, the founders of the Credit Union. The name was changed to Community Choice Credit Union in 1999, following a charter expansion into neighboring communities. The charter was expanded once again in 2002, increasing CCCU’s original footprint of 58 square feet to 592 square miles. Following mergers with four credit unions, CCCU has become the 12th largest credit union in Michigan, with nearly 74,000 members and assets in excess of $736 Million.

How the CDs Compare

When compared to the 135 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that require a similar minimum deposit and are available nationally, Community Choice Credit Union's 11-month Share Certificate Special currently ranks in the top five. The following is a sampling of those CDs.

When compared to the 113 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that require a similar minimum deposit and are available nationally, Community Choice Credit Union's 57-month Share Certificate Special currently ranks first.

The above rates are accurate as of 3/3/2016.

To look for the best nationwide CD rates and the best CD rates in your state, please refer to our CD rates table or our new Rates Map page.

Happy Member
  |     |   Comment #1
I love this credit union!
  |     |   Comment #2
I appreciate that the reader felt it was a lot of trouble opening  the CD. But I don't feel  that the listed issues are a problem or even necessary. 

I don't have any issue with having to  do it by phone rahter  than a limited onnline application, and I gather that application limitation is for local people too.

Also, that $4 fee for using the CoOp  branch, I believe you are saying that was charged  by the particular CU she used to make the shared branch deposit. Well, I've done a number of such deposits,  and have never come across a fee for that (but the CU  system does allow CUs to require a check for any withdrawal over $500, and to charge $5 for that check, and I have not yet found one that  does not charge that  $5); I'm sure she could have used a different  CU and not  have to deal with the fee, but she probably is new to  the shared branch system and didn't know  that.

I also suspect  it was lack of experience too about the wait on the deposited check to clear. They do not have to wait  for it to clear, they can simply transfer the hold on the funds to the CD. I several times over the years have come across banks telling me they have to wait for the hold, and I simply tell them no, you can just transfer it to the CD, and then they say, Oh, yes, I suppose  we can, OK let's do that. 
John Sears
  |     |   Comment #3
I was on the phone with them a few days ago about opening a $240K 5 year CD.  I like to structure them in $10K units to get to them in case I need the $$.  I got the impression that to transfer this money in, it would run me $10 per transfer, or $240.  They did not have the capability to send me interest each month by transfer; I realized after I ended the conversation that I should get clarification that, since they would be writing a check and mailing it, that would mean 240 checks.  Would that be a $240 fee each month?  When you look at some of the "odd" (as in, crackpot) qualifications of how you can join these CUs (belong to the Historical Antique Car Society or belong to a society for $5 where you have used a consumer product in the last year) you have to ask yourself:  do I wish to give this much money to this outfit?  I'm leaning more and more to a lower interest with a big, reputable bank.  Don't care either what the rate is at a bank called Incredible. 
  |     |   Comment #4
no way would i sit and make 24 $10000 cds for you
  |     |   Comment #7
Trust me, if someone's bringing $240K to the table, a financial institution will do this for you.  They'd rather do that than having to deal with an irate customer because of having to apply an EWP on a large CD because someone needed only 10K.   They'd actually be happy that the customer had a clue of the downside of dumping large amounts of money into a single CD. 


4 people gave thumbs-up for this childish comment? 
John Sears
  |     |   Comment #10
I came up with this from Allan Roth of Wealth Logic who wrote a piece about Ally Bank's 2 mo. penalty 5 years ago.  He felt it advantageous to invest $100K as 10 units.  I went along with it and couldn't be happier.
  |     |   Comment #5
I recently joined to take advantage of the 57 month share certificate.  I live out of state so joined the Detroit Historical Society to qualify.  Then opened the account on line.  It is true about the funding limit of $5,000 when opened on-line. Eventually what I did was to open just the share account on-line for $5.00.  Then after it was open I ACH'd the funds from another bank. Once it was in the share account, I called and opened the 57 month certificate on the phone.    It took a few calls though, the first two service reps I spoke with seemed a little disinterested but then the third person was totally on it and we had the process complete in a few minutes. 
  |     |   Comment #6
Does anyone know whether Community Choice does a "hard" credit pull when a new account is opened?  I have credit freezes at all the agencies and have run into issues trying to open accounts at some institutions with a credit freeze on.
  |     |   Comment #11
i had the same smooth and painless experience.  everyone i spoke and corresponded with was professional, courteous and organized.  it was one of the best online banking experience i had.
  |     |   Comment #8
It looks like it costs $45 bucks to join the Detroit Historical Society at the required "collector" level?    I doubt if it's worth the net gain of around $80 bucks over five years to open an account here.   
John Sears
  |     |   Comment #9
The woman I spoke with at the CU implied that any level at all was acceptable, but I think you raise a point that a "researcher" might not count.  It's worth another call, thanks for bringing this up.
  |     |   Comment #12
Bankaholic agrees:
Members of the Detroit Historical Society are also eligible to join, but at $45 for the most basic membership, it’s only a good option for savers wanting to support the society on its own merits.
5.80% 46-Month CD at a Michigan CU (Research).
[Update 6/9/07: Special CD is no longer listed.]

Research FCU is offering several special certificates. The most competitive one is a 5.80% APY 46-month CD. The minimum deposit is $5k, and the maximum is $50k. This is available for both a regular and IRA certificate.

Field of membership is primarily based on select employer groups. See site for details. Branches are located in Warren, Milford and Detroit, Michigan.

The credit union is federally insured by the NCUA (Charter # 1674). It has $225.2 million in assets and 21,511 members.

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5.25% 11-Month CD at a Michigan CU
Community Choice Credit Union has a special 5.25% APY 11-month CD. The minimum deposit requirement is $500. A checking account is required for this rate. The required checking account can be a Premium Choice or Direct Choice Checking account. The Premium Choice requires direct deposit but has no monthly fees. The Premium Choice requires a $2.5K minimum balance.

A 4.50% APY 4-month certificate of deposit special is also available with the same minimum and requirement as the 11-month CD.

The field of membership includes those who live, work or attend school in...

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7% 70-Month / 5.75% 47-Month CD at a Michigan CU.
The Research Federal Credit Union is having a 70th Anniversary Certificate Special with CD yields higher than I've seen in a long time. The highest is a 7.00% APY 70-month CD with a $10K minimum deposit requirement. The next highest is a 5.75% APY 47-month CD with a $5K minimum. These CDs are also available in IRA accounts. Below is a list of all the CDs:

Term Rate Yield Minimum Deposit
7 month 4.36% 4.46% $...

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