At the beginning of the month, Founders Federal Credit Union (FFCU) raised the rates on its IRA Share Certificates by 25 bps, while the Share Certificate rates were lowered by 10 bps at the same time. The IRA Share Certificates (Traditional, CESA, Roth) have tiered APYs, based on deposit levels of $500, $50k (10+ bps), and $100k (15+ bps).
While the current IRA Share Certificate rates pale when compared to the APYs offered by FFCU a year ago, they are quite competitive in today’s low rate environment.
As stated in the Disclosure Page (attached to the online application) the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:
Unless stated otherwise, the amount of the early withdrawal penalty is based on
the term of your account. For terms of 24 months or greater, 360 days’ dividends.
84-Month Loyalty IRA Share Certificate
The Loyalty IRA Share Certificate has the most competitive rate, but there are requirements that must be met to qualify for the 2.02% APY. According to the fine print on the Dividend Rates page,
To qualify, you must have a checking account opened at least six (6) months with a minimum of ten (10) member-initiated transactions within the past sixty (60) days and must already have one of the following FFCU products: a credit card, loan, certificate or IRA.
If you don’t qualify, the 84-month IRA Share Certificate is a good alternative, because it comes with a “one-time dividend rate upgrade” that includes converting the IRA Share Certificate into an IRA Loyalty Share Certificate.
When qualifications are met, you may use the one-time upgrade request to convert your 84-month certificate product into an 84-month Loyalty certificate product, which will follow the same upgrade terms listed above.
Headquartered in Lancaster, South Carolina, Founders Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) offers a variety of ways to join.
Residency: Individuals who live, work, worship, attend school, or volunteer in the South Carolina counties of Chester, Chesterfield, Laurens, or Union, or the South Carolina towns of Duncan or Wellford are eligible for membership.
The first screen of Founders FCU’s online application states that individuals who live, work, worship, attend school, or volunteer in any of 65 Census Tracts (Cherokee, 5; Lancaster, 3; Richland County, 27; Spartanburg, 18; Yorktown, 12) also qualify for membership.
Employment: Employees, retirees, and volunteers of more than 1,000 businesses in South Carolina and North Carolina are eligible to join.
Associations/Organizations: Individuals who are members, or attend, worship, or volunteer at over 180 listed associations/organizations are eligible to join. The groups listed include many churches, schools (including Clemson University and the University of South Carolina), and home owners associations, among others.
Other: Immediate family members (spouse, sibling, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild, including step- and adoptive relationships) and household members of current FFCU members are welcome to apply.
Joining FFCU can be done online (there is a “Become a Member” button on every page of FFCU’s website) or at any of 31 South Carolina branches located in Cheraw, Chester (3), Chesterfield, Clemson, Clinton (2), Columbia (3), Duncan, Fort Mill (2), Gaffney, Indian Land, Kershaw, Lancaster (4), Laurens, Pageland, Rock Hill (4), Spartanburg (3), and Union. FFCU also has a single North Carolina branch, located on S. Tyron Street in Charlotte.
A Founders Savings Account, with as little as $5, is your primary account.
While Share Certificates can be opened online, an IRA Share Certificate must be opened in-person at any of the above-mentioned branch locations.
FFUC does not participate in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, but as stated on FFCU’s Locations page,
As part of the CO-OP ATM Network, all Founders members have
access to use CO-OP Network ATMs without any additional fees.
Credit Union Overview
Founders Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.48% (excellent) based on September 30, 2020 data. In the past year, Founders FCU has increased its non-brokered total deposits by $402.14 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 19.27%. Please refer to our financial overview of Founders Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 24063) for more details.
Founders Federal Credit Union is currently the largest credit union in South Carolina, with more than 225,000 members and assets in excess of $3 billion. In 1950, Colonel Elliott White Springs established the Springs Employee Credit Union for the benefit of the employees of Springs Textile Mill. (Founded in 1888, Springs Cotton Mill was once South Carolina’s largest industrial employer.) After years of organic growth and several mergers, the Founders Federal Credit Union rebrand occurred in 1993. In the past 20 years, Founders FCU has returned more than $51 million in dividends to its members.
How the IRA Share Certificates Compare
When compared to the similar length-of-term IRA CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM, all of Founders Federal Credit Union's long-term IRA Share Certificate APYs currently rank first or second, regardless of minimum deposit requirements.
The above rates are accurate as of 1/28/2021.
To look for the best IRA Certificate rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our IRA Certificate Rates Table page.