Life Credit Union Offers Competitive 18-Month CD Nationwide


Deal Summary: 18-month Share Certificate, 5.35% APY, $1k minimum deposit.

Availability: Easy membership requirement through American Consumer Council.

Tennessee-based Life Credit Union (Life CU) is currently offering an 18-month Share Certificate earning 5.35% APY. The minimum opening deposit is $1k, with no stated balance cap.

5.35%$500-Life Credit Union18 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional, Roth)
4.85%$1k-Life Credit Union18 Month Share Certificate
Rates as of April 14, 2024.

The 18-month Share Certificate is also available as an IRA Certificate (Traditional, Roth), earning the same APY but with a lower minimum deposit of $500.

Early Withdrawal Penalty

As stated in the Truth-in-Savings disclosure, the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:

The early withdrawal penalty is equal to 90 days dividends on the amount withdrawn if the certificate term is 12 months or less, and 180 days dividends on the amount withdrawn if the certificate term is greater than 12 months.

The penalty is calculated on the amount of early withdrawal. If earned dividends are insufficient to satisfy the penalty, the penalty will be deducted from the principal balance.

According to CSR, partial withdrawals are allowed, but the 18-month Share Certificate principal will be reduced if a withdrawal is made within 180 days of account opening.


Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Life Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) expanded considerably about two years ago, following the merger with Fortera Credit Union.

Easy Membership Requirement: Virtually all U.S. citizens and resident aliens (18 years or older) who have a valid Social Security number or Tax ID number are eligible to join Life CU through membership in the American Consumer Council. (The ACC membership fee will be covered by Life CU.)

Community: Those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Davidson County, Tennessee are also eligible to join.

Employment: Employees of Elite Sports Medicine, Faith and Family Medical, or Pulmonary Associates who work in, are paid or supervised from Nashville, Tennessee qualify for membership.

Family Relationship: Immediate family of a current Life Credit Union member are welcome to apply.

Account Opening

Joining Life Credit Union and/or opening an 18-month Share Certificate can be done online or at the Nashville, Tennessee branch located on Hayes Street near Vanderbilt University.

Share Savings: Our easy-to-use ticket to becoming a member. Whatever you’re saving for, all you need is $10 to open a share savings account and become a member of Life Credit Union.

Funding and Other Details

The following information is from the Life CU website and a conversation with CSR.

  • Funding – ACH, wire (no fee), check, internal transfer, shared branch transfer. Funds need be on deposit at Life CU before a Certificate is opened.
  • Ownership – Individual or joint.
  • CO-OP Shared Branch Participant – Yes.
  • Dividends – Compounded/credited quarterly and cannot be withdrawn penalty free.
  • Maturing Funds – Wire ($20 fee), cashier’s check to address on file, or internal transfer to a Life CU Share Savings account.
  • Beneficiaries – Unlimited with equal shares, Social Security numbers not required.
  • Grace Period – 7 calendar days before automatic renewal.
  • Credit Check – ChexSystems.

Credit Union Overview

As a subsidiary of Fortera Credit Union, Life Credit Union shares Fortera’s financial history and operates under Fortera’s NCUA Charter.

Life Credit Union/Fortera Credit Union has an overall health grade of "A" at, with a Texas Ratio of 4.73% (excellent) based on September 30, 2023 data. In the past year, Life CU/Fortera has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $9.54 million, an above average annual growth rate of 1.43%. Please refer to our financial overview of Life Credit Union/Fortera Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 9759) for more details.

Nearly two years ago, Life Credit Union merged with Fortera Credit Union. As a subsidiary of Fortera, Life CU operates as “Life Credit Union, Powered by Fortera.”

Fortera Credit Union was established in 1954 as Fort Campbell Federal Credit Union, which served the military members stationed at the base. (Fort Campbell is a U.S. Army installation, which straddles the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Fort Campbell is home to the 101st Airborne Division and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.) In 2005, a community-based charter was adopted, with the new FOM including five counties in Kentucky and Tennessee. The Fortera re-brand occurred in 2016 as the FOM continued to expand. Currently the ninth largest credit union headquartered in Tennessee, Fortera has more than 81,000 members and assets in excess of $873 million.

How the 18-Month Share Certificate Compares

When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by that are available nationally, have a fixed rate, and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, one credit union has a higher rate than currently offered on the Life Credit Union 18-Month Share Certificate. The following table compares the 18-Month Share Certificate to the four highest-rate similar length-of-term CDs from banks/credit unions with nationwide market areas.

The above information and rates are accurate as of 3/1/2024.

To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.

Related Pages: Nashville CD rates, 1-year CD rates, IRA CD rates, nationwide deals

  |     |   Comment #1
Would be a wonderful deal if not for ChexSystems.
  |     |   Comment #2
Just a thought out of nowhere, but do you have a parent or child or family member you trust enough that would be willing to open an account at an FI you want to join... they could always submit you later to become a joint owner (would they even bother with chex just to add a joint owner, let alone deny someone, if the primary is fine?) Heck, I wonder... if the primary owner then asked to take their name off, if it would be allowed to then go to you. Yes, a lot of work, and kind of a crazy idea, but just wondering out loud. I've only been turned down once (and it was for the better in the end, got a better deal elsewhere), don't know if it was actually because of chex or not, as didn't bother to ask, and had no problem opening at multiple places afterwards, but I know what it felt like initially to be turned down when one's credit couldn't be better.
  |     |   Comment #3
Thanks, racecar. Appreciate it. But I really doubt those options would work for me.

Also at last got the final result from my CU AOR. I went one for three. Pelican took me. ChexSystems flattened me on the other two.

Am grateful to Ken for telling us about ChexSystems when he is able. It saves useless and hopeless applications for many.  When Ken indicates ChexSystems is in play, I stay away.
  |     |   Comment #4
I added my husband as a joint once I became a member of Allin CU. That showed up as an inquiry on his ChexSystems report.

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