Self-Help Credit Union

Overview / Commentary
301 W Main St
Durham, NC 27701

With an extremely small amount of capital (raised through a bake sale!), Self-Help Credit Union got its start in the early 1980s to help North Carolina workers get financing. Today, Self-Help Credit Union is a part of the Self-Help family of nonprofit organizations – which includes two credit unions (Self-Help Credit Union and Self-Help Federal Credit Union), a loan fund (Self-Help Ventures Fund), and a research and policy organization (Center for Responsible Lending). Self-Help Credit Union focuses on communities throughout North Carolina.

In addition to consumer loans and financial services, Self-Help Credit Union offers various deposit banking products. These include checking accounts, saving accounts, money market accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Certificates of Deposit (CDs), and IRA CDs.

The credit union offers “premium” checking accounts, which yield better interest rates in return for a larger initial deposit and minimum average daily balance. In addition to basic savings accounts and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), it also provides savings accounts for children and for special purposes (such as holiday expenses). Self-Help’s checking and savings accounts all offer convenient online and mobile banking, as well as nationwide ATM access.

Self-Help’s money market accounts earn dividends in two tiers, depending upon the balance of the account. The credit union’s CD terms range from 3 months to 60 months. As for IRA products, Self-Help provides both Traditional and Roth IRAs. It also offers the option to open a CD and/or savings account within the IRA. The terms for IRA CDs range from 12 to 60 months.

On the corporate side, Self-Help Credit Union also offers business savings accounts, business money market accounts, and business CDs. Its business savings accounts have very low required initial deposits to open, and they can easily be linked to other accounts. Self-Help’s business money market accounts offer two dividend tiers depending upon account balance, just like the personal money market options. Finally, Self-Help’s business CDs also range in terms from 3 to 60 months, with higher interest rates for longer terms. The credit union also offers “community-friendly term certificates,” in which the deposits specifically help Self-Help to support the environment, women and children, and local businesses in North Carolina.

Field of Membership Restrictions

Membership in Self-Help Credit Union is open to anyone through joining the Center for Community Self-Help ($5 membership fee). Membership is also open to those live, work, worship, or attend school in Washington, Hyde, Beaufort, or over other 40 counties in North Carolina.
See current membership details

Have To Admit..I Love Self-Help Credit Union

Posted by: |

I did not choose Self-Help. It was done for me, and at the time, I was livid that I was taken out of the decision loop.

I was with Piedmont Advantage Credit Union for years. Around 2021, they decided to close my local branch. They automatically transferred my account to Self-Help CU. I was angry and really expecting the absolute worst from my new credit union.

Well, it's been a few years now. I have to admit that I was wrong. This is a great credit union, and they have been the absolute best to me.

Give these guys a try. They are professional and care about their members.

Better Than The Big Boys!!!

To Who Ever Reads This Review,

Please listen to someone who actually banks with Self Help Credit Union. I am a very satisfied client and would NEVER go back to the "BIG" Banks. I have a long banking history with two major banks and have had average satisfaction. The cost of an average checking account is over $150.00 annual but free if you "only" do online banking. Really?  What's the point of having a bank next door if I can't go in for any of the services plus there are many hidden fees is you do not go by the rules. With Self Help Credit Union there are no fees with direct deposit. If you do not have direct deposit and have to mail in your deposit Self Help Credit Union sends you paid postage envelpoes to do so and the monthly fee is only $5.00. I do everything online anyway and have always had direct deposit. As a matter of fact direct deposit is standard, hardly anybody receives a check in the mail anymore. The online banking is extremely user friendly and dependable. Self Help Credit Union is not comparable to dealing with the big banks they are better. I e-mail any questions I have and I receive a prompt reply. If you need to talk to someone via phone they are there to help and are very friendly. They are Honest and truly put their clients first. As the realtor vents her frustration listen to what she says...the bank went through the client to get things done!  Isn't that the way things should be? Who has to re-pay the money anyway. The client should be apart of all decisions where their money is concerned. They offer everything the big banks offer but are way more affordable. To get a don't need the standard 4 tradelines of debt to prove you can pay back your loans and are trustworthy. In this economy, what is the point of carrying all that debt to get a loan for more debt. Isn't that train of thought backwards? I think so. If you are a responsible person and are trying to save money you probably don't have all those trade lines and with Self Help Credit Union thank God you don't need them. All you need is two(2) tradelines to apply for a home loan or a small business loan. If you are patient, do not mind banking online and withdrawing cash at Walmart, Dollar Tree or anywhere that offers cash back for free at check out then Self Help Credit Union is like a Diamond in the Rough. You'll make out way better with them than you would with any big bank. Plus you keep your $150.00 and you earn dividends on your basic checkings...Yes they pay you!

I'd be their poster person if they advertised and I'd do it for free. That's how GREAT they are.


Raeford, NC


Never been happier

Posted by: |

We left a major bank two years ago and became part of the Self-Help family (originally they were Cape Fear Credit Union) and we have been thoroughly pleased. The interest rates we're earning on the basic checking account is higher than we received from our old big name bank.
We're able to do online bill pay and transfer money from checking to savings easily and with fees and when we do go the the local branch to deposit checks or whatnot the staff is always prompt and friendly.
There do not have locations on every corner but for our needs that doesn't matter. Loan rates may be lower at other credit unions (we haven't shopped around) but all in all our time with Self-Help has been nothing but wonderful.

Should Be Called Self-HELPLESS Credit Union

Posted by: |

Should be called Self-HELP-LESS

It is seldom that I come across a company like this.  I have been selling Real Estate for many years and I came across a client that wanted to use this place.  I had not had any dealings with them so worked with my client and Self Help.

They require you to jump through so many hoops that you get lost in the maze, then you keep asking for an appraisal and they push you off, they do not communicate with the agents at all, if an agent (buyer, seller or attorney) tries to communicate with them they respond to their client.  My client even gave them specific instructions to communicate with me and the still will not.  They dont even send an email back saying "we will only communicate with our client"  

The week before closing they had stil not ordered an appraisal.  When we finally pressured them to they came back and stated oh your home didnt appraise for the amount of your deal.  The client was paying 50% cash which means his LTV was 50% (actualy 53%). They said he needed to come up with an additional sum of money because the appraisal was off by $10k.  Then 3 days prior to closing they say oh we need to send it to underwriting for final approval before we can issue a committment letter.  OMG are you kidding me.  The contract expires in 3 days closing in 3 days already  received 3 extensions on the closing date and seller refused to extend further thinking we were all jerks.  

The loan officer over there is totally overwhelmed and unresponsive.  A 2nd client asked me about this place and I told him this story so he said it cant be that bad, and went over, he thinks because of his ethnic background that he was pushed away.  The loan officer was cold to him, told him she would let him know something on a pre-qual letter in 3-4 days ... FOR A PREQUAL letter.. OMG are you crazy  !!!!  Finally he pestered her enough until she said NO, there is nothing we can do , have a good day and walked out of the office.   




Health Grade Components

NCUA #66258
Year Chartered1983
Primary Regulator
Profit Margin
Return on Assets - YTD1.25%
Return on Equity - YTD11.57%
Annual Interest Income$22.5MM
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$1.77B$1.77B
LoansQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$1.54B$1.49B
DepositsQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$1.24B$1.27B
Equity CapitalQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$191MM$164.1MM
Loan Loss AllowanceQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$48MM$45.3MM
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$14.7MM$11MM
Real Estate OwnedQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$0$153K
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Self-Help Credit Union Savings Account Rates

4.50%$0-IRA Savings
0.30%$0-Savings Account
0.30%$0-Club Account

Self-Help Credit Union Money Market Rates

3.33%$500-Money Market

Self-Help Credit Union Checking Account Rates

0.10%$0-Personal Checking
0.05%$0-Small Business Checking
0.05%$0-Nonprofit Checking

Self-Help Credit Union CD Rates

4.50%$500-12 Month CD
4.50%$500-18 Month CD
4.29%$500-24 Month CD
4.08%$500-36 Month CD
4.08%$500-48 Month CD
4.08%$500-60 Month CD
0.15%$500-6 Month CD
0.10%$500-3 Month CD

Self-Help Credit Union IRA Rates

4.50%$500-12 Month IRA
4.50%$500-18 Month IRA
4.29%$500-24 Month IRA
4.08%$500-36 Month IRA
4.08%$500-48 Month IRA
4.08%$500-60 Month IRA


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