University Fed Credit Union Offers Rate-Leading 48-Month CD Nationwide

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UPDATE 2/21/2023: Account Opening section below is now complete.

Deal Summary: 48-month Fixed CD, 5.00% APY, $1k minimum deposit.

Availability: Easy membership requirement

The good news – Texas-based University Federal Credit Union (UFCU) has boosted the rate on its 48-month Fixed CD to 5.00% APY ($1k minimum deposit). The bad news – UFCU is closed for Presidents Day. As soon as I have complete details, I will update this blog post.

Normally, I would not publish a blog post without first contacting a financial institution to obtain information not readily available on its website, but this is a special circumstance: finally a 5% long-term CD that's available nationwide.

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
3.50%$1k-University Federal Credit Union48 Month Fixed CD
3.50%$1k-University Federal Credit Union48 Month Fixed IRA (Traditional, Roth)
Rates as of April 23, 2024.

The 48-month Fixed CD is also offered as a Fixed IRA CD (Traditional, Roth), earning the same APY with the same deposit requirements.

As stated in the Membership and Account Agreement document (page 12), the Early Withdrawal Penalty reads as follows:

The amount of the penalty will reduce dividends paid and will equal the lesser of
(a) all accrued dividends on the certificate; or (b) 25% of dividends on the entire term.

Partial withdrawals are allowed, as long the $1k minimum balance is maintained.

Availability

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, University Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) provides a way to join for almost any U.S. citizen or resident alien who has a valid Social Security number and a U.S. address.

Easy Membership: Joining American Consumer Council qualifies for UFCU membership. This is described in UFCU's "Become A Member" page,

None of these apply to you? You may be able to join through
the American Consumer Council and membership is free.

School Relationship: Students, alumni, and employees of more than 25 colleges/universities (including Texas State University and the University of Texas at Austin) qualify for membership.

Employment/Affiliation: Employees and members of nearly 180 companies and more than 30 companies are also eligible to join.

Family Relationship: Immediate family members of current UFCU members are welcome to apply.

Joining UFCU and/or opening a 48-month Fixed CD* can be done online or at any of 22 Texas branches located in Austin (14), Cedar Park, Galveston, Kyle, League City, Pflugerville, Round Rock (2), and San Marcos.

A $1 lifetime membership fee is required along with $5 savings deposit and $25
checking deposit to become a member and start enjoying the benefits of membership.

*UPDATE 2/21/2023: According to CSR, the only option for funding when opening a new membership is a debit card transaction. While UFCU does not have a dollar limit on incoming debit card transfers, the funding institution likely does. CSR suggested a two-step procedure may be the best approach: open a CD after the new membership application is approved, using any of the funding methods describe below.

Account Opening

Funding and Other Details

UPDATED 2/21/2023. As soon as I talk to a UFCU representative on Tuesday morning, I will update this section.

  • Funding – After membership application is approved, ACH, wire (no fee) or Shared Branch transaction.
  • CO-OP Shared Branch Participant – Yes.
  • Dividends – Compounded/credited monthly. Cannot be withdrawn penalty-free.
  • Maturing Funds – Default is a transfer to Savings account. Funds can then be distributed by ACH, wire ($20 fee), cashier’s check.
  • Beneficiaries – Unlimited with equal shares, Social Security numbers are required.
  • Grace Period –7 calendar days before automatic renewal.
  • Credit Check – None.

Credit Union Overview

University Federal Credit Union has an overall health grade of "B" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 4.14% (excellent) based on September 30, 2022 data. In the past year, UFCU decreased its total non-brokered deposits by -$37.05 million, an average annual growth rate of -1.05%. Please refer to our financial overview of University Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 1367) for more details.

With 30 founding members and $855 in deposits, University Federal Credit Union first opened its doors in May 1936. The original FOM was exclusive to the faculty and staff at The University of Texas at Austin. While the FOM has expanded in the past 87 years, UFCU’s commitment to higher education has remained constant.

Of course, our family has since grown to include other fine universities, their students, and other entities that share an appreciation for higher education. Our vision further recognizes education as a key economic engine driving growth and well-being of the vibrant Texas community in which we live.

UFCU is currently the eighth largest credit union headquartered in Texas, with nearly 357,000 members and assets in excess of $3.8 billion.

How the 48-Month Fixed CD Compares

When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, no bank or credit union has a higher rate than currently offered on the University Federal Credit Union 48-Month Fixed CD. The following table compares the 48-Month Fixed CD to the two highest-rate CDs from other credit unions and the two highest-rate CDs from banks.

The above information and rates are accurate as of 2/20/2023.

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

Related Pages: Houston CD rates, Austin CD rates, 5-year CD rates, IRA CD rates, nationwide deals

Comments
rockies
  |     |   Comment #1
Here are a couple of terms that some investors may find of interest.

Membership and Account Agreement, page 2: "We may at our sole discretion grant you permission to withdraw funds early. If such permission is granted, it will be granted only at the time you request an early withdrawal."

Membership and Account Agreement, page 5. "We may require you to give written notice of seven (7) days to sixty (60) days before any intended withdrawals."

As I have indicated in similar posts about other credit unions in the past, these terms appear to have no limitations. In other words, it appears the credit union reserves the right to invoke these at any time for any reason that they choose. Each investor can decide for themselves if they have an issue with these. I am simply posting as an FYI.
LovinSomeCDs
  |     |   Comment #2
See my previous posts. I have commented on stuff like this over and over. Dont play games with these "Wegotcha Credit Unions", as they draw people in with a slightly higher rate, which equates to an extra 10 bucks a month. Then when its time to withdraw at maturity, withdraw early, or whatever, you find out these silly agreements you signed on for. Ill stick with my 2-3 CUs I have used for 20 years, where all within one simple 10 minute phone call, I can close a CD early, put it in my savings, then roll it into a new CD. If I let it mature, I can do all I just mentioned online.
John19
  |     |   Comment #4
100% agree. Imagine waiting 60 days for your early withdraw to go through. Good example of why to choose NASA at 4.75% over something like this at 5%.
LovinSomeCDs
  |     |   Comment #5
Its important to look at the overall picture, over decades. My CU's arent rate leaders but they always offer super competitive rates. Since Sept i have opened a 4%, 4.45%, 4.6%, and just a couple days ago, at 4.88%. No regrets on any of them. The 4% I opened is a 7 year too....most people would scoff at that...but again, look at the overall picture and stick with reputable CU's.
melsher14
  |     |   Comment #11
Aren’t there still EWP with the CUs u use?
melsher14
  |     |   Comment #19
LovinSomeCDs
Thanks. Is the EWP still considered interest earned on your 1040?
blazer9
  |     |   Comment #3
They must have read the GTE BLOG
;(
gregk
  |     |   Comment #6
A lot of over reaction to the early withdrawal provisions IMO. Under normal circumstances I'm dubious an early withdrawal would ever be denied, but under extraordinary circumstances where there might be a financial crisis underway or more individual Institutional difficulties occurring, it's simply a means of protecting that Institution from potential liquidity issues deriving from demands over what's clearly intended to be a term deposit commitment by investors. Should all the risk under such circumstances be borne by the Financial Institution?

It's perfectly fine if you're a depositor searching for an attractive CD not to like this CU's rules and take one's business elsewhere because of that..But to suggest such rules in themselves are "disreputable" has no rational basis.  Rather, they're being very up-front and honest.

Does anyone believe in a meltdown scenario that even without such explicit provisions Financial Institutions wouldn't refuse depositor withdrawal requests?
LovinSomeCDs
  |     |   Comment #7
I admittedly "over react" to their EWP, but not because I am scared of them denying my request (they probably wouldnt)....its more just than other institutions dont have that nonsense. Im a pretty simple dude, and I keep it simple but not dealing with unnecessary nonsense. Just like that one CU that wanted you to log so many steps on fitbit to get a special rate. lol
John19
  |     |   Comment #8
I agree that they will almost never require 60 days or refuse an early withdraw, but they can. Many people (including myself) actually paid GTE withdraw penalty because they wouldn't tell us we didn't have to. I had forgot the interest had accrued for the first couple months before the add-on debacle, then I changed it to dividends afterwards. Anybody remember them laughing at everybody that day. I'm okay with deals like these for like 100k when I'm buying 150k of something better even if the rate is a little lower. Just what I feel comfortable with. I would def choose NASA over this though.
outtempster
  |     |   Comment #9
I tried to open an account, but it was denied right away (web page says in process, but email says denied). Not sure why, another email will be sent to me in 1-2 business days to explain why it's denied. it says if I want to pursue membership, I can schedule an in-person appt. in one of the branches. I guess not since I am in CA :)
Kaight
  |     |   Comment #15
They probably didn't like the smell of your ChexSystems report.
gmohan123
  |     |   Comment #18
Same here and was denied when I called they said get a Chex System report. It does have lot of activity last 12 months but all new CDs with CUs!! This was a good one and wanted to open but … Also I was opening all joint accounts so both reports will have it won’t matter if it was first or second owner !!
User
  |     |   Comment #26
Same here, denied because something is going on with ChecSystems report. I got the report, it looked fine to me.
QED
  |     |   Comment #27
gmohan123 and User:

As pointed to above your posts by Kaight, the evil hand of ChexSystems surely is at work here. ChexSystems is perhaps the most malevolent and effective opponent of people who use this site and attempt to benefit from Ken's life work, as he intends.

I very much wish something could be done to bring ChexSystems to heel. They are working hard to counter all the great things Ken does for us.  And their treachery is costing Ken's readers, as a group, serious money.
gmohan123
  |     |   Comment #32
The only thing I have is 7 inquires in last 6 months and all were CDs with decent amounts!! Does not make sense to deny on that account. Also the number takes into account your value of CDs or net worth or other criteria just the count !!!
kentchristopher
  |     |   Comment #43
What did the email end up saying? I too was insta-denied. Guessing it was because I had ChexSystems report frozen, but wondering if it could also be that I used a credit card, when another comment here says it must be a debit card (not sure why they wouldn't say that on the page).
Shelby
  |     |   Comment #10
I contacted this CU back in 2019 regarding a cd offering.Had continual difficulty with cu reps and access to their cd disclosures. Five percent @ 4year looks good with easy membership but I am hesitant with this one..
gregk
  |     |   Comment #12
We'll see more 5% longer-term CD's. Perhaps not a lot, but passing on this one won't be fateful if the terms and customer service are displeasing.

I go back and forth between believing FI's are being stingy because they remember 2019 and beyond, when 4% was being offered in light of consistent Fed funds rate increases, and then the bottom falling out rapidly with them holding the bag for locked in high yields when zero became the policy again so quickly, - and them being stingy because they can get away with it now as rate starved depositors (like Lovin) capitulate to accepting less than they might amid current (and trending) Fed policy and historically high inflation. The recession fear hype (even without evidence) and un-grounded belief in an imminent Fed pivot continue to distort markets (including the CD market), and leave everything out of kilter, or at least lagging real economic conditions. One can hope that at least gradually certain FI's will recognize we're at a point of no return to the zero or close to it practices of the post-Financial Crisis past, but that where we are now is the new norm unlikely to shift radically downward again as so many expect, - even if the Fed cuts once more in some measure as the business cycle unfolds, - and offer longer-term rates consistent with those realities.
melsher14
  |     |   Comment #13
EWP won’t touch principle. Good deal!
fed10017
  |     |   Comment #16
So I thought I would chip in with my datapoint. I had opened a 5 year Certificate here in April 2019 at 3.48% and just closed it this morning. It took two minutes in all with a rep on the phone. No written notice required. The EWP charged was 90 days and they invaded the principal as I had no dividends invested. So they subtracted 90 days from the principal.

Asked the rep what the new EWP would be on their new 48 mointh 5% certificate. He said it would be the same 90 day EWP. My hunch is that the EWP was changed in 2021 as per the membership agreement that Ken posted above where the EWP is lesser of 1} all dividends accrued 2) 25% of dividends of the entire term. Makes me think the rep was wrong about 90 day EWP on new certificates (that only applied to CDs opened prior to 2021).

If anybody has any different data points please let us know. I am not reinvesting into their new certificate unless I am clear on the nee EWP.
LovinSomeCDs
  |     |   Comment #17
Every certificate I have ever opened has the EWP penalty at the bottom of the cert. Also, the website should cleary state the EWP, as all the CUs I deal with does. I would never go by what any rep says on the phone, as turnover is SUPER high in banking, and there is no recourse. 98% chance the rep that told you that will not be employed there in 2 years. if the website doesnt have a section that clearly spells out the EWP...RED FLAG!
melsher14
  |     |   Comment #20
fed10017
I do not touch dividends on any of my CDs. When I closed other CDs, principal was negatively affected.
As I read Ken’s post, principal cannot be touched which is a positive for me.
User
  |     |   Comment #21
Was anyone out if TX successful in applying online and getting the membership? It appears that UFCU is tailored to TX residents and most of out of state online applications got declined instantly.
gmohan123
  |     |   Comment #23
I did talk to manager for possible override on decline and she admitted they are more hard on non Texas she tried online acct opening manager but said being remote cannot get approval!! Also the new acct number enquiry for someone having a large account does not make sense if they are looking at just last 6 months of acct. opening based on just counts!! Also opening accounts for CDs that also with decent amounts how can that be negative I have never figured out !!
User
  |     |   Comment #25
I had exactly the same experience. A short online application was declined, talked to a manager, a manager tried to help, but later informed they can’t open an account online out of state.
Mak
  |     |   Comment #22
*UPDATE 2/21/2023: According to CSR, the only option for funding when opening a new membership is a debit card transaction.
________
That does it for me, don't have a debit card and don't want one.
John19
  |     |   Comment #24
You can't withdrawal interest till maturity either, a no-brainer not to enter an agreement where they might not allow an early withdrawal.
arthurtony
  |     |   Comment #28
Current top rate showing is 3.25% for 60 month. What happened to the 5% 48 month? Is this an error or did the rate change. They are not open yet so I can't figure out what is going on. Does anyone know?
arthurtony
  |     |   Comment #29
sorry I posted twice.
gmohan123
  |     |   Comment #30
Yesterday they mentioned it starts from the 23rd of this month. If you are out of town and can open an account please update the forum.
arthurtony
  |     |   Comment #31
I opened the account (it says) yesterday. I'm in Ohio. They emailed me and said account is open, but details will follow in next couple of days, so I have no account number. Confusing, though. The 5% was on their website yesterday, but not today. I'm calling at 9:00 a.m.
Cal_Gal
  |     |   Comment #34
Looking at the big picture, I have to laugh. They are making us jump thru hoops to lend them OUR money!! I've been down this road before, with out of state CU games...not gonna play! Glad I opened NASA couple of weeks ago. If we stick together, WE can control their "fine print". I've got some fine print for them to read, lol.
Shelby
  |     |   Comment #35
Update - CU Rep has stated the 5% 48 month CD offer starts Feb. 23 and is not available until then (according to a mobile banking manager.) As far as EWP the reps are clueless and will provide incorrect info- good luck getting the correct info from anyone including supervisors. This CU is a mess! 
diamondx
  |     |   Comment #36
get this --the application will not accept a po box as a mailing address. Absolutely ridiculous.
"Mailing address
Address must not be a P.O. Box"
choice1
  |     |   Comment #37
Most post offices accept mail to their street address going to suite (box number)
diamondx
  |     |   Comment #38
choice1, this isn't a po issue-it is a UFCU issue. My street address and my MAILING address are NOT the same. It's very common.
choice1
  |     |   Comment #39
Let me try again…use the street address for your P.O. Box. My vehicle registrations, driver’s license, bills, etc go to a P.O. Box. When I’m asked for a street address, I give them a street address…of the P.O. Box…it’s also on my credit report
diamondx
  |     |   Comment #42
Mailing address is not the same as my street address. I provided my street address.. I do not want my mail to go to my street address so I provide a mailing address like they ask for but apparently they have never heard of a post office and the post office boxes that are there to provide people a place to get their mail. I have been getting mail at a post office box for 50+ years. The post office has been around much longer than that. This is a UFCU issue. I can provide my mailing address to countless other cu,businesses, etc w/o issue.
fed10017
  |     |   Comment #40
can somebody confirm that maximum EWP for the 5 year certificate is approx 456 days.

I got this number using 25% of all dividends for the term from membership agreement linked by Ken above - so (365*5)*0.25.

If you close the CD within 456 days you forfeit all dividends earned. Beyond that the max EWP stays at 456 days.

The reps are giving all different answers and i cannot find EWP listed on website.
55Chevy
  |     |   Comment #41
What message does this send the smart investor? The message is keep away. The answers given by the CU are vague and lack transparency for a reason.They know if depositors fully knew the complete EWP rules before purchasing a CD many would back away from the deal. The cust. service reps are not fully versed on CD rules/policies because management doesn't want them to be. When new customers do in fact purchase a CD, well... then the CU has you right where they want you. Lesson, always do business if possible with a FI that provides their Truth in Saving statement to you in advance of opening an account/CD with them.
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