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How to Manage Your Law School Debt in 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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With average tuition and fees running around $38,000 a year, most law students take out student loans. And then there are books, fees, transportation and living expenses to consider. Even students who find high-paying summer associate positions may wind up with six-figure student loan debts to repay after graduation.

That’s a lot of debt, but it doesn’t need to be unmanageable. Attorneys can also find high-paying positions, and those looking to go into lower paying legal work may be eligible for a range of student loan forgiveness and repayment assistance programs.

Law school debt in the U.S.

The average student loan balance can vary greatly depending on the school you attend. U.S. News and World Report publishes a list of law schools with the average indebtedness (among those who took out law school loans). At the high end in 2017, graduates from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego had an average of $198,962 in student loans. The least was for graduates from Brigham Young University (Clark) in Provo, Utah who had $53,237 on average.

How much debt do law students have?

Among all law schools, the average student loan debt is near or above the six-figure mark according to Law School Transparency (LST), a nonprofit that analyzes and shares data about the legal profession. It shared the average amount of federal student loans borrowed by 2017 law school graduates based on their type of school:

  • Nonprofit private law schools: 74.9% of graduates had federal loans. On average, they borrowed $130,224.
  • Public law schools: 76.2% of graduates had federal loans. On average, they borrowed $92,997.
  • For-profit private laws schools: 85.8% of graduates had federal loans. On average, they borrowed $122,296.

You also might wind up graduating with more than you borrowed as interest can accumulate if you defer payments while you’re at school. Students may have also taken out private student loans in addition to federal loans, and graduates could still be paying off undergraduates loans.

Starting salaries for a lawyer

According to a 2018 LST report, the median entry-level salary for the class of 2016 was $66,499. However, as with the cost of school, your earnings can vary greatly depending on where you went to school and whether you work in the private or public sector.

The National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP), an association of legal career professionals, found that the median private-sector starting salary for first-year associates was $135,000 in 2017. On the high end, top candidates may be able to start at $180,000 a year.

Public-sector salaries paint a different picture. NALP reported the median entry-level salary in 2018 was just $48,000 for attorneys who work in civil legal services and $58,300 for public defenders. While pay increases with experience, even public defenders with 11 to 15 years of experience make $96,400 on average.

Is law school worth the cost?

A law degree can certainly pay off and may provide a secure and stable job in the future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of lawyers will grow 8% by 2026, slightly higher than the average 7% projected growth for all professions.

A law degree isn’t a guarantee of a job, though. The American Bar Association (ABA) found that among 2016 and 2017 law school graduates, 7.9% are unemployed and seeking work. Others are employed but only working part time, or have short-term contracts with an employer or temp agency.

Whether a law degree is worth the cost isn’t simply a question of economics. Although you can use a JD to work in a wide variety of industries and professions, the debt you take out could push you toward higher-paying work even if you’re not particularly excited about it. In the end, statistics can help you determine possibilities, but determining if a law degree is worth it is a highly subjective question.

Law school forgiveness and repayment programs

While attending law school can be expensive, attorneys may also be eligible for federal student loan forgiveness programs and school, state, employer and federal student loan repayment programs (SLRPs) or loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs). You may be able to significantly decrease how much money you repay by using one or more of these programs.

John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program

The John R. Justice (JRJ) student loan repayment program offers aid to eligible full-time state and federal public defenders and state prosecutors who agree to remain a prosecutor or public defender for at least three years.

If you qualify, you could receive up to $10,000 per calendar year, and up to $60,000 total. The money will be sent directly to your loan servicer and can be used to pay for federal Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) and direct loans that are in good standing. The money may be considered income for tax purposes.

You must register for the Office of Justice Programs Grants Management System and submit an application to be eligible. Availability for grants can vary depending on state allocations, and the 2018 application period ended on May 21, 2018.

Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program

The Department of Justice Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program (ASLRP) is for Department of Justice (DOJ) employees who agree to at least a three-year service obligation. The program may be competitive as it’s intended to help the DOJ attract and retain high-quality attorneys.

You must have at least $10,000 in student loans to be eligible for the ASLRP. If you get it, the DOJ could match up to $6,000 in student loan payments that you make each year, with a cumulative maximum benefit of $60,000. Only federal student loans are eligible, and the payments you receive are considered income for tax purposes.

Check the key dates page to see when application periods open and close, and a timeline of the important ASLRP-related events throughout the year.

Herbert S. Garten Loan Repayment Assistance Program

The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) offers the Herbert S. Garten LRAP to eligible attorneys who are working at an LSC-funded legal services program. About 80 eligible attorneys are chosen each year through a lottery system, and if you’re chosen, you’ll be issued forgivable loans for up to three years.

The LSC will issue you an LRAP loan to repay your student loans, and if you fulfill a year of service the debt will be forgiven. You can choose to continue in the program for a second and third year if you want.

You must have at least $75,000 in outstanding law school loans and be below the annual income and net worth threshold ($62,500 and $35,000, respectively, for continental U.S. employees). The LRAP awards up to $5,600 a year, which you’ll receive in two disbursements and can use to repay federal and private law school and bar loans.

Learn more about the Herbert S. Garten LRAP on the LSC website.

Judge Advocate General’s Corps Student Loan Repayment Program

The U.S. Air Force’s JA-SLRP program offers up to $65,000 in student loan repayment assistance if you qualify and agree to at least a four-year active-duty service commitment. The payments will be made over a three-year period which begins at the end of your first year of service.

Federal and private student loans that you took out for undergraduate, graduate and law school are eligible. The payments will be sent directly to your lender, and federal income taxes will be withheld from the payments to the lender.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) will forgive remaining student loan debt if you make 120 qualifying payments (10 years’ worth) while working full time at an eligible employer. The PSLF only applies to direct federal student loans, although FFEL loans may be eligible if you first consolidate them into a direct consolidation Loan.

Qualifying employers generally include local, state and federal governments, as well as nonprofits. If you’re using one of the student loan repayment assistance programs, which may have similar employment requirements, you could also be making qualifying payments toward PSLF.

Federal student loan debt that’s forgiven under PSLF isn’t taxable.

Income-driven repayment plans forgiveness

If you have federal student loans, you may be able to switch your repayment plan to one of the income-driven plans. With these repayment plans, your monthly payment amount can vary based on your discretionary income, which generally depends on the difference between your income and the poverty line based on where you live and your family size.

With four of the plans, the remainder of your student loan balance will be forgiven after you make qualifying payments for 20 or 25 years (depending on the plan and if the loans were for undergraduate or graduate school). While the forgiven amount is taxable income, you may be able to get a lot of debt forgiven if you’ve been making relatively small monthly payments.

Some of the small-print differences between the plans can make a big difference in how much you pay overall. For example, the revised pay as you earn (REPAYE) plan has an interest subsidy if your monthly payment doesn’t at least cover how much interest accrues each month. Other plans also offer a subsidy, but only during your first three years of loan repayment.

You can use the Department of Education Repayment Estimator tool to see how much your monthly payments could be, and how much debt could be forgiven, with different repayment plans. However, if you’re dealing with a lot of student loan debt and are interested in forgiveness via an income-driven plan, you may want to contact a student loan consultant or attorney who is familiar with the differences between the programs and can advise you of your best option.

School-based programs

Many law schools have funds set aside to help graduates who go into low-paying fields, which often means a public interest or government job. In some cases, you may also qualify if you participate in a fellowship or public service initiative. Equal Justice Works has a directory of more than 100 law schools with such programs.

State-based programs

Your state may also have student loan repayment assistance programs, or you may want to consider moving to a state that does if you could qualify for help with your loans. According to the ABA, there are 24 states offering 26 LRAPs for civil legal aid attorneys or other public interest attorneys. You can find more information on the ABA and Equal Justice Works state LRAP pages.

Employer-based programs

For-profit employers may offer student loan repayment programs or assistance as part of their benefits package for employees. Availability, eligibility and aid amounts can depend on the company and whether you’re a part-time or full-time employee.

4 strategies to pay back your law school debt

There’s no secret trick to quickly getting rid of your student loans, but having a strategy and following through on that strategy could save you money, keep you motivated and help you reach your debt-free goal sooner.

1. Pay as little as you can while working toward forgiveness or assistance

If you qualify for one of the student loan forgiveness or assistance programs, or plan to use one in the future, you may want to pay as little as possible in the meantime. This could mean switching repayment plans or only making the minimum loan payments.

Compared with making extra payments, this method could increase how much interest accrues on your loans. However, if your goal is to repay as little as possible overall, leaving more debt to be forgiven or paid off by someone else could be a sound approach.

2. Use the snowball or avalanche method

You may have multiple student loans from different terms at law school, or even from undergraduate school and law school. If you can afford to pay more than your minimum payments, you could take either the snowball or avalanche method.

The snowball method involves paying off the loan with the lowest principal balance first. Once you pay off one loan, you can put more money toward the next lowest balance loan. Continue the process and you can build momentum as you repay one loan after another.

With the avalanche method, you apply any extra loan payments toward the loan that has the highest interest rate. The avalanche method can help you save money overall, although if your high-interest loans also have high balances, it could take some time before you get to completely wipe out one of your loans.

3. Apply your extra payments to the loan’s principal balance

Whether you’re taking a dedicated snowball or avalanche approach, or just occasionally making extra payments on your loans when you can afford to, you’ll want to review how your loan servicers apply your extra payments. Without instruction, your servicer may apply your extra payment to a future month’s payment and spread it out among all your loans.

You might be able to target your payment to a specific loan’s principal balance if you make a payment online. Or, you could send your servicer instructions on how you want to apply all your extra payments in the future — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a sample letter you can use as a template.

4. Refinancing to a lower rate

If you’ve established a good credit history and found employment (or have income from another source), you may be able to save money by refinancing your student loans. When you refinance your student loans, you’ll take out a new loan and the lender will pay off your current student loans.

Your new loan’s interest rate depends on your creditworthiness, and if it’s lower than your current loans’ interest rates you could save money if you continue making the same monthly payments.

You can pick and choose which loans to refinance, so even if the new loans rate isn’t lower than all your current loans’ rates, you may still be able to benefit from refinancing. However, your new loan will be a private student loan and won’t be eligible for federal student loan programs, including the forgiveness programs. Some of the LRAPs can also only be used to repay federal student loans.

Read more about refinancing and consider all the pros and cons because once you refinance you won’t be able to turn your student loans back into federal student loans. If you decide to refinance some or all of your loans, you can compare lenders to find the best rate and terms.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Louis DeNicola
Louis DeNicola |

Louis DeNicola is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Louis at louis@magnifymoney.com

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BMO Harris Bank Review of Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1947
Total Assets$111.9B
LEARN MORE on BMO Harris Bank’s secure website

Founded in 1882 and headquartered in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank is one of the Midwest’s largest banks that provides a wide range of financial products and services. It has over 43,000 ATMs and 600 branches across the U.S.

Like many big banks, BMO Harris’ savings, checking and money market rates are lower compared with its online counterparts. In spite of that, the bank does offer some competitive rates for its CDs and IRA accounts. There are also low to no monthly maintenance fees for their savings and checking accounts.

BMO Harris Bank’s rates vary by region. For this review, we based our research on its headquarters using the ZIP code 60603.

BMO Harris Bank’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.05%

Savings

BMO Harris Bank Statement Savings

1.85%

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

0.15%

CD Rates

BMO Harris Bank 12 Month CD

2.45%

Synchrony Bank 12 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

0.40%

CD Rates

BMO Harris Bank 36 Month CD

2.55%

Ally Bank High Yield 3 Year CD

on Ally Bank’s secure website

0.75%

CD Rates

BMO Harris Bank 60 Month CD

3.00%

Barclays 60 Month Online CD

on Barclays’s secure website


BMO Harris Bank checking account options

Harris Premier™ account

Earn a tiny amount of interest, but receive perks like ATM refunds and the ability to waive the maintenance fee.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

0.10%

$5,000

0.15%

$10,000

0.20%

$25,000

0.25%

$50,000+

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $30 (waived if you meet certain conditions)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $25 per statement cycle
  • Overdraft fee: $36 each item when you opt into overdraft protection

This account is great for those who intend on making a large number of transactions and keeping a large sum of cash across all BMO Harris Bank accounts. If you have a minimum daily balance of $25,000, a BMO Harris Financial Advisors investment account or have $50,000 across all your linked accounts with their Relationship Waiver program, the monthly maintenance fee is waived.

While you’re not earning a whole lot of interest, you do get a free pack of checks and half off certain styles should you need to order more. You also get ATM fee refunds and overdraft funding fees waived if money is transferred into the account. Other free services include money orders, cashier’s checks and paper statements.

How to get Harris Premier™ Account

Opening an account online can take you 20 minutes or less. Head over to the online application form and first enter in your ZIP code. The rest of the form asks you to enter your personal details such as your name, address, employment information, Social Security number and state ID/driver’s license if you’re a new customer. Then you’ll need to fund the account and consider the option to add on other features like overdraft protection.

If not, you can always call customer service, or head to your local branch to open the account. The process could be a lot smoother (aka faster) if you make an appointment beforehand.

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Smart Money™ account

No monthly maintenance fees, but at the expense of earning interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None. $36 per transaction if you opt into overdraft protection

The Smart Money account is a no-frills checking account that’s great for those who are opening an account for the first time. That’s because the monthly maintenance fee is waived for primary account holders under 25 years old. If you opt for paper statements, the $2 monthly statement fee is also waived.

Although this account doesn’t earn any interest, you do get a few free perks. All account holders get a debit card and their first pack of checks for free. Also, unless you opt into overdraft protection – either by linking a BMO Harris Bank savings account or line of credit – any transaction will be denied if it’s over your bank account balance. There’s also mobile banking, which includes nifty features like People Pay, a service that lets you send money to anyone with a U.S. bank account with their email address and Mobile Cash, where you can withdraw cash at any ATM without using your debit card.

How to get a Smart Money™ account

You can open account in less than 20 minutes by heading to the BMO Harris website and filling out an online application. Applicants will be asked to provide their Social Security number and ID (a driver’s license counts) if you’ve never banked with BMO Harris Bank before. You’ll also need to provide personal details such as your name, address and employment information. After agreeing to their disclosures and provide a way to fund your account, you can then add on features like overdraft protection.

Alternatively, you can also an account by calling the bank, or going to at any one of their branches. To save time, search on the site and book an appointment ahead of time.

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Smart Advantage™ account

No monthly fees if you enroll in eStatements.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $3 for out of network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $36 each item when you opt into overdraft protection

This account isn’t that much different from the Smart Money™ account, except that there are no fees for account holders, no matter the age. You get the same perks like your first free pack of checks, a debit card and free checking imaging if you enroll in eStatements.

Unfortunately, this account isn’t interest-bearing. But for those who are looking for a basic checking account and aren’t too concerned with earning interest, this is a good option. You don’t need to worry about overdrawing your account (unless you link it to a savings account or line of credit, then there’s a fee per transfer) and you get benefits such as mobile banking, which you can use to manage external accounts.

With both checking accounts, you may be able to get rate discounts if you take out a mortgage or home equity line of credit through the bank for account holders.

How to get a Smart Advantage™ Account

Head to the BMO Harris Bank website and fill out an online application. You’ll first need to enter in your ZIP code then provide your Social Security number and ID (a driver’s license counts) if you’ve never banked with BMO Harris before. Afterward, provide your personal details such as your address and employment information, and then agree to their disclosures. Fund the account and add on any additional services. The entire process should take about 20 minutes or less.

Otherwise, call customer service, or go to your nearest branch and open an account there. You may be able to save a bit of time by booking an appointment ahead of time.

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How BMO Harris Bank’s checking accounts compare

Unfortunately, BMO Harris Bank’s checking accounts fall short when it comes to rates. Other online banks offer much higher rates, no balance minimums and some even offer unlimited ATM reimbursements.

Where these checking accounts do shine is their mobile banking feature. The app is intuitive and has a host of features, such as a money management option where you can link external accounts. You can also securely send money to anyone with a U.S. bank account if they have an email address and withdraw cash from an ATM using just your phone.

If you’re just after a basic checking account with the highest rates, you’re better off considering another bank.

BMO Harris Bank savings account options

Statement Savings

A no-frills savings account with a low monthly maintenance fee.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (waived if you meet certain requirements)
  • ATM fee: $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $10 per transfer to a checking account

Considering its low monthly maintenance fee and opening deposit amount, this BMO Harris Bank savings account is best for those who either want to open their first account or want a cheap option to link to a checking account for overdraft protection.

You do get a free ATM card with this account, but because it’s a savings account, you’re limited to six withdrawals/transfers per month thanks to Regulation D. Unlike other banks where you’re charged an excessive withdrawal fee, BMO Harris Bank will simply deny your request if you attempt to make more than six.

In order to waive the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to maintain a minimum daily balance of $500, opt to automatically transfer a minimum of $25 each month into the account and the primary account holder is under 18 years old.

How to get a Statement Savings account

The most efficient way to open an account is doing so online. Go to the online application form and enter your ZIP code. Then, you’ll be asked to provide personal identifying information such as address, employment information, Social Security number and an ID if you’re a new customer. After agreeing to the disclosures and providing funding information, you’ll be asked whether you want any extra features like linking your account for overdraft protection.

If not, you can always call customer service or head to your local branch to open an account. The process could be a lot smoother (aka faster) if you make an appointment beforehand.

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on BMO Harris Bank’s secure website

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How BMO Harris Bank’s savings account compares

Sadly, the APY falls way short just like other big banks when compared with savings account competitors. Other places offer more than 10 times what BMO Harris Bank is offering in terms of rates, and many don’t have monthly maintenance fees.

The only thing that really stands out is that you do get a debit card and ATM access. You’re also not at risk of paying any excessive withdrawal fees like at other places since this bank will outright deny you once you make more than six withdrawals/transfers a month.

BMO Harris Bank CD Rates

Fixed Rate CD

Get some of the best rates out there with the online promotional rates.

Term

APY

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

1 month

0.05%

$100,000

2 months

0.05%

$100,000

3 months

0.05%

$1,000

6 months

0.05%

$1,000

9 months

0.10%

$1,000

12 months

0.15%

$1,000

18 months

0.25%

$1,000

24 months

0.30%

$1,000

30 months

0.35%

$1,000

36 months

0.40%

$1,000

48 months

0.50%

$1,000

60 months

0.75%

$1,000

Special CD Rates

18 months

2.50%

$5,000

30 months

2.75%

$5,000

60 months

3.25%

$5,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Fees depend on length of term:
    • 1 month: all interest earned
    • 2 months: 11 months’ interest
    • 2 to 11 months: 90 days’ interest
    • 12 to 23 months: 180 days’ interest
    • 24-35 months: 270 days’ interest
    • 36 – 47 months: 365 days’ interest
    • 48 months and up: 545 days’ interest
    • Special Rate CDs (short-term): 180 days’ interest
    • Special Rate CDs (long-term): 365 days’ interest

Technically, the minimum opening for its fixed-rate CDs is $1,000, and you can only qualify for the online promotional rates if you have a $5,000 minimum deposit. If not, you’re looking at some pretty abysmal rates at a maximum of 0.75% APY for a 60 month term.

Interest is compounded daily and will be credited to your account at maturity for CDs less than a year and quarterly if your term is longer. You’ll get a reminder when your CD is about to mature, then when it does, you get a 10-day grace period to decide what to do. If you do nothing, your account will automatically be renewed.

How to get a Fixed Rate CD

If you apply for a CD online, you cannot open it as a joint account. You’ll need to do so at your nearest branch. For single account owners, head over to the online application form, enter your ZIP code and pick which CD term you want. Provide your personal details such as name, address, employment, Social Security number and government-issued ID if you’re a first-time customer. All you need to do afterward is to fund your account.

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on BMO Harris Bank’s secure website

Step Rate CD

Earn a competitive rate with automatic rate increases each year.

Term

APY

3 years

2.74% Blended

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 365 days’ interest

With the Step Rate CD, you get a rate increase each each year, resulting in the blended APY you see above. You’ll get guaranteed rate increases automatically each year.

Just like the fixed rate CD, interest is compounded daily and credited every quarter. Before maturity, you’ll get a reminder and a 10-day grace period in which to either withdraw funds, add more or renew for another term. Otherwise, your CD will automatically be renewed.

How to get a Step Rate CD

You can only open a Step Rate CD in person or by calling the bank. To find a location nearest you, do search on their site on their locations page by entering your ZIP code or city and state.

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How BMO Harris Bank’s CD rates compare

The promotional rates for the fixed rate CDs are some of the best out there. While some of its competitors offer slightly higher rates, BMO Harris Bank has a lower minimum opening deposit at $5,000. The Step Rate CD is also a great choice as it offers a great rate and automatic increases to boot.

On the other hand, if you’re comparing the bank’s regular CD rates, then those fall way short. If you’re interested in CDs with shorter terms, you’re better off looking for CDs elsewhere.

BMO Harris Bank money market account options

Platinum Money Market

Low minimum opening deposit, but needs a high deposit amount to waive monthly maintenance fee.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

0.30%

$10,000

0.50%

$25,000

0.65%

$50,000

0.80%

$100,000

1.00%

$250,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20 (this fee can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $3 for out of network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $10 if linked to a checking account

While the rates aren’t anything to rave about, they are higher than the savings accounts and you do get check writing capabilities. Just like other accounts, you also get online and mobile banking which as mentioned before, comes with some pretty snazzy features.

This account is probably best for those who intend on stashing more money. You can skip paying the monthly maintenance fee if you keep a minimum balance of $10,000. Or else you’ll be paying the steep fee.

Because this is a savings account, Federal Regulation D limits withdrawals to six per month. If you go over this amount, you will be charged $15 per transaction.

How to get a Platinum Money Market account

You’re only allowed to open a money market account by calling or going to your nearest branch. To find a location nearest you, do a search on the BMO Harris Bank’s website and enter in your ZIP code. It may help to speed up the application process of you book an appointment beforehand.

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How BMO Harris Bank’s money market accounts compare

Like most traditional banks that pay minuscule rates, BMO Harris Bank is no exception. Although it’s higher compared to big banks, with online banks and credit unions, the rates fall flat. However, many competitors require high minimum balances in order to waive the maintenance fees, much like BMO Harris Bank. Some even offer limited check writing capabilities, though not all have ATM access.

All this to say, if you insist on finding the best rates, it’s a good idea to check out our list of the best money market rates to do some comparison shopping.

BMO Harris Bank IRA account options

IRA CD rates

Earn a more competitive rate the higher the minimum deposit.

Term

APY (with a $1,000 minimum deposit amount)

3 months

0.05%

6 months

0.05%

9 months

0.10%

12 months

0.15%

18 months

0.25%

24 months

0.30%

30 months

0.35%

36 months

0.40%

48 months

0.50%

60 months

0.75%

Term

APY (with a $5,000 minimum deposit amount)

3 months

0.05%

6 months

0.05%

9 months

0.10%

12 months

0.15%

18 months

2.50%

24 months

0.30%

30 months

2.75%

36 months

0.40%

48 months

0.50%

60 months

3.25%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 or $5,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000 or $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of CD term:
    • 1 month – all interest earned
    • 2 months – 11 months interest
    • 2 to 11 months – 90 days interest
    • 12 to 23 months – 180 days interest
    • 24-35 months – 270 days interest
    • 36 – 47 months – 365 days interest
    • 48 months and up – 545 days interest

Like the fixed rate CDs, some of the APYs you see above aren’t great. But if you take advantage of the 18, 30 and 60 month CDs with the $5,000 minimum deposit, you can get some really stellar rates.

You’ll want to make sure you’re not exceeding your annual limits for IRA contributions. In 2018, the maximum is $5,500 for individuals and $6,500 if you’re 50 or older. Additionally, if you make early withdrawals, you’re subjected to BMO Harris Bank’s early withdrawal penalties and will be taxed an additional 25% by the IRS if you’re younger than 59.5 years old.

BMO Harris Bank also offers jumbo CDs, but they’re the same rates as the $5,000 minimum deposit.

How to get BMO Harris Bank’s IRA CDs

You can only open a IRA CD in person. Click on the “Locations” tab on its website or call customer service to find a branch closest to you.

LEARN MORE Secured

on BMO Harris Bank’s secure website

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How BMO Harris Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

While many of its competitors require the same minimum opening deposits, BMO Harris Bank’s rates fall way short when you look at them side by side. That is, unless you’re talking about the 18, 30 and 60 month CDs with the $5,000 minimum deposit. These three terms have some of highest rates offered.

If you’re interested in higher rates for different terms than the ones mentioned above, then you’ll want to look at our list for the current best offers on IRA CDs.

IRA savings account

Low opening deposit and no monthly maintenance fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: none
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This is your run-of-the-mill savings account that you can either open as a traditional, Roth or SEP IRA. If the rates are anything like the Statement Savings Account, they’re not spectacular, but you have more flexibility than the IRA CDs in that you can withdraw funds at any time. Remember, you may have to pay a tax penalty if you take out cash before you’re 59.5 years old with a traditional IRA.

Your IRA savings account compounds interest daily and will be credited quarterly, whenever statements are sent to you. Contact the bank to request the rates for this account.

How to get BMO Harris Bank’s IRA savings account

The only way to open an IRA savings account is in person at a local branch. Click on the “Locations” tab on its website or call customer service to find one closest to you.

LEARN MORE Secured

on BMO Harris Bank’s secure website

Overall review of BMO Harris Bank’s banking products

For those looking for basic savings and checking accounts with minimal fees, BMO Harris Bank stands out as a decent choice. You’re not earning much in interest so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re after higher rates. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to do a little comparison shopping to see what’s out there.

Where the bank does shine is its CD and IRA CD accounts. Their promotional rates are some of the best ones we’ve currently seen and the minimum opening balance isn’t too shabby. BMO Harris Bank also has some nice bells and whistles with its mobile app. For those who want to get ATM access, pay bills and manage external accounts all in one place, you’ve got a winner right here.

Unfortunately, not all of the bank’s products are available to be opened online, so you may be out of luck if there isn’t a branch near you. However, the accounts that you do need to open in person don’t have the best rates, so you’re probably not missing out on much.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Reviews

Navy Federal Credit Union: Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1947
Total Assets$89.8B
LEARN MORE on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Credit unions have traditionally been organized around affinity groups — including co-workers, fraternal organizations and the like. Members of the Virginia-based Navy Federal Credit Union share a connection to the military as the institution has been serving service members and employees of the Defense Department since 1933.

The 7 million members have made Navy Federal Credit Union among the largest credit unions in the world, taking advantage of a bevy of perks that the credit union offers.

In order to become a member, you or a relative must be among the following:

  • Active Duty members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard
  • Army and Air National Guard
  • Delayed Entry Program (DEP)
  • DoD Officer Candidate/ROTC
  • DoD Reservists
  • Veterans, retirees and annuitants

Once you become a Navy Federal Credit Union member, you can always be a member regardless of whether you change employers, retire, get married, or move.

Navy Federal Credit Union provides a variety of personal banking products like checking account and savings accounts options along with CDs, money market accounts, and IRA savings.

In this review, we’ll go over their personal banking products and compare them against some of the best in the industry.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.25%

Savings

Navy Federal Credit Union Share Savings

1.85%

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

2.00%

CD Rates

Navy Federal Credit Union 12 Month CD

2.45%

Synchrony Bank 12 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

2.60%

CD Rates

Navy Federal Credit Union 3 Year CD

2.55%

Ally Bank High Yield 3 Year CD

on Ally Bank’s secure website

3.00%

CD Rates

Navy Federal Credit Union 5 Year CD

3.00%

Barclays 60 Month Online CD

on Barclays’s secure website

Navy Federal Credit Union checking account options

Flagship Checking

Standard checking account that allows you to earn tiered dividends based on your balance.
APYMinimum balance amount
0.35%
$0.00 - $9,999
0.40%
$10,000 - $24,999
0.45%
$25,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1
  • ATM fee refund: $10 per statement cycle
  • Overdraft fee: $0

Navy Federal Credit Union’s Flagship Checking account has some noteworthy features. It is an interest-bearing account with tiered dividends (the credit union equivalent of interest) based on your balance. There’s a big jump from the lowest to the highest tier, which at $25,000 will give you a 10-basis-point bump to the highest APY.

There is no minimum opening deposit, but you’ll pay a $10 monthly fee if your balance is below $1,500 during the statement period. Another benefit of this account is that deposits to your account are generally available the same day or the next business day. If a check deposit will be available the following business day, the first $200 is made available on or before the first business day following the deposit.

In terms of making withdrawals, members with a Flagship checking account can withdraw from their account for free when using any Co-Op Network ATM. There is a $1 charge for any PLUS System ATM (overseas included). Be mindful that the owner of a non-Navy Federal Credit Union ATM may charge a fee, but the credit union will refund up to $10 in ATM fee charges per statement cycle.

Like all Navy Federal Credit Union checking accounts, this account has free online banking, online deposits, direct deposit, online statements, and checking protection options.

Flagship Checking would be a good option for someone looking for an interest-bearing account with extra perks and who can maintain enough funds in the account to avoid the monthly fee.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Flagship Checking account

Applying for a Flagship Checking account is easy and you can do it online. You’ll be able to create your own account and join the Navy Federal Credit Union if you haven’t done so already.

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on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Free EveryDay Checking

An interest-bearing checking account with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
APYMinimum deposit amount
0.05%
$0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $0 -$1
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $0 but optional $20 protection

While the free EveryDay Checking account doesn’t have any fees or minimum opening deposit requirements, the interest rate is quite low and there are no rate tiers like the Flagship Checking account.

There also isn’t an ATM refund or credit for out-of-network fees. There is an Optional Overdraft Protection Service (OOPS) for $20 that enables members to authorize overdraft transactions and avoid non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees of $29 per transaction.

This account would be ideal for a member who just wants a basic checking account with no fees and minimum balance requirements.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Free EveryDay Checking account

Applying for a Free EveryDay Checking account is easy and you can do it online. You’ll be able to create your own account and join the Navy Federal Credit Union if you haven’t done so already.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

e-Checking

An interest-bearing online checking account with low fees.
APYMinimum deposit amount
0.05%
$0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $10
  • Overdraft fee: $0

Navy Federal Credit Union’s e-Checking account is similar to their Free EveryDay checking account in terms of interest rate and $0 minimum opening deposit.

This account does have a $5 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived if you set up direct deposit or make 20 Visa debit card transactions per statement cycle.

If you want to make sure you avoid the monthly maintenance fee, you might be better off with the Free EveryDay Checking unless you plan on setting up direct deposit and making at least 20 debit card transactions per month anyway.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s e-Checking account

Applying for an e-Checking account is easy and you can do it online. You’ll be able to create your own account and join the Navy Federal Credit Union if you haven’t done so already.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Free Active Duty Checking

Offers unique benefits for active duty military members.
APYMinimum deposit amount
0.05%
$0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: up to $20 per statement cycle
  • Overdraft fee: $0

This checking account allows early access to military pay with direct deposit. The interest rate is very low, so if you’re looking for a better return on your money, you may want to consider the Flagship Checking account.

Still, this account comes with free personalized checks, no monthly service fees, and ATM fee rebates of up to $20 per statement period.

There’s also no minimum opening deposit, making it accessible to many active duty members of the credit union.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Free Active Duty Checking account

Applying for a Free Active Duty Checking account is easy and you can do it online. You’ll be able to create your own account and join the Navy Federal Credit Union if you haven’t done so already.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Campus Checking

A checking account for full-time students.
APYMinimum deposit amount
0.05%
$0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1
  • ATM fee refund: $10
  • Overdraft fee: $0

This account is ideal for full-time students from ages 14 – 24. There is no minimum balance requirement and no minimum opening deposit.

If you withdraw funds at non-Navy Federal Credit Union ATMs and incur an ATM fee, the credit union will refund it up to $10 per billing cycle.

This account doesn’t really offer any significant benefits or features that would set it apart from the other checking accounts, besides the fact that it is available to minors. Still, an under-18 customer may find a much better interest rate on a checking account at another bank.

How to get a Navy Federal Credit Union’s Campus Checking account

Applying for a Campus Checking account is easy and you can do it online. You’ll be able to create your own account and join the Navy Federal Credit Union if you haven’t done so already.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Navy Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

When it comes to Navy Federal Credit Union’s checking account interest rates, you can get a much better rate at other banks. In fact, some of the best online checking accounts have much higher rates and low minimum opening deposits.

It’s clear that their Flagship Checking account is the best in terms of APY, but you have to deposit $25,000 to reach the highest APY tier. The low rates and the monthly maintenance fees on some of Navy Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts can lead military members and their families to consider other banking options.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s savings account

Basic Savings

No fees and simple requirements, but low returns as well.
APYMinimum Deposit Amount
0.25%
$5.00
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1
  • ATM fee refund:
  • Overdraft fee: None

The Basic Savings account comes with membership to Navy Federal Credit Union. There are no monthly service charges and any charges that might trigger an overdraft will get rejected.

The interest rate is very low compared to their certificates and even their Flagship Checking account.

There is a $3 inactivity fee per quarter if members age 24 and over have less than $50.00 in their account, no activity in 12 months, and no other Navy Federal Credit Union products.

All in all, you’d probably be better off storing your savings in one of Navy Federal Credit Union’s certificates or money market accounts.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Basic Savings account

This account comes with your membership to Navy Federal Credit Union. All you’ll have to do is apply for become a member and deposit your funds.

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on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Navy Federal Credit Union’s savings account compares

Navy Federal Credit Union’s savings account falls pretty low on the scale when compared to some of the best savings account rates offered by other banks.

Banks like Synchrony Bank, American Express, and Barclays all offer savings accounts with very competitive rates and no fees or minimum opening deposit requirements.

If you’re looking to get the best return for your money, you’d be better off with a higher-yielding savings account.

Navy Federal Credit Union CD rates

Share Certificates

A fixed-rate CD with short and long-term savings options.
Term$1,000-$99,999.99$100k+
3 months0.60%
0.70%
6 months1.25%
1.35%
9 months1.50%
1.60%
12 months2.00%
2.10%
18 months2.35%
2.45%
24 months2.50%
2.60%
3 years2.60%
2.70%
4 years2.65%
2.75%
5 years3.00%
3.10%
6 years3.05%
3.15%
7 years3.10%
3.25%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

Navy Federal Credit Union’s share certificates are their most-standard type of certificate of deposit. While the credit union does offer variable CD rates, this one provides customers with a guaranteed fixed rate.

The rates are pretty competitive, but you must meet the minimum opening deposit to open an account and it’s pretty steep. The other downside is that there’s only a slight rate increase for deposits at or over $100,000. That’s a lot of money that might gain a better return in another investment as opposed to a CD.

Dividends are compounded daily and credited monthly. There is an early withdrawal penalty if you need to take money out before your CD matures so it’s important to choose your term wisely and base it on by when you’d want to start using the money.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Share Certificates

Opening a share certificate with Navy Federal Credit Union is easy and can be done online. You need to either be a current Navy Federal Credit Union member and/or have online banking with the credit union to apply.

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on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Special EasyStart Certificate

A flexible short-term savings certificate with the best rate.
TermAPY
12 months3.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $50
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

The Special EasyStart Certificate is a 12-month CD with a much-higher interest rate than the credit union’s share certificates. The minimum opening deposit is also very low and reasonable allowing more people to open an account despite what their budget is.

Another perk of having this account is that you can make additional deposits (up to $3,000) at any time. Generally, CD products only allow you to make an initial deposit then lock in your rate for a specific term. With the Special EasyStart Certificate, you can add more money as you go.

This account would be great for someone who wants to see a guaranteed return on short-term savings.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Special EasyStart Certificate

Opening a Special EasyStart certificate with Navy Federal Credit Union is simple and can be done online. You need to either be a current Navy Federal Credit Union member and/or have online banking with the credit union to apply.

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on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

EasyStart Certificate

A step down from the Special EasyStart certificate in terms of interest.
TermAPY
12 months2.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

The EasyStart Certificate has a lower rate than the Special EasyStart Certificate and it has a higher minimum opening balance.

However, it’s lower than regular certificate shares with Navy Federal Credit Union so you can open this account if you can’t meet the $1,000 minimum opening deposit requirement.

With this account, you can also make deposits at any time of at least $10 or more to grow your savings. This certificate could be a good option for someone looking to ladder their savings. For example, instead of opening one 5-year certificate for $20,000, you could open five certificates for $4,000 at various different terms.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s EasyStart Certificate

Opening an EasyStart certificate with Navy Federal Credit Union is simple and can be done online. You need to either be a current Navy Federal Credit Union member and/or have online banking with the credit union to apply.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

SaveFirst Account

High-yield savings with the lowest minimum opening deposit.
TermAPY
3 months - 5 years0.90%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

Navy Federal Credit Union’s SaveFirst Account is ideal for members looking for a high-yield savings vehicle, but without a lot to contribute to the minimum opening deposit.

The APY isn’t as high as some of Navy Federal Credit Union’s other certificates and there are only two terms to choose from, but you only need a $5 deposit.

Dividends are compounded daily and you can make deposits to your account at any time to grow your account.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s SaveFirst Account

Opening a SaveFirst account with Navy Federal Credit Union is simple and can be done online. You need to either be a current Navy Federal Credit Union member and/or have online banking with the credit union to apply.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

3-Year Variable share certificate

A variable-rate certificate you can add to over time.
TermAPY
3 years2.79%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

This certificate has a variable APY which sets it apart from the other certificates. The rate is pretty competitive, but the downside is that it can fluctuate on the 12th and 24th month from the purchase date.

The minimum opening deposit is higher than the SaveFirst and Easy Start certificates and members can only add funds to their account on its 12-month and 24-month anniversary dates.

If you opened an account with a smaller opening balance and could only add funds annually, you may not see much of a return on your investment.

This account would be ideal for a member who doesn’t want to have a locked savings rate for several years.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s 3-Year Variable share certificate

Opening a 3-Year Variable certificate account with Navy Federal Credit Union is simple and can be done online. You need to either be a current Navy Federal Credit Union member and/or have online banking with the credit union to apply.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Navy Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Navy Federal Credit Union’s CD rates are pretty competitive when compared against some of the best rates currently offered by other banks.

The $1,000 minimum opening deposit for standard share certificates is a middle-of-the-road option: it isn’t the highest, but it’s not the lowest market offering right now. One clear benefit is that the credit union offers different options for certificates, flexible terms, and the ability for members to add funds to their certificate after opening, but before the maturity date.

The one major downside is that Navy Federal Credit Union’s competitive certificate rates aren’t an option for just anyone. You must be a service member, employed by the Department of Defense, or related to someone who is in order to qualify.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts

Standard Money Market Savings account

Tiered interest rates for higher balances, but a high minimum balance to earn APY.
APYMinimum balance amount
0.60%
$0 - $9,999
0.65%
$10,000 - $24,999
0.70%
$25,000 - $49,999
0.75%
$50,000+
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Minimum balance to receive APY: $2,500
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1 (Out of network ATM may charge their own fee)
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: Non-sufficient funds fee of $29 is charged

The Standard Money Market Savings account has tiered interest rates based on your account balance. In order to earn interest, your account must have a minimum balance of $2,500.

Interest is compounded monthly and credited monthly. Federal Reserve Regulation D allows a maximum of six transfers and/or withdrawals per calendar month.

Navy Federal Credit Union will honor any checks or ACH debits that exceed the monthly limit, but an excessive item fee per check will be debited from your account. This is why it’s best to limit your withdrawals to six per month or fewer with a money market account.

This account’s higher minimum balance requirement to earn APY may not appeal to some people. If you’re looking to earn interest right away and can’t deposit $2,500 to your account just yet, you may want to consider other options for money market savings.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Standard Money Market Savings account

You can apply for Navy Federal Credit Union’s Standard Money Market account easily online. Just click the orange ‘Open Now’ button for the money market account you’re interested in and complete the online application.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Jumbo Money Market Savings account

There’s not much of a interest rate reward for this account’s highest balance tiers.
APYMinimum balance amount
$0 - $99,9990.25%
$100,000 - $249,9991.00%
$250,000+1.10%
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $0 – $1 (Out of network ATM may charge their own fee)
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: Non-sufficient funds fee of $29 is charged

While Navy Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo Money Market Savings account provides an interest rate on-par with other money market accounts, members need to maintain a six-figure balance to earn it.

That’s a lot of money and could likely get a much better return with a smaller deposit at another bank.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo Money Market account

If you still want to look into applying for Navy Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo Money Market account easily online. Just click the orange ‘Open Now’ button for the money market account you’re interested in and complete the online application.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Navy Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

While Navy Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts offer free checks and tiered interest rates with no monthly maintenance fees, they can’t hold a candle to some of the best money market accounts offered by other banks.

Banks like CIT, Ally, Virtual Bank, and Sallie Mae all offer a much higher rate than Navy Federal Credit Union and they require a smaller deposit or no minimum opening deposit at all.

If you already bank at Navy Federal Credit Union and enjoy some of their benefits, it may seem convenient to get one of their money market accounts, but you can certainly find better terms and rates elsewhere.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA accounts

IRA CD Rates

Get a guaranteed rate of return for your retirement savings along with flexible certificate terms to choose from.
Term$1,000-$99,999.99$100k+
3 months0.60%
0.70%
6 months1.25%
1.35%
9 months1.50%
1.60%
12 months2.00%
2.10%
18 months2.35%
2.45%
24 months2.50%
2.60%
3 years2.60%
2.70%
4 years2.65%
2.75%
5 years3.00%
3.10%
6 years3.05%
3.15%
7 years3.10%
3.25%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

Traditional IRAs are tax-deferred retirement plans meaning you don’t have to pay taxes on contributions until you withdraw funds. Roth IRAs are funded with already-taxed dollars meaning you don’t have to pay any taxes when you withdraw your money.

Some people don’t like the risk involved with investing in the stock market with an IRA. This is where IRA Certificates can come in pretty handy. You can set your term and you’ll earn a fixed rate of interest.

Navy Federal Credit Union offers flexible terms ranging from three months to seven years to accommodate anyone’s savings goals.

There are withdrawal restrictions meaning you can’t take funds out of the account early or you’ll face a penalty.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA certificates

Opening an IRA Certificate and can be done online. Just go to the IRA certificates page on their website and click the orange ‘Open Now’ button under the account you wish to open to start your application.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

EasyStart IRA Certificate

A competitive APY with a lower minimum opening deposit.
TermAPY
12 months2.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

Navy Federal Credit Union’s EasyStart IRA Certificate currently has the same APY as their regular IRA certificate.

However, the minimum opening deposit is much lower allowing members to start saving for retirement with less money. Members can also make deposits at any time to grow their account balance. An early withdrawal penalty will apply if you try to take funds out before the end of the 12-month term.

This is a good option for members who are looking to open an IRA Certificate, but can’t afford the $1,000 minimum opening deposit for Navy Federal Credit Union’s standard IRA Certificate.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s EasyStart IRA Certificate

Opening an IRA Certificate and can be done online. Just go to the IRA certificates page on their website and click the orange ‘Open Now’ button under the account you wish to open to start your application.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

3-Year Variable IRA Certificate

This IRA certificate has a variable rate with a capped minimum and uncapped maximum rate.
TermAPY
3 years2.79%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12- month certificate and under: 90 days of dividends, 1 to 5-year certificate: 180 days of dividends, 5+ year term certificate: 365 days of dividends

The minimum opening deposit for this IRA Certificate is a little higher than the EasyStart IRA Certificate, but it currently has a better interest rate and a longer term. The interest rate is subject to change each year, but is locked for a 12-month period. You can continue to add unlimited funds on the 12-month and 24-month anniversary dates after opening your certificate account.

Even though this rate is variable, the fluctuating rate will never fall more than half a percentage point below the initial rate and there is no maximum rate limit.

This IRA certificate would be ideal for someone looking to maximize their return and willing to take a small risk with a variable rate certificate.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s 3-Year Variable IRA Certificate

Opening an IRA Certificate and can be done online. Just go to the IRA certificates page on their website and click the orange ‘Open Now’ button under the account you wish to open to start your application.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates are competitive, but they are a little behind some of the best IRA rates offered by other banks.

This all depends on which certificate term you’re looking for. Navy Federal Credit Union has much lower rates for shorter terms 12-months and under. Their rates generally get better the longer you plan to save.

If you’re looking to save long-term in an IRA certificate, Navy Federal Credit Union’s rates are still pretty good. If you’re looking for a shorter term, you can probably find better rates at another bank.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA money market account options

Standard IRA Money Market Savings Account

The IRA version of Navy Federal Credit Union’s standard Money Market Savings account.
APYMinimum Deposit Amount
0.60%
$0.00 - $9,999
0.65%
$10,000 - $24,999
0.70%
$25,000 - $49,999
0.75%
$50,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None from Navy Federal Credit Union, but the IRS will charge a penalty if you’re not at least 59 ½ years old

There’s really not much of a difference when you compare this to the standard Money Market Savings Account. It also has tiered interest rates based on your account balance and a high minimum balance requirement to meet in order to earn interest on your savings.

If you’re looking to invest in retirement, you’d probably be better off with Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA Certificates or a traditional IRA or Roth IRA account if you’re comfortable with more risk.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s standard IRA Money Market account

To apply for Navy Federal Credit Union’s standard IRA Money Market account, go to their website then click the orange ‘Open Now’ button under the account you want to apply for.

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on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Jumbo IRA Money Market Savings Account

Better returns with a much higher minimum deposit.
APYMinimum Deposit Amount
0.25%
$0.00 - $9,999
1.00%
$100,000 - $249,000
1.10%
$250,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: None
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None from Navy Federal Credit Union, but the IRS will charge a penalty if you’re not at least 59½ years old

Navy Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo IRA Money Market savings account offers a higher rate than the standard IRA money market account, but it also requires a much higher account balance in order to earn it.

If you don’t have a six-figure balance to earn the jumbo rate, the standard IRA money market account with tiered interest rates would be better.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s Jumbo IRA Money Market account

To apply for Navy Federal Credit Union’s Standard IRA Money Market account, go to the website then click the orange ‘Open Now’ button under the account you want to apply for.

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on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

IRA Savings Account

This account earns much less than their standard Money Market Account.
APYMinimum Deposit Amount
0.25%
None
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: None
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None from Navy Federal Credit Union, but the IRS will charge a penalty if you’re not at least 59 ½ years old

With Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA Savings account, you can get the tax benefits associated with investing in a Roth, SEP, or Traditional IRA without all the stock market risk.

This account has no fees and no early withdrawal penalty from the credit union.

However, this account’s interest rate is quite low meaning it may not provide the best return for your money.

How to get Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA Savings account

Applying for Navy Federal Credit Union’s IRA Savings account is easy and you can do it online if you’re a member. If you’re not a member, you can call the credit union to open an account.

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on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Overall review of Navy Federal Credit Union’s banking products

Navy Federal Credit Union offers a wide selection of banking products with no fees or at least waivable fees for members of the military and their family.

While the bank serves an exclusive customer base, they don’t offer exclusive banking features or highly competitive rates outside of their certificates and variable rate products. Their certificates have fair rates and terms with flexible offerings to accommodate anyone’s savings goals.

However, military families can get better rates for savings accounts, money market accounts, and IRA savings at an online bank.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Chonce Maddox
Chonce Maddox |

Chonce Maddox is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Chonce at chonce@magnifymoney.com

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Mortgage

What Does a Mortgage Rate Spike Mean for Buyers and Sellers?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Buying a home became more expensive this year but the good news is not by much. Mortgage rates are on the rise, with 30-year fixed mortgages consistently above 4% in 2018 but rates remain at record lows. A decade ago, rates were consistently above 6% and well into the double digits in the 80s and early 90s.

“While rates are certainly going up, the impact to the borrowers is not as drastic as some may think,” said David Gorman, a division executive with Bank of America. “It’s a pretty emotional topic. People hear rates are going up and they jump pretty quickly, but it’s not as aggressive as many would make it sound.”

Although higher rates signal a tighter market for both homebuyers and sellers, it’s important to understand the context in which they’re happening and how you can maximize your opportunities even if rates continue to rise.

Why mortgage rates are changing

It’s not the Fed’s fault. The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate earlier this year, a move that consumers sometimes associated with changes in mortgage rates. However, the Fed rate has less influence on fixed-year mortgages than you might think.

For one thing, the Federal Reserve doesn’t set mortgage rates so it doesn’t have a direct impact on the terms of your potential home loan. Jace Stirling, mortgage divisional manager at SunTrust, explained that the federal funds rate, which is the average rate at which financial institutions lend to one another, “is really, really short term” and isn’t necessarily an indicator of what’s going to happen with long-term mortgage rates.

The Federal Reserve benchmark rate primarily affects loans and lines of credit influenced by the prime rate. This means that adjustable-rate mortgages that are approaching reset and home equity loans and lines of credit are susceptible to fluctuations along with the Federal Reserve.

Keep your eye on the 10-year Treasury note. When it comes to long-term fixed mortgages, it’s the 10-year Treasury note you want to watch. This note represents the expected long-term Treasury yield, and it influences not only the Federal funds rate but interest rates on a number of financial products, mortgages included. The Federal funds rate can influence Treasury yields, but it does not directly impact it, according to Pete Boomer, head of mortgage protection for PNC Bank. There have been instances of “flatter or inverted yield curves,” he said. “So while it generally has an influence, they are not specifically tied together.”

Boomer added that similarly, the 10-year Treasury note and mortgage rates “are not tied together, but they do have a close correlation.”

So far in 2018, increases in the Treasury yield rate have influenced the mortgage market this year. “As the 10-year moves up, so will your long-term interest rates,” Stirling said.

Stirling added that the other factor that is currently influencing the cost of homebuying is low real estate inventory, which is driving up valuations for available properties.

How rising rates impact homebuyers

The prospect of higher interest rates motivates some buyers to become more aggressive in their home searches. Gorman said that people who have been considering purchasing a home but have been on the fence may take a more proactive approach in higher rate environments.

“When they hear that rates are going up, they’ll jump in feet first and they’ll start to look to move,” he said.

The impulse to act quickly makes sense, especially since higher monthly payments aren’t the only consequences of rising rates. Higher interest rates may also mean lower approval values on borrowers’ mortgage applications.

“If you’re a buyer, things are going to get more expensive, so you may be able to borrow less money,” said Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree. “It’s less affordable to purchase a home or get a mortgage.”

But lower approval amounts may not be a bad thing. Buyers sometimes make purchase decisions based on the maximum amount for which they can qualify, rather than based on what makes sense for their budgets, which can lead to long-term financial strain.

“What a lot of people will do is start looking for homes without truly understanding their borrowing power, and then they try to stretch themselves to a point that might not be comfortable,” Gorman said. Instead, he recommended meeting with a loan officer and finding out your borrowing ability, then beginning the search from there.

Keep calm and carry on

It’s also important to keep perspective when you read that interest rates are increasing. Yes, they are higher than last year. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t find an affordable property. Rates are still relatively low, as we noted before.

Stirling said that the lower rates are, the more compressed payments become. In other words, the increase in monthly payments may not be as substantial as borrowers fear. He offered the example of a traditional $300,000 mortgage in which payments on the principal and interest at 4% would be about $1,432. At 5%, he said, the payment would increase to about $1,610.

“The difference isn’t insubstantial but it’s not the end for many people,” Stirling noted. But with rates still closer to the zero end of the spectrum, even a modest increase “still allows [borrowers] to take advantage of the great opportunity of where rates sit today.”

Boomer said rising interest rates could encourage borrowers to look at products they might not otherwise have considered. Rather than choosing a 30-year fixed mortgage to lock in a low rate, they might explore hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (also known as ARMs) or low down-payment options that have been introduced to the market in recent years.

Hybrid ARMs typically include low introductory rates before the variable rate period begins at three, five, seven or 10 years, depending on the loan structure, Stirling explained. “If the consumer has no intention of living in the property beyond this fixed period, an ARM can be a great option, as the payments on the home will be lower than that of a 30-year fixed rate,” he said.

Boomer noted that products from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as those created by lending banks, may offer attractive alternatives to traditional fixed-rate mortgages for some borrowers.

Comparison shopping still key

Whatever type of mortgage you pursue, it’s worth meeting with several different lenders and comparing their products and rates. Even with interest rates increasing, you may be able to find a better-than-average offer, according to Kapfidze.

“Let’s say the average mortgage rate is 4.5%. That means people are getting rates ranging from 4% to 6%, so there’s a wide range of rates available in the marketplace,” Kapfidze said. “The more you shop around, the more likely you are to find a favorable rate.”

The key to making the right buying decision is education. Stirling recommended getting in touch with a loan officer early on to determine your options. Jorge Davila, a vice president in the direct lending department at Flagstar Bank, suggested that borrowers ask questions until they feel comfortable with their purchase decisions and fully understand how the rates they’re offered will impact their payments. “It’s all about understanding what you’re looking for as a buyer, what makes sense for you and your family price-wise,” he said.

You can compare loan offers online by using LendingTree’s marketplace.

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on Lendingtree’s secure website

How rising interest rates impact sellers

Homebuyers aren’t the only ones who may be calibrating their plans in light of rising interest rates. Sellers, too, will need to decide how they respond to this shift in the market. If buyers move quickly to purchase homes before interest rates rise further, sellers may find themselves able to move their property quickly.

But once they’ve sold their homes, they’ll need a place to move — and that means they may end up having to take out a loan at a higher interest rate than what they pay on their current properties. Kapfidze describes this as a lock-in effect. When rates rise, some owners opt to stay in their homes rather than risk paying more for a new house.

If you choose to stay in your home, you don’t necessarily need to maintain the status quo, though. Kapfidze said that instead of selling, some homeowners will apply for home equity loans or lines of credit and improve their existing houses. Knowing this, lenders may offer competitive terms on home equity products, so sellers should consider a variety of offers before deciding which to accept.

Keeping perspective

Buyer or seller, the consensus among these experts was to maintain perspective and focus less on short-term increases and more on the long-term implications of your buying and selling decisions.

“People are going to consistently be moving for jobs, for schools, for families growing, downsizing, so the housing market will always be one that is necessary and relatively strong,” Gorman said. “So we tend to tell clients, worry less about the rate environment and worry more about what’s best for you.”

LendingTree

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on LendingTree’s secure website

Disclaimer: This article may contain links to LendingTree, which is the parent company of MagnifyMoney.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Casey Hines
Casey Hines |

Casey Hines is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Casey here

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Personal Loans

LendingPoint Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

LendingPoint
APR

15.49%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

585

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 48

months

Fees

Fee Varies

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingPoint offers personal loans for a wide variety of reasons, including paying for home repairs, consolidating credit card debt, or to make a large purchase. Their online process can help you to quickly apply for a personal loan, get qualified, and receive funding. While their interest rates can be higher than others, they do offer fast approval and can transfer funds to your bank account in 24 hours.

LendingPoint personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 24 to 48 months
  • APR range: 15.49% to 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $25,000
  • Time to funding: After the final approval, funds may be transferred in up to 1 to 2 business days, though often as soon as the next business day.
  • Hard pull/soft pull: LendingPoint conducts a soft pull when you first apply for a personal loan quote. After you review the loan offer(s) and select one, a hard pull will then be done to move forward with the final loan approval process.
  • Origination fee: The Fee Varies, depending on your state of residence and credit history.
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: Varies

Many lenders are strict about how many loans you can have at one time, sometimes maxing out at one per borrower. However, LendingPoint may allow you to take out two loans at once, depending on your current loan’s standing and your overall credit history. Being able to take out another personal loan can be helpful if a new financial issue comes up, such as an unexpected home repair, where you need more funds than your current loan can’t cover.

LendingPoint’s personal loans may be used for many different financial reasons. Whether you need to pay for an upcoming home renovation, you need funds to buy a car or need help paying off a medical bill your insurance won’t cover, a personal loan with LendingPoint can help. These personal loans can also be used to help consolidate your debt and refinance your credit cards.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 585
  • Minimum credit history: LendingPoint looks at your overall financial potential to help determine whether you’re a good candidate for a personal loan, but it will only consider those who can show income of at least $20,000 a year.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 35%

All borrowers must be at least 18 years old and reside in one of LendingPoint’s 34 designated states or Washington, D.C. Borrowers are encouraged to show consistent employment history for at least the past 12 months and must have a bank account.

LendingPoint does not offer loans in:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Applying for a personal loan from LendingPoint

To begin the application process with LendingPoint, you’ll first need to provide basic background information, such as your name, date of birth, Social Security number, and annual income. This is the pre-approval process which will generate one or more loan offers in just a few minutes.

If you choose one of the offers and agree with the terms and rates, you will then need to provide any additional information and documents LendingPoint may request, including your driver’s license, bank statements (with voided check) and proof of income. Once all documents have been received and reviewed, a final loan approval can happen in a few hours, and your funds can possibly be distributed to your bank account within the next business day.

Pros and cons of a LendingPoint personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • No prepayment penalty. If you decide to pay off your loan before your term is up, LendingPoint will not charge you a prepayment penalty.
  • Fast approval and funding. Many borrowers are pre-approved for a personal loan within just minutes and approved for the actual loan within hours. Borrowers can possibly receive funds in their bank account the next business day.
  • Works with borrowers with fair credit. LendingPoint provides personal loans to borrowers with fair credit.
  • Bankruptcy is not grounds for automatic disqualification. Borrowers with a discharged bankruptcy of 12 months or more can still apply for a personal loan with LendingPoint. Your credit history, income and discharged bankruptcy timeframe will all be determining factors.
  • No joint or cosigner loans. Some lenders allow you to have a cosigner with a higher credit score in order to qualify for a better personal loan rate. That is not the case with LendingPoint’s personal loans, as they are based only on your individual credit history.
  • Fluctuating payment schedule. Your monthly due date may change because LendingPoint uses a 28-day payment cycle.
  • Higher interest rates. LendingPoint may work with borrowers with fair credit, but that can mean higher interest rates when compared with other lenders.
  • Origination fee. Many lenders don’t charge an origination fee for personal loans, which is why LendingPoint’s possible charge of up to 6.00% can be off-putting.

Who’s the best fit for a LendingPoint personal loan

If you have fair credit and meet the income requirements, LendingPoint could be a good option, especially if you need funds fast. The lack of a prepayment penalty is a plus, but other lenders offer lower rates, even for those with less than ideal credit.

It’s always a good idea to search and compare personal loans before making a final decision. Shop around to find the best personal loans with a rate and term ideal for your financial needs while also keeping an eye out for any fees associated with the loans, including origination fees. LendingPoint may be the best fit for you, but you should take some time to compare with others to know for sure.

Alternative personal loan options

Peerform

Peerform
APR

5.99%
To
29.99%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Fees

1.00% - 5.00%

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on LendingTree’s secure website

Even with a credit score of 600, you still might be able to secure a loan through Peerform. ... Read More


Peerform offers lower fixed rates ranging from 5.99% to 29.99% with loan amounts starting at $4,000 and maxing out at $25,000; terms are between 36 or 60 months. Similar to LendingPoint, there are no prepayment penalties should you want to pay off your loan in advance, but there may be an origination fee that varies from 1.00% - 5.00%. There are other fees to consider with Peerform as well — these include late fees, unsuccessful payment fees, and check processing fees, all of which can range around $15 each.

LendingClub

LendingClub
APR

6.16%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Fees

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates and approvals for people with credit scores as low as 600.... Read More


While LendingPoint allows borrowers to take up to $25,000, LendingClub offers loans up to $40,000 which is good for those looking to borrow more money. However, you will likely have to wait a little longer to receive the funds — LendingClub’s earliest distribution is within 7 business days. There are no prepayment penalties, but LendingClub charges an origination fee of anywhere from 1.00% - 6.00%, and you could also be charged a check processing fee or late payment fee. Credit history, the loan amount and any other outstanding debt are some of the factors used to determine the APR, which usually ranges from 6.16% to 35.89%.

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial
APR

16.05%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Fees

Varies

APPLY NOW Secured

on OneMain Financial’s secure website

If you have a credit score below 600, OneMain Financial is one of the few lenders that you can use to get a personal loan.... Read More


OneMain Financial has issued loans for more than 100 years and, similar to LendingPoint, can have money in your hands within the next business day after final approval. Loan amounts are from $1,500 to $30,000 with an APR range of 16.05% to 35.99%. Borrowers are eligible for terms of 24 to 60 months, depending on your credit and financial history and any other debts you may have. Credit score requirements vary and all personal loans have fixed rates and payments without any prepayment penalties. You may be able to get a loan offer within minutes when you apply online but will need to meet with a loan specialist in person for final approval.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Carissa Chesanek
Carissa Chesanek |

Carissa Chesanek is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Carissa here

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Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

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Personal Loans

Wells Fargo Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Wells Fargo Bank
APR

6.99%
To
23.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

12 to 60

months

Fees

No origination fees

APPLY NOW Secured

on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

Wells Fargo personal loan details

Wells Fargo loan terms range from 12 to 60 months on loan amounts of $3,000 to $100,000. The APR on a personal loan can range from 6.99% to 23.99%,  (0.25% discount is applied to the interest for relationship accounts). The Wells Fargo website states funds are often distributed the next business day after approval.

What’s great about Wells Fargo personal loans is there are no origination or prepayment fees. There is a late payment fee: $39; however, there is 10-day grace period to make that payment before Wells Fargo charges a penalty.

 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 12 to 60 months
  • APR Range: 6.99% - 23.99%
  • Loan amounts: $3,000 - $100,000
  • Time to funding: Next business day
  • Soft-pull/hard-pull: Hard
  • Origination fee: None.
  • Prepayment fee: None.
  • Late payment fee: $39

Eligibility requirements

Like most applications for a line of credit or a loan, your credit report will show a hard pull when you apply for a personal loan with Wells Fargo. The bank does not have a minimum credit score requirement, but will consider your credit score in their decision. They also don’t have a cap on the debt-to-income requirement, but again, it will be factor into their lending decision.

Loan underwriters will also consider your income and any other banking relationship with Wells Fargo as part of their decision. If you’re a long-term Wells Fargo customer, that could improve your chances of qualifying.

Apply for personal loan with Wells Fargo

You can apply for a Wells Fargo personal loan online, by phone or at a Wells Fargo bank branch. In each case, Wells Fargo will ask for your personal information — like your name, address and Social Security number — and employment and income verification. Finally, you will need to submit your ideal loan term and amount, although you may not receive the full amount requested.

If you already have a Wells Fargo bank account, you can log in and the application will be prefilled with information that is already on your account. Once you submit the online application, the software will tell you whether you qualify, are rejected or if they need more information. Wells Fargo may request supporting documentation such as your pay stubs, driver’s license or tax returns before making a decision.

Wells Fargo often supplies funds within one business day of approval. Funds can be received in a variety of different ways, including a direct deposit into an existing Wells Fargo account, transferring the money into another bank account, cashier’s check or you can opt to have the funds go directly toward outstanding debts (if you requested the loan to consolidate your other debts).

Wells Fargo personal loan: Pros and cons

Wells Fargo has some positives — such as banking with a mega financial institution — but it also has some negatives — like their history of setting up fraudulent accounts. Loan products (with any institution) will be no different. Here are some pros and cons to taking out a personal loan with Wells Fargo:

Pros:

Cons:

  • Fast payment – Once your loan has been approved, they pay out within one business day.
  • Competitive interest rates – Wells Fargo interest rates are competitive compared with many online lenders.
  • Relationship discount – Wells Fargo takes 0.25% off your interest rate if you have a qualifying checking account with them and make automatic payments.
  • No prepayment, origination or application fees – Wells Fargo does not charge an application fee or origination fee to set up a personal loan. There are no penalties for paying off your loan early.
  • Varied loan amounts – Wells Fargo offers loans anywhere from $3,000 to $100,000. This can be useful for people looking for a large personal loan.
  • Decision could take time – Wells Fargo does not make an instant decision on all applications. They may ask you to submit additional documents before making a decision.
  • Hard credit pull – To see whether you qualify and at what rate means making a hard pull on your credit report, which can knock a few points off your score.
  • No guaranteed approval – Although Wells Fargo does not list its eligibility requirements, expect them to be tougher than with an online lender. Large national banks use a more stringent qualification process in exchange for charging lower interest rates than some online lenders.

Who’s the best fit for a Wells Fargo personal loan?

Wells Fargo personal loans are ideal for someone with a strong credit score and high income. In this case, you have a better chance of receiving an instant decision at the lowest available interest rate.

Wells Fargo incentivizes personal loan borrowers to open a checking account with them by offering a 0.25% discount on the interest rate when you set up automatic payments. Plus, Wells Fargo can deposit the loan proceeds immediately into your bank account after you’re approved.

Wells Fargo is a good fit if you want the flexibility to pay the money back earlier than expected or are looking for a large personal loan limit. Finally, if you want to meet with a banker in person to discuss your loan, Wells Fargo is one of your better options as they have roughly 5,800 branches nationwide where you can meet with a loan officer.

Alternative loan options

If you don’t meet Wells Fargo eligibility requirements, consider the following three alternatives for a personal loan:

LendingClub

LendingClub
APR

6.16%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Fees

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates and approvals for people with credit scores as low as 600.... Read More


LendingClub is an online lender that uses a peer-to-peer system, which means they match you with other lenders to fund your loan. You could potentially receive a lower interest rate or qualify with a lower credit score than you would with Wells Fargo, but that depends on what kind of offers you receive. You can check rates without hurting your credit score because they use a soft pull to create offers. However, the entire process takes at least seven days to fund your loan. A personal loan with Wells Fargo is a faster process if you immediately qualify.

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial
APR

16.05%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Fees

Varies

APPLY NOW Secured

on OneMain Financial’s secure website

If you have a credit score below 600, OneMain Financial is one of the few lenders that you can use to get a personal loan.... Read More


OneMain Financial’s application process — from application to funding — can be completed in just one day. The downside is they charge significantly higher interest rates than Wells Fargo. You will be required to visit a OneMain Financial branch in person to complete the process as it can’t be 100% completed online.

LendingPoint

LendingPoint
APR

15.49%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

585

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 48

months

Fees

Fee Varies

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingPoint offers personal loans for a wide variety of reasons, including paying for home repairs, consolidating credit card debt, or to make a large purchase. Their online process can help you to quickly apply for a personal loan, get qualified, and receive funding. While their interest rates can be higher than others, they do offer fast approval and can transfer funds to your bank account in 24 hours.


LendingPoint is another choice if you need money quickly and want to handle the entire process online. They are more accepting of lower credit scores and consider other factors for their lending decision, such as employment and financial history and income. Their application process is fast and you may be able to apply and receive funding within a couple of days. They do charge a loan origination fee and have higher interest rates than Wells Fargo.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

David Rodeck is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email David here

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Reviews

BBVA Compass Review of Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1964
Total Assets$86.6B
LEARN MORE on BBVA Compass’s secure website

While you may not be familiar with BBVA Compass if you live outside of the Sunbelt, you might be one of the thousands of customers using one of the bank’s digital apps, including Simple. BBVA Compass is the American subsidiary of the Spanish giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria.

The bank has 688 branches in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico and Texas, but serves customers across the country through its online banking platform. For customers living in states outside of the BBVA Compass branch network, accounts and terms will be subject to state law in Alabama, home to BBVA Compass. Since rates may differ depending on location, we based our research on the bank’s headquarters city of Birmingham, Alabama.

BBVA Compass’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.05%

Savings

BBVA Compass ClearConnect Savings

1.85%

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

1.30%

CD Rates

BBVA Compass 12 Month CD - Branch

2.45%

Synchrony Bank 12 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

0.25%

CD Rates

BBVA Compass 18 Month CD - Branch

2.55%

Ally Bank High Yield 3 Year CD

on Ally Bank’s secure website

0.40%

CD Rates

BBVA Compass 36 Month CD - Branch

3.00%

Barclays 60 Month Online CD

on Barclays’s secure website

BBVA Compass checking account options

ClearChoice Interest Checking account

Get additional benefits such as free checks and the ability to earn interest.

APY for New Customers

APY for Existing Customers

Minimum Balance Amount

0.50%

0.15%

$0.01

0.01%

0.01%

$25,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • ATM fee: None.
  • ATM fee refund: Up to two refunds per month

This checking account is meant for those who want to earn interest and intend on using their account fairly often. Though the monthly maintenance fee seems a bit steep, you can get it waived in one of four ways:

  • Have an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in your account.
  • Have an average daily balance of at least $25,000 across your checking and money market accounts.
  • The primary account holder has Premier Personal Banking status with the BBVA Premier Personal Banking program.
  • You’re a BBVA Compass Global Wealth client.

In addition to the features you get with the free checking accounts, you earn a tiered interest rate. Also, you won’t get charged when you use an out-of-network ATM and get two ATM fee refunds per month. Other perks include free checks and no monthly maintenance fees if you choose to also open one of BBVA Compass’ money market accounts.

The rates you see above are promotional rates. To qualify for the better rate, you can’t have opened a checking account within the last 90 days.

How to get BBVA Compass’ ClearChoice Interest Checking account

Opening an account can take as little as a few minutes by filling out an application form on the BBVA Compass website. Enter personal details such as your address, income information and ID to verify your identity. Once approved you can then fund your account.

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on BBVA Compass’s secure website

Free Checking account

Take advantage of full-service features without the price tag.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Up to four transactions per statement cycle for a $5 monthly fee
  • Overdraft fee: $12 per transaction with overdraft protection service

This account is a great option for those who want to save money on banking fees while still being able to get access to a whole host of features. The downside is that this isn’t an interest-bearing account.

There are no monthly service charges nor fees for in-network ATMs. There is a fee for out-of-network ATMS, but you can pay $5 each month as an add-on and BBVA Compass will reimburse you up to four times a month. It could be worth it if you make a lot of ATM transactions and there aren’t any in-network ATMs around.

The account is set to default to decline any transactions that will cause your account to go into overdraft, but you can link it to a savings account or a line of credit. If you choose this option, then you’ll be charged each time a transfer occurs.

As for other features, you get free online and mobile banking, including bill pay and mobile deposit. Account holders also get a free Visa debit card and the ability to earn cashback rewards every time you make a qualifying purchase. Let’s not forget free online or paper statements, which other banks tend to charge for a few bucks a month.

Unfortunately, the free checking account is only available to those in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, California, Florida, New Mexico and Texas. If you don’t live in any of these states, the ClearConnect checking account is a great alternative.

How to get BVAA Compass’ Free Checking account

Residents in any of the above mentioned locations can fill out an application form online. Before entering your personal details, you’ll be asked to enter your ZIP code. You’ll need to provide name, address, a government-issued ID, and employment information. After agreeing to BVAA Compass’ terms, you’ll then fund your account, confirm your information and the checking account is considered open.

Otherwise, you can open a Free Checking account at your local branch.

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on BBVA Compass’s secure website

ClearConnect Checking account

A great option for those wanting a free checking account option with numerous features.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: None for in-network ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund:  none
  • Overdraft fee:$12 per transaction with overdraft protection service

There aren’t many differences between the Free Checking account mentioned above and this one. The fees for this non-interest bearing account — including the monthly maintenance and ATM fees — are pretty much the same, except you’ll need to pay $3 a month for paper statements. Account holders also get free access to online and mobile banking as well as bill pay.

With your free Visa debit card, you can earn cashback rewards with the Simple Cash Back program. You can select rewards once you log into your account online or via the mobile app. Account holders earn rewards by doing simple tasks such as making a qualifying purchase.

How to get BBVA Compass’ ClearConnect Checking account

U.S. residents can open an account online. Head to BBVA Compass’ application form and fill in your personal details. This includes your name, employment information and a piece of government ID. Once approved, you can then fund your account.

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on BBVA Compass’s secure website

Easy Checking account

A great opportunity for those who don’t qualify for the free checking account options.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $13.95
  • ATM fee: $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $12 if opted into overdraft protection

The Easy Checking account is for those that don’t qualify for the Free Checking account, perhaps because of bad bank or credit history. You’ll get limited account features until you’re able to get another BBVA Compass checking account.

While there are no opportunities to waive the monthly maintenance fee, you do get free ATM access for in-network ATMs and at all Allpoint© ATMs. You also get free online and mobile banking so you can keep an eye on your account anytime you want. Included in this account is a Visa debit card with cashback rewards on qualifying purchases.

Once you have this account open for a minimum of 12 months, you may be able to upgrade to another checking account if your account is still active and has a positive balance. To do so, you’ll need to call customer service or go to any BBVA Compass location.

How to get BBVA Compass’ Easy Checking account

BBVA Compass encourages new customers to apply for the Free Checking or ClearConnect checking account first through its website. If your application is rejected, then you can open a Easy Checking account by visiting your local branch or by calling customer service.

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on BBVA Compass’s secure website

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How BBVA Compass’ checking accounts compare

Compared with other online banks, the rates for the interest-bearing checking account fall a bit short. Many of its competitors have checking accounts with no fees and much higher APYs. However, BBVA does stand out in that it does offer ATM fee reimbursements, a rewards program and free checks. If you earn enough cash back through its program, it may be worth it to open an account.

BBVA Compass savings account options

Compass ClearConnect savings account

Account holders earn a minuscule amount of interest with no maintenance fees.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Quarterly Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to a checking account

This is a basic savings account that offers free online and mobile banking. Like most big banks, the interest you earn is pretty minuscule. However, this account can be useful if you want to store some extra cash if you plan to link it to a checking account for overdraft protection.

As with all savings accounts, Federal Regulation D limits up to six transfers and electronic payments a month. However, BBVA Compass will charge you $3 per transaction if you make more than four withdrawals every statement cycle.

How to get a Compass ClearConnect savings account

Opening an account is easy as you can do it online via BBVA Compass’ application form. You’ll need to provide personal information like your name, address, employment information and a government-issued ID. You’ll then need to fund your account. Otherwise, you can open an account at your local branch or by calling the bank.

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on BBVA Compass’s secure website

Compass ClearChoice savings account

A basic savings account with a low rate.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Quarterly account maintenance fee: $15
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to a checking account

This savings account doesn’t seem all that much different from the ClearConnect account, except that it comes with a quarterly account maintenance fee. You’re still getting the same rates and features, including the excess transaction fee of $3 if you make more than four withdrawals a month.

What does make this account different is that it seems to encourage you to save money instead of it just being an account you can link to for overdraft protection — the minimum daily balance requirement of $500 in order to waive the monthly maintenance fee is a built-in incentive. You may also waive the monthly maintenance fee by transferring a minimum of $25 every month from a BBVA Compass checking account.

How to get a Compass ClearChoice savings account

You can open an account within a few minutes by heading to BBVA Compass’ website and filling out its online application form. Information you’ll be asked to provide will include your name, address, a government-issued ID and employment information. Afterward, you’ll be asked to fund the account. Otherwise, you can open an account at your local branch or by calling the bank’s customer service department.

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on BBVA Compass’s secure website

Build My Savings account

Earn bonuses just for saving money.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Quarterly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to a checking account

This is a unique account in that it is a hybrid between a regular savings account and a CD. You choose the length of your savings goal — six or 12 months — and then choose an amount you want to have automatically transferred from your checking account. Account holders have the ability to earn a match transfer bonus. BBVA Compass will match up to 1% of the total amount you saved, up to $25 for the six-month plan and up to $50 for a 12-month plan. You must set up an automatic transfer of a minimum of $25 every month to qualify for the bonus.

If you cancel your account or withdraw money before your designated term is up, you won’t be eligible to receive the bonus. You’ll also be charged $10 per withdrawal and a $15 quarterly service charge if you don’t make automatic transfers of a minimum of $25.

How to get a Build My Savings account

You can only open this account in person. Click here to check for a location closest to you or by calling the bank.

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on BBVA Compass’s secure website

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How BBVA Compass’ savings accounts compare

Unfortunately, like many other big banks, BBVA Compass’ saving accounts fall short when it comes to their rates. Many online competitors offer much higher APYs on their savings accounts with no monthly maintenance fees, though some may require higher minimum balances. However, BBVA’s Build My Savings account does offer a unique opportunity to earn some extra cash, but it may not be enough to make up for the low rates.

BBVA Compass CD rates

Fixed Term CDs

Offers competitive rates, but with limited terms.

Term

APY (Online)

APY (In-Person)

12 months

1.85%

1.30%

15 months

1.85%

0.10%

18 months

2.00%

0.25%

36 months

2.00%

0.40%

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY:  $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on CD term:
    • Terms of 365 days or less: $25 + 1% of amount withdrawn
    • Terms of more than 365 days: $35 + 3% of amount withdrawn

With BBVA Compass’ CDs, you tend to get better rates when you open an account online, though you don’t get access to shorter terms. Terms range from seven days to 15 years for CDs opened at a branch.

Interest earned will only be paid when your account matures if you open it online. However, if you open a CD in person, you have the option to have interest earned paid out either monthly, quarterly, twice a year, annually or at maturity. The interest can be paid out to another account, via check or kept in the CD.

Account holders will receive a written notice before the account matures. Once it does, you’ll have a 10 day grace period in which to withdraw funds, renew for a different term or add additional funds. Otherwise, your CD will automatically be renewed at the current rate, which will be different from the promotional APY.

How to get a BBVA Compass CD

You can take advantage of the promotional rates by filling out an application form online. You’ll be asked to select the CD term you want then personal details such as your name, employment information and government-issued ID. You’ll then provide details on how you want to fund the account and confirm your information. Upon approval your account will be considered opened. If you’re looking for short term rates, you’ll need to head to your local branch.

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on BBVA Compass’s secure website

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How BBVA Compass’ CD rates compare

The bank’s CD rates are pretty much on par with what is offered out there. Although its rates are slightly lower compared with other banks with the same terms, BBVA Compass’ offers a lower minimum opening deposit. Unfortunately, there aren’t many longer term options. In addition, those rates mentioned above are only for the initial term, so if that’s a concern then you may be better off looking at other CD options out there.

BBVA Compass money market account

ClearChoice Money Market account

Offers one of the best APYs out there for those who qualify.

APY for New Customers Online

APY for Existing Customers

Minimum Balance Amount

1.70%

0.05%

$0.01 - $99,999.99

1.70%

0.10%

$100k - $999,999.99

1.70%

0.15%

$1m+

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15
  • ATM fee: Free for BBVA ATMs, $3 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $12 when linked to another BBVA Compass account

BBVA Compass’ money market account is best for those who want a higher interest rate than what the bank’s savings accounts offer and an account to provide overdraft protection for a linked checking account.

You can waive the monthly maintenance fee if you have at least $10,000 in your account each quarter or if you set up an automatic transfer of least $25 from your BBVA Compass checking account each month.

The promotional rate you see above is only good for those who open an account online and only for the first 12 months. You also cannot have opened another money market account within the last 30 days of account opening. After the 12 month promotional period is over, you’ll earn the regular rate. Depending on your deposit amount, the APY could still be higher than a savings account.

Because this is a type of savings account, Federal Regulation D states that you can only make a maximum of six withdrawals a month. BBVA Compass charges a $10 for each excess withdrawal.

How to get BVAA Compass’ ClearChoice money market account

You can open an account within a few minutes by filling out BBVA Compass’ online application form. Information you’ll be asked to provide will include your name, address, a government-issued ID and employment information. Afterward, you’ll be asked to fund the account. Otherwise, you can open an account at your local branch or by calling the bank’s customer service number.

LEARN MORE Secured

on BBVA Compass’s secure website

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How BBVA Compass’ money market account compares

BBVA Compass offers one of the highest rates from our list of the best money market accounts out there. It doesn’t require a minimum balance to earn this rate, though it does have a high minimum balance to waive the maintenance fee. Many other competitors have mobile banking just like BBVA does. However, the rate for this money market account is only good for the first 12 months, so if you’re not happy with the regular rate (or don’t qualify for the promo one), you may want to go with another institution.

BBVA Compass IRA account options

IRA CD

Term

APY (Online)

APY (In-Person)

12 months

1.85%

1.30%

15 months

1.85%

0.10%

18 months

2.00%

0.25%

36 months

2.00%

0.40%

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on CD term:
    • Terms of 365 days or less: $25 + 1% of amount withdrawn
    • Terms of more than 365 days: $35 + 3% of amount withdrawn

BBVA Compass also offers CDs as an IRA. With that option, the rates and terms are pretty much the same except you’re able to make another two deposits a year, up to the IRS limit. Currently, this is $5,000 per year or $6,000 for those who are 50 years and older.

If you do make an early withdrawal, you’ll be subject to BBVA Compass’ penalties plus any additional taxes and other fees as mandated by the IRS. Considering the competitive rate for the IRA CD, it’s a great way to possibly save money in a tax deferred account (if you opted for a Traditional IRA).

How to get BBVA Compass’ IRA savings account

Even though you can open a regular CD account online, with an IRA account you’ll need to do so in person. You can click here to find a location closest to you or call the bank to find out more.

LEARN MORE Secured

on BBVA Compass’s secure website

Overall review of BBVA Compass’ banking products

BBVA Compass does offer some unique features such as different options to get cashback rewards with its Visa debit card. It also offers rate matching for its Build My Savings account. Its CD, money market and IRA rates are on par with the best rates out there, even if it’s just for the first 12 months.

Sadly, its checking and savings accounts fall short. There are better rates, many at triple the APY that’s currently being offered at BBVA Compass. Even with perks like no-fee accounts and free checks, other online banks offer many of the same options at higher rates.

If you’re only after the highest rates for checking and savings accounts, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. However, if you want some of the best money market and CD rates out there, then BBVA Compass is a great choice.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Personal Loans

BofI Federal Bank Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

BofI Federal Bank
APR

6.49%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

12 to 60

months

Fees

5%

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on BofI Federal Bank’s secure website

BofI Federal Bank personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 12 to 60 months
  • APR Range: 6.49% and up
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Time to Funding: 2 days
  • Hard pull/soft pull: Prequalification: soft pull; application/prior to funding: hard pull
  • Origination fee: 5%
  • Prepayment fee: $0
  • Late payment fee: $15
  • Other fees: Insufficient funds fee: $25

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 680
  • Minimum credit history: Not specified
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 45% to 50%

The basic eligibility requirements for a personal loan with BofI Federal Bank call for applicants to be U.S. residents who are at least 18 years old with verifiable income. Applicants also need a minimum credit score of 680 and a debt-to-income ratio of 45% to 50%. Although the credit history requirements are not specified by BofI, this information is used to determine if an applicant is approved for a loan.

Applying for a personal loan from BofI Federal Bank

Applying for a BofI Federal Bank personal loan is simple, and the process can be completed fairly quickly. By visiting the website, you can get the ball rolling by answering a few questions to see if you prequalify for a loan. You need to provide your income, credit history and score, employment history, basic contact information and Social Security number.

After answering these questions and a soft pull (which won’t affect your credit score), a loan offer will be provided if you prequalify. This offer can help you decide if you want to complete the application. Should you decide to apply, the information you provided will be verified.

If BofI Federal Bank offers you a loan following verification, you have the opportunity to review it before accepting. The final loan offer may differ from what you were offered after pre-qualification because of what was found during the verification process. Once you accept the offer, funds are deposited into your bank account within two days.

Pros and cons of a BofI Federal Bank personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • No collateral: A personal loan with BofI Federal Bank is unsecured, so it does not require collateral.
  • No prepayment fees: You won’t be charged an additional fee if you pay off your BofI Federal Bank loan early.
  • Quick application: The application process for a BofI Federal Bank personal loan is quick. You can expect to spend no more than 15 minutes on prequalification and the application.
  • Pre-qualification: You can avoid a drop in their credit score by seeing if you prequalify for a loan before applying. This is a soft pull, and it allows the bank to determine if you are likely to be approved for a loan.

  • Funding time: It can take up to two days for funds be received. This is a problem if you have expenses that need immediate attention and require instant or same-day funding.
  • Loan terms: Although BofI Federal Bank offers flexible loan terms, not all options are available depending on your loan request.
  • Origination fee: You must pay a 5% origination fee. This amount is deducted from the loan before funding.

Who’s the best fit for a BofI Federal Bank personal loan

A personal loan with BofI Federal Bank is unsecured, so while no collateral is required, there is specific criteria you must meet if you wish to secure a loan. While BofI will use multiple factors to determine if you are a good fit for a loan, you should have a credit score of at least 680 when you apply. This means if you could be approved even if you have less than perfect credit. But you likely won’t be approved if you have poor or bad credit.

In addition to the credit score requirement, another factor that could affect a person’s fit for this lender is the funding time. If you need to receive funds immediately, this is not possible and you won’t benefit from applying for a loan with this lender. However, if you don’t have an immediate need for funds, you may find a BofI Federal Bank personal loan to be a great option.

Although a personal loan with BofI Federal Bank may not be the ideal lender for all, there are alternatives that may be more suitable.

Alternative personal loan options

LendingClub

LendingClub
APR

6.16%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Fees

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates and approvals for people with credit scores as low as 600.... Read More


Securing a personal loan between $1,000 and $40,000 with LendingClub can be done in a matter of minutes. To ensure you are a good fit for a loan with this particular lender, you can check rates prior to filling out the application. If a loan with LendingClub seems like an option, you can review the available offers and then move forward with the application by verifying the information you provided. If you’re approved after the review of the application, funds will be deposited into your account within seven days. When comparing this lender to BofI Federal Bank, the prequalification and application processes are similar, but you may be able to take out a personal loan with a lower APR and a lower origination fee.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®

Marcus by Goldman Sachs®
APR

6.99%
To
24.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 72

months

Fees

No origination fee

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on LendingTree’s secure website

Marcus by Goldman Sachs® offers personal loans for up to $40,000 for debt consolidation and credit consolidation. ... Read More


If you have at least fair credit, you have the option to apply for a personal loan with Marcus by Goldman Sachs®. When choosing this specific lender, you have access to between $3,500 and $40,000, more than what’s on offer from BofI Federal Bank. In addition to access to higher funds, Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers loan terms from 36 to 72 months, giving you plenty of time to pay back your loan. Should you choose to pay the loan off early, there are no prepayment fees that will be tacked onto your final payment, making this loan ideal if you want to avoid paying extra fees.

Upgrade

Upgrade
APR

6.87%
To
35.97%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Fees

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.87%-35.97%. All loans have a 1% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay. For example, a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 17.97% APR (which includes a 5% origination fee) has a required monthly payment of $343.28. Upgrade is available in all states except: Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia.


Upgrade is an alternative if you have fair credit and need between $1,000 and $50,000. Before applying, you can use the pre-qualification process to determine your chances of being approved for a loan without taking a hit to your credit score. Following pre-qualification, the application can be filled out. If approved for a loan, it can take up to four days for funds to be received. There is an origination fee, so take this into consideration before you begin the process of securing a loan with Upgrade.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Kristina Byas
Kristina Byas |

Kristina Byas is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kristina here

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$

Won’t impact your credit score

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Best of, Earning Interest

The Best Credit Union CD Rates – August 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

The top credit union CD rates
Source: iStock

Certificates of deposit (CDs) are a great way to safely store your savings at a financial institution, as they offer a guaranteed rate of return, and CD rates tend to be higher than those on traditional savings accounts. Maybe you’ve even heard that credit union CD rates offer higher returns—but is that really the case?

On average, yes. As of June 2018, the average one-year credit union CD had a 0.92% annual percentage yield (APY), compared to the 0.75% APY average among one-year bank CDs.

Using data from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree company, we identified the top one-year credit union CD rates, as of August 10, 2018. We then eliminated any credit union with a health rating lower than a B and identified the top three offerings in three categories: restricted, no cost, and best banking app. If there was a tie by APY, we went with the product with the lower minimum deposit. Here are the best one-year credit union CD rates.

Best CD rates for credit unions with no cost to join

The thing about credit unions is that they’re not usually just open to anyone. You usually need to meet some membership criteria in order to get in and get access to all of their really nice products. These credit unions, however, will let you in for free regardless of your personal details. (Note: Only two credit unions met our criteria for this list.)

Unify Financial Credit Union – 1-Year Share Certificate, 1.75% APY, min. deposit $1,000

UNIFY Financial Credit Union
Unify FCU offers the highest interest rates on CDs (which it calls share certificates) of any credit union with no cost to join. The interest rate on their 12-month CD, for example, is 1.75%, compared to the national average of 0.92% in June. You would earn $17.50 on a $1,000 deposit. If you withdraw your money early, however, you’ll face a penalty of 90 days’ worth of interest.

LEARN MORE Secured

on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NASA Federal Credit Union – 1-Year Share Certificate, 1.00% APY, min. deposit $1,000

NASA Federal Credit Union
If the rigid inflexibility of CDs makes you leery, NASA FCU might be your best bet. They have a lot of flexible certificates, such as add-on certificates that let you start with as little as $250, and bump-rate certificates that let you opt for a one-time interest rate increase if rates go up. You can even take out a loan from your certificate should you need the cash before it’s matured. You can join NASA FCU with a complimentary membership to the National Space Society.

If you do need to make an early withdrawal, you will face a penalty of 180 days’ worth of interest.

LEARN MORE Secured

on NASA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Best credit union CD rates with restricted memberships or membership fees

Each of these credit unions have restricted membership criteria, but don’t let that scare you away. If you don’t meet their membership criteria, it’s possible to make a small donation to their charity of choice in order to become eligible for membership. Furthermore, these credit union CD rates offer some of the highest-returning share certificates out of any category.

USAlliance Financial – 12 Month CD, 2.50% APY, min. deposit $500

USALLIANCE Financial
Membership to USAlliance Financial is open to anyone who lives, works or worships in certain counties of Massachusetts, the city of West Haven, Conn., and a few districts in New York. However, if you don’t qualify by location, you can qualify by giving USAlliance authorization to make you a member of various organizations, including the American Consumer Council, if you aren’t already a member of these organizations. Keep in mind that these organizations may request fees.

Once you’re a member of USAlliance Financial, you can open a 12-month CD with a minimum of $500. Their early withdrawal penalty equals 180 days’ worth of interest earned on the amount you withdraw.

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on USALLIANCE Financial’s secure website

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union – 12 Month CD, 2.50% APY, min. deposit $2,000

Communitywide Federal Credit Union
Membership to CommunityWide Federal Credit Union is open to members of the Michiana Goodwill Boosters or Marine Corps. of St. Joseph Valley. However, if you’re not a member of either of those organizations, you can qualify by becoming a donor member of select organizations such as the Y.M.C.A.

Once you’re a member of CommunityWide Federal Credit Union, you can open a 12-month CD with a minimum of $2,000. Their early withdrawal penalty equals the withdrawn amount multiplied by the number of days that remain in the term.

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on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Connexus Credit Union – 12 Month Certificate, 2.50% APY, min. deposit $5,000

12 Month Certificate from Connexus Credit Union With a $5 donation to the Connexus Association, anyone can join Connexus Credit Union. The Connexus Association assists educational institutions by providing scholarships and financial information. Once you become a member of the credit union, you’ll be able to open their 12 month CD with a $5,000 deposit.

If you’re able to deposit $5,000 into Connexus’s 12 month CD, you’ll earn $125 by the end of the term. However, if you withdraw funds early, you’ll be penalized with 90 days’ worth of interest.

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on Connexus Credit Union’s secure website

PenFed Credit Union – 1-Year Money Market Certificate, 2.45% APY, min. deposit $1,000

PenFed Credit Union
PenFed has an outstanding APY of 2.45%. With a minimum deposit of $1,000, you could earn $24.50 in one year. Interest is compounded daily and posts to accounts monthly. However, be aware of the steep early withdrawal penalty. If you withdraw funds before the year is up, you may forfeit all interest accrued up to that point.

Eligibility for this credit union is mainly based on military status, governmental employment status, affiliation with certain associations and organizations or relation to eligible members. However, if you don’t qualify through those criteria, getting a membership to this credit union is not difficult if you’re willing to pay a one-time fee of $17 to either Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association.

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on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Alliant Credit Union – 12-17 Month Share CD, 2.40% APY, min. deposit $25,000

Alliant Credit Union
 With a minimum deposit of $1,000, you could earn an APY of 2.35% on a 12-17 month CD. If you deposit $25,000 or more, you would be able to earn an APY of 2.40% with the same term. An early withdrawal penalty of 90 days’ worth of interest may be imposed if you withdraw funds prior to the CD’s maturity date.

With a $10 donation to Foster Care to Success, you can easily become a member of Alliant Credit Union. You can also become a member if you are an employee or retiree of certain organizations, related to existing Alliant members, or live or work in qualifying communities.

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Best CD rates for credit unions with the best mobile apps

By their very nature, CDs aren’t something that require constant attention, poking, and prodding. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it kind of a deal, so you won’t need any spiffy banking apps to use CDs.

But, if you’d like to switch all of your banking to the same institution that holds your CDs, it might be a wise idea to consider one of these credit unions if you’re a digital junkie. Most credit unions lag behind their bank compatriots in terms of mobile banking apps, but these credit unions offer top-notch mobile apps, according to MagnifyMoney’s 2017 mobile banking app analysis.

Redstone Federal Credit Union – 12 Month MemberPlus Regular Share Certificate, 2.19% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Redstone Federal Credit Union
You can’t just make a simple donation to join to Redstone Federal Credit Union if you fail to meet their membership criteria. You need to be a government employee or contractor, a member of the military, reserve, or National Guard, or affiliated with a number of organizations listed on their website among other options.

However, if you do qualify for membership, you could earn an APY of 2.19% with a minimum deposit of $1,000. Redstone FCU has compounding and non-compounding certificates, which allow you to have the option to withdraw interest earned or not throughout the term of the certificate.

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on Redstone Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Eastman Credit Union – 1-Year Investment Certificate, 2.00% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Eastman Credit Union
Eastman Credit Union also has pretty restrictive membership requirements. You’ll have to be an employee (or a family member of an employee) of one of their select employers, or live in certain parts of Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia.

Eastman CU is another one of the rare credit unions that allow you to withdraw your dividends penalty-free before the maturity date, although again, doing so will lower your total returns. Currently, you can earn an interest rate of 2.00% on a 12-month CD with a minimum deposit of $1,000. If you withdraw your money before the CD matures, you’ll owe a penalty fee of anywhere between seven days’ worth of dividend earnings or all of your dividend earnings.

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on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

Wright-Patt Credit Union – 1-Year Certificate, 1.76% APY, min. deposit $500

Wright-Patt Credit Union
Unlike many credit unions, you can’t just make a simple donation to join Wright-Patt CU if you fail to meet their membership criteria. You need to live in certain areas of Ohio, be associated with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, or be an employee of their select employer group, among other options.

You can earn $8.80 on a 12-month CD with just a relatively small $500 deposit. However, if you’re able to deposit $100,000 or more, you’ll earn an APY of 1.87%, which will return $1,870 in interest. Early withdrawal penalties vary depending on the original term of your CD, however they’ll be anywhere between 5-12 months’ worth of dividends.

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on Wright-Patt Credit Union’s secure website

Delta Community Credit Union – 1-Year Certificate, 1.25% APY, min. deposit $1,000

Delta Community Credit Union
There are many ways to join Delta Community CU, such as living in certain parts of Georgia, being a member of one of their select employers, or being a member of one of their partner organizations. Interestingly, citizens of many countries like Argentina, France, and Peru are also eligible to join.

Delta Community CU used to be the lowest-earning credit union on our list, but recently increased the APY on this product from 1.10% to 1.25%. The early withdrawal penalty is 90 days’ worth of interest on a 12-month CD.

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on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure website

 

3 questions to consider before opening a credit union CD

Banks are more likely to call their products certificates of deposit, while credit unions often refer to them as share certificates. Aside from the name, the biggest difference between the two is that credit unions have higher average annual percentage yields (APYs), as of March 2018. That’s good news: It means more money back in your pocket when the CD matures (i.e., reaches the end of its term and is available for withdrawal).

There really is no difference in safety between depositing money in a CD with a credit union versus a bank, as long as they participate in either the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for credit unions, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for banks.

According to Neal Frankle, a Los Angeles-based Certified Financial Planner with Wealth Pilgrim, deposits of up to $250,000 per financial institution are “backed by the full faith and credit of United States Government, so it’s pretty solid.”

For the most part, choosing a CD at a bank or a credit union boils down to your preference as a consumer: Do you want to be a bank customer or a member of a credit union? Here’s a primer on the differences.

The biggest advantage of credit union CDs over bank CDs is that you can likely earn more interest. But with both products, the longer the CD term, the more interest you will earn. And with a CD laddering strategy, you can have the best of both worlds: frequent access to your money, yet you can still keep it locked away in high-interest, long-term CDs.

Beyond that, the disadvantages of opening a credit union CD are the same as if you’re opening a CD with a bank. You can’t access that money without paying an early withdrawal penalty until the CD matures. While CDs do offer some of the highest rates for any financial product you’re likely to come across at a bank or credit union, they still don’t really earn great interest. If you’re investing for the long-term (like retirement savings), your money is better invested in the riskier (but higher-earning) stock or bond market.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Best of, Earning Interest

The Best IRA CD Rates – August 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Top IRA CD rates
Source: iStock

Perhaps you’ve decided to build a CD ladder within your IRA, or maybe you’re looking for a safe way to store your retirement cash for a specific period of time. Whatever the reason, you’re interested in getting an IRA CD and, understandably, want to know what products will give you the best rate of return.

You can get an IRA CD with terms ranging from three months to more than six years, with interest rates generally increasing with the term length. There are lots of options, so we’ve rounded up the top IRA CD rates that are available right now for a variety of terms. You’ll select your IRA CD terms based on your CD-ladder master plan or whenever you’ll need access to your money.

Every month, we choose the best IRA CD rates using data from another LendingTree company DepositAccounts.com, a database of offerings at more than 17,100 banks and credit unions. On August 10, 2018, we sorted the products by APY, then eliminated institutions with a health rating below a B. We then eliminated products that are not available nationwide. From there, we chose the IRA CD with the highest APY among products with a minimum deposit no greater than $5,000. Here are the best options. (Average CD rates referenced below are based on DepositAccounts.com data as of August 10, 2018.)

The best IRA rates in August 2018

Term

Institution

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

3 months

TIAA Bank

1.65%

$5,000

6 months

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union

2.15%

$2,000

12 months

Connexus Credit Union

2.50%

$5,000

18 months

Interior Credit Union

2.68%

$500

2 years

Justice Federal Credit Union

3.25%

$500

3 years

Salem Five

3.00%

$2,000

4 years

CommunityWide Federal Credit Union

3.20%

$2,000

5 years

Achieva Credit Union

4.00%

$500

Rates as of August 10, 2018

3 Month IRA CD – TIAA Bank, 3 Month Yield Pledge IRA (Traditional, Roth)

TIAA Bank
Three-month regular CDs are earning an average interest rate of 0.36% APY currently. EverBank is exceeding that, with an interest rate of 1.65% APY with their 3-Month Yield Pledge IRA CD. With that APY and a $5,000 minimum deposit, you would earn $19.88 when the certificate matures.

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6-Month IRA CD – CommunityWide Credit Union, 6 Month IRA (Traditional, Roth)

Communitywide Federal Credit Union

Six-month IRA CDs typically earn a little bit better, but they’re normally still not great. CommunityWide Federal Credit Union, however, is breaking that norm by offering the highest interest rate at 2.15% APY for deposits of $2,000 and over. That translates into earnings of $21.39 if you were only to deposit the minimum amount. Compare that to the average of all regular 6 month CDs, at 0.63%.

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on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

1-Year IRA CD Rates – Connexus Credit Union, 1 Year IRA (Traditional, Roth, CESA)

Connexus Credit Union

Regular one-year CDs earn an average interest rate of 1.00% APY. Connexus Credit Union, however, is offering a one-year IRA CD at 2.50% APY. You’ll need a $5,000 minimum deposit to earn $125.00 in interest once the CD matures.

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on Connexus Credit Union’s secure website

18-Month IRA CD Rates – Interior Federal Credit Union, 18 Month IRA Certificate (Traditional, Roth, CESA)

Interior Federal Credit Union
18-month regular CDs earn an average interest rate of 1.23% APY. Interior Federal Credit Union on the other hand, is currently offering 2.68% APY on an 18-month IRA CD. This would translate into earnings of $20.23 with a minimum $500 deposit.

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on Interior Federal Credit Union’s secure website

2-Year IRA CD Rates – Justice Federal Credit Union, 24 Month IRA Certificate Special w/ Checking – New Money (Traditional, Roth)

Justice Federal Credit Union
Two-year regular CDs earn an average interest rate of 1.32% APY. Justice Federal Credit Union, on the other hand, is currently offering 3.25% APY on a 2-year IRA CD. This would translate into earnings of $33.03 with a minimum $500 deposit.

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on Justice Federal Credit Union’s secure website

3-Year IRA CD Rates – Salem Five, 36 Month IRA Special (Traditional, Roth, CESA, SEP)

Salem Five
Three-year regular CDs are earning an average interest rate of 1.52% APY currently. Salem Five is exceeding that, with an interest rate of 3.00% APY with their 36-month IRA CD. With those interest rates and a $2,000 minimum deposit, you would earn $185.45 when the certificate matures.

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on Salem Five’s secure website

4-Year IRA CD Rates – CommunityWide Federal Credit Union, 48 Month Personal IRA

Communitywide Federal Credit Union

Four-year regular CDs are currently earning an average interest rate of 1.67% APY. CommunityWide Federal Credit Union claims the top interest rate for these IRA CDs, with an interest rate of 3.20% APY. You would earn $268.55 on this CD with a $2,000 minimum deposit.

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on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

5-Year IRA CD Rates – Achieva Credit Union – 60 Month IRA/457B (Traditional, Roth, CESA)

Achieva Credit Union
Five-year IRA CDs hold the top spot for interest rates out of any category on our list. National averages for a regular 5-year CD is 1.97% APY, however Achieva Credit Union outperforms the average with a 4.00% APY on its 5-year IRA CD for members. The minimum deposit is $500 to earn this APY. If you’re able to deposit more than $500, you may eligible for a higher APY. With a deposit of $25,000 you may be able to earn an APY of 4.10%. If you’re able to deposit $75,000, you may be able to earn 4.20% APY.

One item to note with this credit union: the rates may vary by region, so make sure you check to see if you’re eligible for the above rates in your location.

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on Achieva Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

6+ Year IRA CD Rates – Air Force Federal Credit Union, 7 Year IRA (Traditional, Roth, CESA)

AFFCU

We’re starting to see these very-long-term IRA CDs offer higher interest rates than the shorter-term five-year IRA CDs. Air Force Federal Credit Union offers the highest term for their seven-year IRA CD, at 3.20% APY. That’s less than Achieva Credit Union which offers a 4.00% APY for a five-year IRA CD. Still, with Air Force Federal Credit Union’s seven-year IRA CD, you would earn $616.72 on a minimum deposit of $2,500 when the IRA CD matures.

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on AFFCU’s secure website

3 questions to consider before opening an IRA CD

Opening an IRA CD generally requires filling out a form or talking to a banker. You’ll have to have a way to fund your IRA CD, whether that’s rolling over an existing retirement account into an IRA CD or depositing cash into the product. The same limits that apply to IRA contributions apply to IRA CDs: $5,500 per year ($6,500 if you’re over age 50) of your own money across all your IRA accounts each year, and you can do a rollover once per year.

Unless you’ve invested in a bump-up IRA CD, you won’t be able to take advantage of a higher rate until your CD matures. Withdrawing funds from an IRA CD before they mature will result in a stiff penalty. Bump-up IRA CDs give you a chance to increase your interest rate to a higher level if it’s available, but you’re generally only allowed to do this once or twice during the life of the CD.

You can either use the the direct-transfer method or the indirect-transfer method. The direct transfer method requires setting up your new IRA account filling out a form authorizing the bank or credit union to transfer money from the old account into the new account. The indirect transfer method involves you asking for a check from your old IRA account. You have up to 60 days to deposit that check into your IRA CD to avoid incurring a penalty.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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