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What Does the Dodd-Frank Rollback Mean for You?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

It’s been a year since Congress adjusted parts of the Dodd-Frank Act financial reform package, which was originally implemented in 2010 to address the financial industry excesses that helped cause the financial crisis of 2008.

The Dodd-Frank rollback was a bipartisan effort designed to make life easier for smaller banks, and also extend certain consumer protections. However, the effort drew negative attention from those who argued that dialing back some bank oversight could possibly contribute to another financial crisis.

So what happened with the Dodd-Frank rollback, anyway? In this article, we’ve rounded up what parts of Dodd-Frank changed, what stayed the same and what it all means for your banking and personal finances.

Why was the Dodd-Frank reform enacted in the first place?

The Obama administration proposed the Dodd-Frank reform bill in response to the financial crash of 2008, which set off the worst economic downturn since the Great Recession. Congress passed the bill in 2010.

The Dodd-Frank Act spans 2,300 pages and directs federal regulators to enforce more than 400 new rules and mandates. According to David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Banks, “It imposed particular attention on the mortgage lending industry which was considered the main trigger for the Great Recession of 2008.”

Some of the rules under Dodd-Frank include:

  • New disclosure requirements for mortgage loans, so consumers could better understand what they are applying for.
  • More oversight over banks to make sure they have enough cash reserves.
  • The launch of new regulatory agencies for the banking, credit rating and insurance sectors.
  • The creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new government agency focused on helping consumers with money issues.

For more on the specifics of the original Dodd-Frank bill, check out part one of this series here.

What changed with the Dodd-Frank rollback?

Under the original terms of Dodd-Frank, banks faced greater regulation and oversight from the Federal Reserve when they held $50 billion or more in assets. Supporters of the Dodd-Frank rollback thought that this threshold was too low and created an excessive regulatory burden for smaller regional and community banks that don’t have the same resources as the big banks.

After the rollback, the cutoff for mandatory extra regulation was pushed up to $250 billion in assets. In addition, regulators were given the discretion to require stress tests and extra regulations for banks with between $100 to $250 billion in assets, provided the regulators think it’s appropriate.

Brandon Renfro, assistant professor of finance at East Texas Baptist University, is supportive of the rollback overall. “Bigger players are better able to handle the regulations, due to economies of scale, while the Dodd-Frank rollback will give smaller organizations slack and flexibility to operate.”

How could the Dodd-Frank rollback impact your banking?

The Dodd-Frank rollback set to reduce regulations and improve profits for smaller banks. Since these banks no longer need to go through the same strict compliance rules and stress testing, they should be able to earn more. Supporters of the rollback believed that small banks could pass these savings on to consumers, by paying higher interest rates on products like CDs and charging less for loans.

The Dodd-Frank rollback also loosened the requirements small banks face for setting up a mortgage loan. Small banks no longer need to follow the Dodd-Frank data reporting requirement meant to help detect predatory and discriminatory lending. This makes it slightly easier for these small banks to offer mortgages.

Finally, the rollback added a new protection for small lenders offering mortgages (those with less than $10 billion in assets). “One of the changes of the rollback was to allow certain small creditors additional safe harbors when determining a consumer’s ability to repay a mortgage loan,” said Reiling. “By providing additional protection to these institutions who have historically always verified a consumer’s repayment ability, this may translate to easier access to credit for consumers seeking loans at these institutions.”

Overall, the intent of the Dodd-Frank rollback is to make it easier for small banks to operate with the goal that this will improve banking and borrowing for consumers. However, this is just an inclination as there are no specific rules in the bill requiring these banks to offer better rates for their customers.

Free credit freezes, extended credit fraud protections

Beyond changes for banking, the Dodd-Frank rollback also created new benefits for consumer credit reports. First, consumers can now request a free credit report freeze from the credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. A credit freeze locks up your report so new loans and lines of credit can’t be opened under your name — a good safeguard if you’re worried someone stole your identity.

Before the rollback, you had to pay up to $10 per credit bureau to get this protection in place. Now, this service is free for any credit user who wants it.

The Dodd-Frank rollback also extended the length of a short-term fraud alert on your credit report. It’s now one year, up from 90 days. When your report has a fraud alert, the bureaus must take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing new credit, like by calling you first.

It’s not as strict as a credit freeze so you can still set up accounts yourself, but adds extra protection against identity theft. Before the rollback, you would need to reapply for a new short-term fraud alert every 90 days, but now it lasts a full year.

Could the Dodd-Frank rollback fuel a financial crisis?

It took years for the country to recover from the last financial crisis and it’s understandable to be concerned about any legislation that might make another one more likely. While the Dodd-Frank rollback does loosen some of the measure’s original rules, it retains the majority of the original protections: the new regulatory agencies, the Federal oversight of large banks, the new disclosures for mortgages, among many others.

“Could the rollback increase the chances of a financial crisis? Yes, but only by some marginal degree,” said Renfro. “The key thing of the rollback is that it limits the regulations on the small banks, who were not key contributors to the financial crisis. The large banks are still constrained by the rules of Dodd-Frank so I’m not too concerned about the change.”

The final word on the Dodd-Frank rollback

Passing new legislation is always a balancing act, and the government decided that the extra potential growth and consumer benefits justified removing some of the Dodd-Frank’s rules. The main framework of the measure’s protections remains in place, while small banks and community banks get some regulatory relief. That seems like a fair trade-off, but only time will tell whether this is the right move.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

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

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Banking

Guide to the Dodd-Frank Act

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

On Sept. 15, 2008, investment bank Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and set off the worst financial crisis the world has seen since the Great Depression. Stock markets around the world cratered, millions of Americans lost their homes and U.S. unemployment rose as high as 10%.

In response to the crisis — sometimes called the Great Recession — Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. What has this bill done for regular consumers? This series covers the history and key provisions of Dodd-Frank, including how it impacts your everyday finances.

How does the Dodd-Frank Act regulate banks?

One of the main causes of the financial crisis was that banks made too many risky investments, especially in subprime mortgage loans. In the years leading up to 2008, large banks owed so much money to each other that if one went bankrupt, it would spread and cause other parts of the financial system to fail. These banks were in a situation where they were “too big to fail.”

The Dodd-Frank Act set up new regulations to prevent banks from getting to the point where they became too big to fail. First, the bill created the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) to monitor whether banks were taking on too much debt and putting themselves in a risky position.

If the FSOC determines that a bank is heading into dangerous territory, the council could require them to increase their reserve requirements, meaning the bank has to scale back its lending and hold on to more cash so they are less likely to go bankrupt.

Finally, Dodd-Frank required that every bank come up with a plan for a methodical shutdown should they become insolvent and find themselves unable to pay off their debts. That would help keep the problem from spreading to other financial institutions.

How does the Dodd-Frank Act help consumers?

The main goal of the Dodd-Frank act was to stabilize the banking sector so that consumers would not have to go through the pain and suffering of another financial crisis. Beyond this key mission, Dodd-Frank also set up additional protections for mortgage lending.

The financial crisis was partly caused by a subprime housing bubble. People took out mortgages they couldn’t afford, which included confusing costs like adjustable interest rates that could cause the monthly loan payment to go up.

According to David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Banks, “Dodd-Frank mandated new mortgage loan disclosures that were designed to ensure costs were clear upfront and throughout the origination process, and also required creditors to verify income and debts to ensure a consumer could repay the loan.” As a result, shopping for a mortgage is safer and easier.

Finally, Dodd-Frank created a new regulatory agency specifically to help with consumer financial issues: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The Dodd-Frank Act created the CFPB

The mission of the CFPB is to protect American consumers in the market for financial products and services while educating them to make better decisions. They oversee consumer loans, credit and debit cards, credit card reporting agencies and payday lenders.

The CFPB does this in a few different ways. First, they help consumers research their different options, both with tools on their website and by requiring lenders to make it easier for people to compare their products. For example, mortgage lenders must give you a new disclosure explaining their fees before you sign up.

Second, the CFPB educates consumers by providing free resources on financial planning, retirement and loans. Finally, consumers can file complaints with the CFPB and they will fine companies that engage in bad practices.

To date, the CFPB has helped over 31 million consumers and returned $12.4 billion to consumers that was previously lost to companies that broke the law.

How does the Durbin Amendment impact banks?

During the negotiations for the Dodd-Frank bill, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) sponsored an amendment to add a new regulation to the law. The Durbin Amendment set a limit to how much banks can charge for debit card transaction swipe fees.

Before the Durbin Amendment, banks were charging on average roughly 40 cents per debit card transaction. After this rule went into place, the Federal Reserve set a limit where banks could charge no more than 21 cents per transaction.

“The expectation was that the additional cost savings by the merchants would be passed on to consumers,” said Reiling. If businesses were paying less in transaction fees, they could lower their prices for American shoppers.

Need a new debit card to take advantage of the Durbin rule? These high yield checking accounts currently pay the highest interest rates.

How does the Dodd-Frank Act regulate financial markets?

Banks were far from the only cause of the financial crisis, which is why Dodd-Frank also created new rules for other parts of the market. First, the bill created the Office of Credit Rating at the SEC to oversee credit rating agencies like Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.

These agencies review how likely creditor is to pay off a debt based on their financial situation. A company, government or investment with a AAA rating is supposed to be safer than one with a C rating. The problem was that agencies were too loose with their ratings before the financial crisis.

Brandon Renfro, Assistant Professor of Finance at East Texas Baptist University noted “A key issue in the mortgage crisis was that high credit ratings were given to derivatives of repackaged subprime loans. The goal of the new Office of Credit Rating is to reduce conflicts of interest and ensure that ratings are accurate reflections of risk.”

Dodd-Frank also launched the Volcker rule, which prohibits banks from participating in higher-risk activities like hedge funds, private equity funds and other proprietary trading. The bill created new regulations for high-risk investments called derivatives, which led to unexpectedly large losses for investors. Finally, Dodd-Frank created the Federal Insurance Office to oversee insurance companies.

The Dodd-Frank Act today

In response to the devastating losses of the Great Recession, the Obama administration used Dodd-Frank to revamp the rules for our financial markets. While the rules have some clear benefits for consumers, Dodd-Frank still has its share of critics who say it went too far: that it limits economic growth and restricts the ability of banks to lend.

This is why President Trump and the Republican party have taken steps to roll back parts of the law while still keeping the main framework in place. To see how the rules have changed, including how they helped increase credit union CD rates, check out the next part of our series.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered 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

Affinity Federal Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1935
Total Assets$3.4B
LEARN MORE Affinity Federal Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed legislation approving a new type of financial institution: credit unions. Affinity Federal Credit Union was one of the first to launch, just one year later.

Affinity Federal started out serving employees of Western Electric Co., but it has steadily expanded its client base over time. Today, it’s one of the largest credit unions based in New Jersey, with more than 140,000 members and 23 branches spread throughout New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. In 2018, Forbes picked Affinity Federal Credit Union as the No. 1 credit union in New Jersey.

Affinity Federal Credit Union is also part of the CO-OP network, a connected group of credit unions. That means members can handle their banking needs at any of these shared CO-OP branches nationwide.

How to qualify for Affinity Federal Credit Union membership

If you want to join Affinity Federal Credit Union, you need to qualify for membership first. The ways to qualify include:

  • You live, work, worship or go to school in New Brunswick or certain areas in New Jersey and Connecticut.
  • You work for a company or are a member of an organization that has been approved by Affinity Federal Credit Union.
  • You make a $5 donation while applying to join either the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education or the Connecticut Jump$tart Coalition.

You can apply for membership online, by phone or at one of the branches. The membership application will ask how you qualify for membership. It’ll also ask for your contact information, Social Security number and a form of government ID. Every member must maintain a “Membership Eligibility” account with $5 in it.

You should be able to find a way to join Affinity Federal Credit Union if you so choose. The question is, is it worth your while? We dove into the details behind its personal deposit accounts to see whether it rises to its reputation.

Affinity Federal Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.20%

Savings

Affinity Federal Credit Union Affinity Savings

2.20%

Barclays Online Savings Account

on Barclays’s secure website

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Affinity Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Affinity Checking

A free checking account with no minimum balance requirement. It comes with a debit card and plenty of free ATMs through the CO-OP network, but it doesn’t earn interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $33

Affinity Federal Credit Union offers a free, basic account: Affinity Checking. This account has no minimum balance requirement. You can launch for any amount. After you open, this account will not charge a monthly fee regardless of your balance.

The Affinity Checking account does not earn interest. It comes with a debit card, online banking and ATM access. You can make free withdrawals from Affinity Federal Credit Union ATMs, as well as ATMs in the CO-OP network. If you make an out-of-network transaction, Affinity Federal Credit Union will charge a $2.25 fee — and it will not refund any fees from the ATM owner.

You can’t open an Affinity Checking account without first becoming a member of Affinity Federal Credit Union. You can apply for membership online, by phone or at a branch. During this application, you have the option to launch your Affinity Checking account as well.

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MoreChecking

The basic features and interest rate for this account aren’t great, but you can qualify for extra benefits and a higher rate through Affinity Federal Credit Union’s loyalty program.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,000 (no status)
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs; Affinity Federal Credit Union waives its fee on eight transactions a month for accounts with More status and on all transactions for accounts with EvenMore status
  • ATM fee refunds: None for accounts with no status or More status; up to $10 a month for accounts with EvenMore status
  • Overdraft fees: $33 per transaction

The Affinity Federal Credit Union MoreChecking account does not have an opening deposit requirement, but when your balance falls below $1,000, this account charges a $7 monthly maintenance fee. It’s free as long as you stay above $1,000.

You also need at least $1,000 in the account to earn interest. The base rate for MoreChecking isn’t very high, but it does offer a loyalty program where you can qualify for better rates. Every month, Affinity Federal Credit Union tracks the products and services you use, as well as the amount of time you’ve been a member. They then give you points based on each category. For example, having any checking account gives you 75 points and making 16 or more debit transactions gives you another 100 points. In this case, you would have 175 points.

It takes 200 points to qualify for More status and 400 to qualify for EvenMore. If you have More status, Affinity Federal Credit Union adds 0.10% to your interest rate for the next month; if you have EvenMore status, it adds 0.20%.

You also qualify for additional benefits through the status. With More status, Affinity Federal Credit Union waives its fee on up to eight out-of-network ATM withdrawals a month and doesn’t charge a fee on money orders or cashier’s checks.

With EvenMore status, Affinity Federal Credit Union stops charging its out-of-network ATM fee and will refund up to $10 a month in charges from the ATM owners. It also includes other benefits such as free checks, free paper statements, a 25% discount on a safety deposit box and a double rewards rate on its credit card.

Before you can open a MoreChecking account, you need to join Affinity Federal Credit Union, either at a branch or online. You can set up your MoreChecking account as part of your membership application. You can add money now, but you don’t have to since this account doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit requirement.

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How Affinity Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

The quality of Affinity Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts depends on whether you have loyalty status. With no status, its MoreChecking account is a mediocre option with a low interest rate, no ATM fee refunds and a monthly maintenance fee, unless you meet the balance requirement.

With More or EvenMore status, the account becomes more respectable thanks to the rate bonus and other extra benefits. If you don’t want to figure out the loyalty program, you can use its free Affinity Checking account — but that means not earning any interest.

We feel like Affinity Federal Credit Union makes you do a lot of work to qualify for benefits that top online checking accounts automatically include. With these checking accounts, you receive an even better interest rate, ATM refunds and no monthly fee. Best of all, you don’t need to deal with a loyalty program to qualify.

Affinity Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Affinity Savings

This savings account is free and pays (a little) interest on all balances.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.20%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $33 per transaction

This is a no-frills savings account intended for smaller deposits. It does not have a minimum opening or balance requirement, and there is no monthly fee.

The Affinity Savings account pays interest on all balances. But the rate is below average for a savings account and never changes. You won’t earn more for depositing more and there’s no way to get a rate bonus through the loyalty program.

You’re limited up to six certain transactions a month, per federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll face a $25 fee imposted by the credit union.

If you want to open an Affinity Savings account, you first need to become an Affinity Federal Credit Union member. Fortunately, there’s no extra work involved to set up this account because you can launch one as part of the membership application, using the same information.

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MoreSavings

There’s no minimum balance needed to avoid a monthly fee — but trying to earn any interest is a different story.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.25%
$5,000
0.45%
$100,000
0.85%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs; Affinity Federal Credit Union waives the fee on eight transactions a month for accounts with More status and on all transactions for accounts with EvenMore status
  • ATM fee refunds: None for accounts with no status or More Status; up to $10 a month for accounts with EvenMore status
  • Overdraft fees: $33 per transaction.

This is Affinity Federal Credit Union’s standard savings account for people who use the credit union as their primary financial institution. It does not charge a monthly fee, regardless of how low your balance gets.

If you want to earn interest though, you need at least $5,000 in the account. The base rate is quite low. It starts to get a little better once you have more than $100,000 in the account, but that’s a lot of money to earn a rate that’s still barely above average.

You’re limited up to six certain transactions a month, per federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll face a $25 fee from the credit union.

The MoreSavings account is eligible for Affinity Federal Credit Union’s loyalty program. Every month, Affinity Federal Credit Union tracks your accounts, transactions and the amount of time you’ve been a customer. It gives you points for each category. For example, having a deposit balance of $10,000 earns you 75 points.

If you have at least 200 points by the end of the month, you qualify for More status. With 400 points, you receive EvenMore status. When you have More status, Affinity Federal Credit Union adds 0.10% to your rate. It adds 0.20% when you have EvenMore status. Still, that’s a maximum of 1.00% on a balance of more than $250,000, which is below the market rate.

Like with all the Affinity Federal Credit Union products, you need to become a member before you can sign up for a MoreSavings account. You can apply for this account while filling out the membership application, using the same information. You don’t need to add money, though, unless you want to since there’s no deposit requirement.

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Club Savings

The Club Savings account is meant to help you save for specific goals during the year.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.20%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $33 per transaction

Affinity Federal Credit Union describes its Club Savings account as a way to save for specific goals during the year, such as a vacation or holiday shopping. You pick a date on the calendar for when you’ll need the money. Then you save throughout the year using your club account. Once you reach the goal, Affinity Federal Credit Union pays out the balance to your regular checking or savings account so that you can spend it.

There is no minimum opening deposit to launch an Affinity Federal Credit Union Club Savings account. Also, this account does not charge a monthly fee. It earns interest on all balances, but the rate is very low.

You’re limited up to six certain transactions a month, per federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll face a $25 fee from the credit union.

The Club Savings account is available through the membership application, so you can launch one while joining Affinity Federal Credit Union. After you’re a member, you can also open one by logging in to online banking.

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How Affinity Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

We would not recommend any of the Affinity Federal Credit Union savings accounts as they are designed. While they each have some decent features, none of them is a complete package. For example, we like that the Affinity Savings and Club Savings accounts pay interest on all balances, but both rates are way too low.

The MoreSavings account has some decent interest rates and gives you the opportunity to earn a bonus through its loyalty program. The problem is you need at least $5,000 to earn any interest — and $100,000 to start earning a competitive rate.

If Affinity Federal Credit Union combined the best features into one account, it would be worth a look. Until then, you are better off with these excellent savings accounts. They pay even higher rates — and you don’t need a six-figure balance to qualify.

Affinity Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Certificates

Affinity Federal Credit Union offers a ton of variety in its certificates, and the regular rates are above average.
TermAPY
30 days0.20%
3 months0.25%
6 months0.85%
7 months0.80%
9 months1.10%
12 months1.60%
14 months (promotional offer with $2,500 deposit)2.28%
14 months (promotional offer with $50,000 deposit)2.38%
14 months (promotional offer with $100,000 deposit)2.48%
15 months (with “bump-up” offer)1.50%
18 months2.10%
22 months (promotional offer with $500 deposit)2.53%
22 months (promotional offer with $50,000 deposit)2.63%
22 months (promotional offer with $100,000 deposit)2.74%
24 months2.20%
30 months (with “bump-up” offer)1.55%
36 months2.10%
48 months2.05%
60 months2.15%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of one year or less, the penalty is 90 days’ dividends; for terms over one year, the penalty is 182 days’ dividends

Affinity Federal Credit Union’s certificates range from as short as 30 days to as long as five years. You need to deposit at least $500 to open the regular certificates, and you must maintain that much in the account. If your balance falls below $500, it’ll close your certificate.

Besides its standard certificates, Affinity Federal Credit Union has some special promotions. First, its 15-month and 30-month certificates have a “bump-up” option. With this offer, you start with a lower rate but have a one-time option to request an increase during your certificate term. This could come in handy if you think rates will go up in the future.

Affinity Federal Credit Union also has two certificate promotions for new money: 14 months and 22 months. You can only open these accounts with funds that either aren’t at Affinity Federal Credit Union or were deposited within 30 days of applying for the certificate.

You need at least $2,500 to open the 14-month promotional certificate, while the 22-month certificate is the normal $500. Both promotions increase their rates for larger deposits. One band starts at $50,000, while the highest promotional rate starts at $100,000. At the end of the promotional term, Affinity Federal Credit Union will automatically renew you into one of its regular certificates. You can’t reuse the promotion unless you deposit new funds.

The certificate accounts are only available for members of Affinity Federal Credit Union. If you aren’t a member yet, you can apply online, by phone or at a branch. During the membership application, you can open the regular and “bump-up” certificates. But the promotions aren’t on this application. You can open these after you’re a member through the online banking portal or at a branch.

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How Affinity Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

The most generous offers by far at Affinity Federal Credit Union are its promotions for new deposits. This makes sense, as it puts its best foot forward to attract new customers. The promotional rates are extremely competitive, and we like that you can earn more for larger balances. With many other lenders, we’ve seen promotional rates stay the same no matter how much you deposit.

Once you get past the intro offer though, the rest of the Affinity Federal Credit Union certificates are just OK. They aren’t bad options by any means. They pay above-average rates, and there are plenty of terms from which to choose. But they are also a level below the very best CDs on the market today.

If you’d like to take advantage of Affinity Federal Credit Union’s generous intro offers and then move onto something else, that could be a good move. Or if you’d like a high-paying CD that you can renew as many times as you want, check out this list with the best CD rates . We’ve tracked down the very best CD rates for every term.

Affinity Federal Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Manager

You need $50,000 to start earning a decent return. Even then, the top rate isn’t that great.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.35%
$2,500
0.40%
$20,000
0.45%
$35,000
0.60%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (waived with balance of at least $2,500)
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $33 per transaction

This account does not have a minimum opening deposit, but don’t let this fool you into thinking this is a good option for small balances. The Money Manager account charges a $10 monthly maintenance fee whenever your balance is below $2,500. It’s free so long as you stay above this limit.

You also need a minimum balance of at least $2,500 to earn the money market rates. You earn the maximum rate, which is OK, with a balance of $50,000.

You’re limited up to six certain transactions a month, per federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll face a $25 fee from the credit union.

The Money Manager account is listed as an option on Affinity Federal Credit Union’s membership application, so you can set this up at the same time as joining the credit union. While you don’t have to make an opening deposit, keep in mind you could owe the monthly fee for not having $2,500 in the account.

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How Affinity Federal Credit Union’s money market account compares

The Affinity Federal Credit Union money market account is not an attractive choice because the rates will be too low for most customers. If you have a large balance, $50,000 or more, you start to earn a respectable return, but anything below that earns very little. Below $50,000, the rates are more what you’d expect on a savings account.

This is an issue because, with a money market account, you’re dealing with high balance requirements and fees. That’s the case with Affinity Federal Credit Union. If your balance ever falls below $2,500, you are hit with a $10 monthly fee. This might be worth it if it were easier to earn its top interest rate, but that’s not the case.

Unless Affinity Federal Credit Union loosens its balance requirements for interest, we would stay away. These top money market accounts pay excellent rates and you don’t need to make a massive deposit to qualify. With some of these options, you can outearn even Affinity Federal Credit Union’s top rate with a low deposit.

Affinity Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates

IRA Certificates

These could be worth a look, especially with the special promotional offers.
TermAPY
30 days0.40%
3 months0.45%
6 months1.05%
7 months1.00%
9 months1.30%
12 months1.80%
14 months (promotional offer with $2,500 deposit)2.28%
14 months (promotional offer with $50,000 deposit)2.38%
14 months (promotional offer with $100,000 deposit)2.48%
15 months (with “bump-up” offer)1.70%
18 months2.30%
22 months (promotional offer with $500 deposit)2.53%
22 months (promotional offer with $50,000 deposit)2.63%
22 months (promotional offer with $100,000 deposit)2.74%
24 months2.40%
30 months (with “bump-up” offer)1.75%
36 months2.30%
48 months2.25%
60 months2.35%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of one year or less, the penalty is 90 days’ dividends; for terms over one year, the penalty is 182 days’ dividends

If you’d like to open a retirement plan, all the Affinity Federal Credit Union certificate accounts can be used through an IRA. The terms range from 30 days to five years. You must deposit a minimum of $500 to open an IRA certificate and keep at least this much in the account to earn the APY.

The promotional certificates are also available for the IRA CDs. First, the 15-month and 30-month IRA certificates have a “bump-up” option. They start at a lower rate but give you a one-time option to request a rate increase during your term.

Affinity Federal Credit Union also offers its 14-month and 22-month promotional certificates for new money. You can only open these IRA certificates with funds that aren’t already at Affinity Federal Credit Union or that you deposited within 30 days of applying for the IRA Certificate.

The 14-month promotional IRA Certificate needs a deposit of at least $2,500, while the 22-month IRA Certificate takes the usual $500. Both promotions pay out a higher rate for larger deposits. At the end of the IRA Certificate term, Affinity Federal Credit Union will renew you into one of its regular IRA Certificates unless you tell it otherwise. The only way to access the higher promotional rates again is by depositing additional new funds.

Before you can open an IRA Certificate account, you need to become a member of Affinity Federal Credit Union. These accounts aren’t listed on the initial membership application, so you’ll need to join first before you can apply. Once you’re a member, you can sign up through the Affinity Federal Credit Union Retirement Central portal online or at one of its branches.

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IRA Money Manager

If you want more access to your money, you can also use Affinity Federal Credit Union’s money market account in an IRA. Once again, the downside is you need a large balance to earn a decent interest rate.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.35%
$500
0.40%
$20,000
0.45%
$35,000
0.60%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

Affinity Federal Credit Union also offers its money market account through an IRA. There is no minimum opening deposit needed to start an IRA Money Manager account. This account also does not charge a monthly fee, regardless of the size of your balance. This is different than the regular Money Manager account, which does charge a fee if your balance falls below $2,500.

With the IRA Money Manager account, you need a balance of at least $500 to earn the higher money market rates. Once again, this is better than the regular money market account, which needs $2,500 to start earning the APY. But the interest rates on the IRA Money Manager account are low until you have at least $50,000.

The IRA Money Manager account gives you more access to your funds than with an IRA Certificate. You aren’t committing to leave your money with Affinity Federal Credit Union for a set period. Each month, you can make up to six withdrawals out of the account. If you make more than six, Affinity Federal Credit Union will charge a $25 penalty on each additional transaction.

The IRA Money Manager account is only available for members of Affinity Federal Credit Union. After you join, you can sign up at a branch or online through its Retirement Central website. The IRA application will ask for your Social Security number and the personal information of a beneficiary.

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IRA Accumulator Savings

A starter retirement account you can earn interest on with just $50.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.20%
$50
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

If you can’t meet the $500 balance requirements for the other Affinity Federal Credit Union IRA accounts, you could open its IRA Accumulator Savings account. This account only requires $50 to earn interest. But the interest rate is very low for a retirement plan and will not increase for larger deposits.

Each month, you can make up to six withdrawals out of the IRA Accumulator Savings account. If you make more than six, Affinity Federal Credit Union will charge a $25 penalty on each additional transaction.

You can apply for an IRA Accumulator Savings account online or at a branch, but only after you’re a member of Affinity Federal Credit Union. The IRA application will ask for your Social Security number, the contact information of a beneficiary and the type of IRA you want to open.

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on Affinity Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Affinity Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

If you want variety for your IRA, Affinity Federal Credit Union is the place to go. It offers a huge selection of IRA Certificates, including some special promotions. Its regular IRA CD rates are above average, while its promotional rates are terrific. The only problem is the promotions are for new money only, so they aren’t something you can repeat unless you keep transferring over funds from somewhere else.

The IRA money market account pays an OK rate for something with more flexible access, but we’ve seen similar products that pay much more. The IRA savings account lets you earn interest with a smaller amount of money, just $50. But it pays very little — so you should move to something else as you have enough saved up.

With all these choices, you can find a suitable product for your retirement plan at Affinity Federal Credit Union, especially with the promotions. But since those are only available for new funds, you may want to check out some other options instead. These IRA CDs pay rates that are as good as anything at Affinity Federal Credit Union, but there’s no limit to how often you can renew.

Overall review of Affinity Federal Credit Union’s banking products

The Affinity Federal Credit Union banking products have some quality features and the potential to be great, but they fall short because of their restrictions and complicated rules. With its checking and savings accounts, you can get a half-decent interest rate and ATM refunds, but only if you get status through the Affinity Federal Credit Union loyalty program. Without status, you don’t get any of these benefits.

Its savings and money market accounts pay above-average rates at the higher tiers, but you need to have a huge balance to qualify: $50,000 for the money market and $100,000 for the savings account. Finally, its promotional certificates and IRA Certificates pay excellent rates, but they are only available for new funds. This makes them a one-time offer unless you keep transferring money over.

If Affinity Federal Credit Union made it easier for people to qualify for its top benefits, they have the potential to be a good choice for your money. But as it is for now, it’s too much effort for too little reward.

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David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

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

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