The State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina has certainly come a long way since its humble beginnings. Incorporated in 1937, the credit union began its operation in the basement of the agriculture building in Raleigh, NC. Today, they are the second largest credit union in the country both by assets and members – serving over 2.1 million members with over $40.6 billion in assets.
Despite their size, State Employees’ Credit Union (NCSECU) is fairly exclusive. They only offer membership to select groups, most of which are based in North Carolina. If you are eligible to join, however, they offer some fairly competitive rates on many of their deposit products.
These personal banking products include:
- checking accounts
- money market accounts
- certificates of deposit (6 to 60 month terms)
- IRA (individual retirement accounts)
In our review below, we will cover their APY (annual percentage yield), details and features of these products as well as go over the membership requirements for State Employees’ Credit Union.
State Employees’ Credit Union is federally insured by the NCUA (FDIC equivalent for credit unions) up to $250,000 per depositor or $500,000 for joint accounts.
State Employee’s Credit Union CD Rates + Account Details
State Employees’ Credit Union has eight standard term certificates of deposit that range from 6 months to 5 years and come with a minimum deposit requirement of $250.
To give these offers some context, the current national average on a 12 month CD and a 5 year CD sit at just 1.36% APY and 1.26% APY, respectively, according to recent FDIC data.
Interest and Payments
Unfortunately, with State Employees’ Credit Union CDs you will not receive compounding interest on your funds. This is a bit unusual for credit unions or banks to only provide interest on your principal, but not unheard of. That said, you will still receive daily interest on your principal. Due to this, your APY (annual percentage yield) will be the same as the interest rate.
Interest payments are deposited to another SECU account every month selected by the owner. This is ideal for those living off of interest for income.
Early Withdrawal Penalties
If you need your funds prior to your deposit maturity, SECU will impose an early withdrawal penalty equal to 90 days of interest, or all interest accrued, whichever is less.
This is much more lenient than most early withdrawal penalties we see which tend to increase with the term. And in some cases we’ve even seen penalties dip into the principal.
Money Market & Other Variable Rate Accounts
State Employees’ Credit Union offers six variable-rate “Share” accounts that earn interest. These are:
- Zard Share,
- FAT CAT Share,
- Summer Cash,
- Holiday Cash Club, and
- Money Market Share
The Share account is required to establish membership. It has a $25 minimum deposit requirement as well as a $25 minimum balance requirement to maintain membership.
The Zard Share is a savings account designed for teens to save money, build good savings habits, and learn about budgeting. There are also a variety of tools with this account, but you must be ages 13 – 19 to open one.
The FAT CAT Share account is a more basic version of the Zard Share account. It is for children 12 and under.
The Summer Cash account is designed for teachers and educators and those who work 9, 10 or 11 months out of the year. It helps you save money from each paycheck during the school year and allows for access to these funds during the summer.
The Holiday Cash Club account helps people save money throughout the year for holiday shopping. Deposits can be made up until the last business day of October at which point the funds are transferred to your Share, money market or checking account.
The Money Market Share account is a fairly standard MMA. It comes with a minimum deposit requirement of $250. You will also have to maintain this as your monthly balance to earn dividends. Dividends are compounded daily and paid monthly.
Share Account Rates and Minimum Deposit Requirements
Below are the interest rates associated with the six Share accounts mentioned above. To put these offers in perspective, the average APY on a savings account sits at just 0.39% currently.
|FAT CAT Share||$5||0.10%|
|Money Market Share||$250||1.01%|
These rates are variable and subject to change at any time without notice.
Membership and Eligibility
As mentioned, despite its membership size, State Employees’ Credit Union is quite exclusive. Below is a list of eligibility requirements. You must meet ONE of these to join. Upon joining you will also need to open and maintain a Share account with at least $25.
- Employees of the state of North Carolina
- Federal employees assigned to North Carolina state agencies (for example, a federal US Department of Agriculture employee assigned to work at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture)
- Employees of public boards of education
- Members of the North Carolina National Guard
- County employees of Social Services, Health, Mental Health and Civil Defense
- Employees of associations formed for the benefit of state of North Carolina employees (e.g., State Employees’ Association of North Carolina)
- Employees of agencies or departments whose employees are subject to the State Personnel Act
- Individuals retired from the above employment or service as pensioners and/or annuitants from the above employment or service. This includes former employees who are “vested” and have not withdrawn or terminated future eligibility to be a pensioner and/or annuitant.
- Un-remarried spouses of persons who died while in the field of membership
- Immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) of a current member
- Individuals sharing a single economic unit with a current member
If you are eligible to join NCSECU and are in the market for a fixed rate certificate of deposit, then their CDs may meet your needs.
That said, more competitive APYs can be found at credit unions like Navy Federal Credit Union or PenFed Credit Union which also have more lenient eligibility requirements.