Simple Facts About Saving With Certificates of Deposit Accounts

A certificate of deposit, more generally referred to as a CD, is categorized as a time deposit. It is a promissory note provided by financial institutions in exchange for depositing funds during a specified term the course of which they cannot be accessed. CDs accrue interest during this term, generally at a higher rate than an average savings account, and are paid upon maturity. Money withdrawn from a CD before its maturity date usually incurs a penalty. The fixed terms offered vary from 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, up to 5 years.

Certificates of deposit are considered a relatively risk free investment as they are FDIC insured,

Currently the higher 1 year CD rates (one year CD rates) are averaging 1.55%, however these numbers vary based on different factors, including location and the amount of deposit. Generally these fluctuations have a bigger effect on CDs with longer maturity dates versus those that are considered short term, which tend to be less disposed to shifts in interest rates. CD interest rates are calculated based on the term of the CD and the current interest rate environment. The rate is usually higher the longer the term or the larger the sum deposited. However, once the CD is purchased and the money deposited, the return is not subject to stock market fluctuations, the earnings on the funds are guaranteed.

Withdrawals made before a CD reaches maturity generally incur a substantial penalty. For example, a five year CD might suffer a loss of 6 months worth of interest. The penalties are in place to ensure the investor keeps the funds in deposit until maturity. The penalties may or may not affect the principal deposit, if for example it is withdrawn after three months of opening with an established six month penalty. Sometimes withdrawal of the principal may require that the entire CD be closed.

Deposit brokers also offer certificates of deposit, often these brokerage firms can negotiate higher 1 year CD rates (one year CD rates) by promising to bring a certain amount of deposits to the financial institution it represents. These CDs are usually issued in large denominations and are then split up in to smaller values and resold to customers. For this reason, brokered CDs are often advertised as having no prepayment penalty associated. In the event an investor wishes to redeem the CD before maturity, the broker can attempt to resell the CD, at times even for a profit. These certificates of deposit are also insured by the FDIC however in the event the bank fails, brokered claims take a little longer to pay than the traditional direct deposit CD.