A Quick Guide to Certificates

White and green arrows pointing upwards to show growth

If you’re looking to build your savings, you may have come across the term “certificate,” but if you’re like many people, you may not understand exactly what one is. Fortunately, opening a certificate (sometimes referred to as a certificate of deposit, or a CD, at banks) is a straightforward process.

What is a Certificate?

A certificate is a savings account that typically offers a higher interest rate than a traditional savings account. The interest rate is fixed for the duration of the term. The term is how long the certificate is open, which you’ll decide when you open the account. Terms typically range from as short as three months and as long as 60 months (five years). To fully benefit from the higher interest rate, you must leave the funds untouched for the full term. If you withdraw funds before the maturity date, you may face a financial penalty.

Once the term ends, your certificate will mature. Once your certificate reaches the maturity date, you have a set number of days, typically ten, to withdraw the funds without penalty.

Rather than withdraw the funds, you can also increase your savings by choosing one of two options:

  • Renew your certificate. If you don’t want to make any changes to a PSECU certificate, it will automatically renew for the same term on its maturity date. No action is required on your part if this is the option you choose. Please note, however, that your rate may change based on current offerings.

  • Change to a new term. If you want to keep your funds growing, but prefer to adjust the term, check out the current rates to see what’s best for you. Then, contact us by your certificate’s maturity date to let us know which new term you’d like to choose.

What are the Perks of Opening a Certificate at PSECU?

A certificate is a smart option for saving if you don’t need instant access to your cash, because it allows you to earn more interest on your money than you would in a traditional savings account.

At PSECU, your certificate comes with plenty of perks, as well. Some of these include:

  • You can open a certificate with as little as $500.
  • We offer competitive rates.
  • Funds in certificates are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000*.
  • There are no monthly maintenance fees for your certificate.
  • Interest is accrued daily and compounded monthly.

How Can You Open a Certificate at PSECU?

The steps needed to open a certificate at PSECU will depend on whether or not you’re already a member of the credit union.

If you’re already a PSECU member, you’ll simply need to:

  • Log into online banking.
  • Open the drop-down menu.
  • Select Add a Product and then Certificate.

If you’re not already a PSECU member, you’ll need to:

  • Open a PSECU account.
  • Enroll in digital banking.
  • Follow the instructions above for current PSECU members.

Take Advantage of Rising Rates

With rates on the rise, you don’t want to miss your opportunity to lock in a great certificate rate. Check out our available options and choose the term that works best for you today.

New call-to-action

*PSECU Share Certificates are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000 for any certificate set up under the same ownership. This is the maximum amount allowed by law.

Rates and information are subject to change at any time. This rate will be paid until the certificate matures. Your certificate will automatically renew at the rate in effect at the time of maturity unless we are contacted on or before the maturity date. Upon renewal, the term will be the same as the original term. You have 10 calendar days after maturity to redeem your certificate without penalty if you do not want to renew. If you have not contacted PSECU by the maturity date, the certificate will renew for the rate in effect on the date of maturity and for the same term as the original term. A penalty will be imposed for early withdrawal. A minimum daily balance of $500 must be maintained in order to earn the disclosed Annual Percentage Yield (APY). 

View Truth in Savings Account Disclosures.

If your withdrawal plus penalty takes the certificate below the required minimum $500 balance, your certificate will be closed, and the penalty will be calculated on the entire balance. All certificate penalty withdrawals must be made in writing.


The content provided in this publication is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. Some products not offered by PSECU. PSECU does not endorse any third parties, including, but not limited to, referenced individuals, companies, organizations, products, blogs, or websites. PSECU does not warrant any advice provided by third parties. PSECU does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by third parties. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal, or other professional if you have questions.