But there are a few details to watch out for: Once you buy the bond, you can’t redeem it for one year. And if you redeem it five years ago, you will lose the last three months of interest.
Here are some questions and answers about savings options:
Do I have to be a member of a credit union to open an account?
Credit unions are member-owned financial institutions, and you usually have to join to open an account. Membership is often limited to people who live in a specific area or share interests, such as the same employer or service in the military. But the rules have become more flexible in recent years. For example, PenFed spokesperson Spencer Kenyon said, “Everyone is eligible to apply” to join PenFed, because it merged in 2019 with an “open” charter credit union. To join, simply open and maintain a Basic Savings Account with at least $5.
I’ve found a bank that offers higher savings rates, but I’ve never heard of that before. Is it safe?
Small regional banks and online banks are more likely to offer higher rates but may be unfamiliar to consumers. But as long as the bank or credit union is federally insured, Tommen said, your money is protected. Federal Insurance Corporation and credit union Peer, Union Credit Union Equity Insurance Fund, savings deposit protection of up to $250,000 For every depositor, for every bank.
Banks must indicate that they are members of the FDIC. If you are not sure about the status of the bank, you can use the Federal Insurance Corporation (FDIC) bank finder a tool. Most of the so-called new banks or fintech companies are not insured themselves but cooperate with FDIC-insured banks to hold the deposits. Federal Insurance Corporation recommend Confirm details of how the company handles deposits. Customers should also check the name of the bank holding the funds and make sure it is federally insured.
Should I keep my emergency savings in a basic savings account or look for higher rates?
Generally, emergency savings should be kept in a liquid savings account so you can withdraw money quickly if you have unexpected expenses, said Kia McAllister Young, co-director of the America Saves campaign, of the Consumer Federation of America.
Depending on how much cushion you have saved, you can put a portion of your reserve into a higher rate certificate of deposit. But maybe you should opt for a short term CD so your money isn’t held for long. If you’re having trouble building a fund for rainy days, said Mrs. McCallister-Young, tax time is the time to start: You can set all or part of your refund to start the calculation.
You can also check with your employer. About 15 percent of large employers offer options to help workers build rainy day money, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.