Saving with Certificates of Deposit by John Mussi

Though they are somewhat of a staple of the financial services offered by banks, a large number of people aren’t entirely sure how certificates of deposit work. They might know that certificates of deposit, or CD’s, are usually purchased from a bank and that they last for set periods of time, but they might not know how savings are built with these CD’s or what some of the terminology associated with CD investments mean. The information below is meant to serve as an introduction to certificates of deposit, and should help to answer some of the more basic questions that you might have concerning CD’s.

As with any financial investment, it’s important to make sure that you understand exactly how certificates of deposit work and how you can use them to augment your savings before putting your money into a CD. Check with your preferred bank for information about the specifics of their certificates of deposit or perform additional research online before investing your money.

How CD’s Work

Certificates of deposit work much like common savings accounts, with the restriction that the money invested into the certificate is not to be withdrawn until the CD has reached its maturity. The maturity of a certificate of deposit is the point at which the amount of time that the CD was purchased for (also known as a term) has ended, and the CD no longer collects interest at the rate it previously was. Once a certificate of deposit has reached maturity, the full value of the CD can be withdrawn without penalty and the money is often transferred into other savings or into chequeing or money market accounts.

Maturity and Withdrawal

Since the money invested in a certificate of deposit will continue to draw a nice interest rate until the CD reaches maturity, it makes sense that you would be encouraged to keep your money in the certificate until maturity has been reached. Most banks and issuers of certificates of deposit don’t want t be entirely unreasonable, however, and generally offer a brief period each year where the certificate can be cashed in before it reaches maturity without the usual penalties for early withdrawal. You should make sure that you know when this period is if you plan on cashing in your certificate beforehand, however… depending upon the issuer, some of the fines associated with withdrawal before maturity can be quite steep.

Choosing the Right Term for Your CD’s

The term that you choose for your certificates of deposit will largely depend upon how long you want your money to draw interest before you need it. If you’re planning on using CD’s to plan for future events such as a wedding, additional schooling for your children, or retirement, you might want to consider a long-term certificate. If, on the other hand, you’re wanting to use a certificate of deposit to set aside money for a vacation later in the year or another similar short-term circumstance, you don’t want your money to be locked in a CD for an extended amount of time.

Using CD’s to Enhance Your Savings

In order to use certificates of deposit to enhance your savings, it’s important to remember that unlike traditional savings accounts you won’t have as easy of access to your money in a CD. The advantage of this is that you can more easily resist the temptation to "borrow" from your savings. Several CD’s with varied terms can help you to get the most out of your savings without locking all of your money away until a 10-year maturity date.

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About The Author

John Mussi is the founder of Direct Online Loans who help homeowners find the best available loans via the website.