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Direct Federal Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Direct Federal Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts
04 Jun
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Direct Federal Credit Union checking account options

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How Direct Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

When it comes to delivering the essentials, these checking account does an excellent job. There’s no monthly fee, it comes with free checks and a credit report, and Direct Federal Credit Union doesn’t charge anything for out-of-network ATM transactions. They also refund up to $20 per month in fees from out-of-network ATM owners for those with The Hub Checking account.

Now, you’ll need to qualify for the Hub Checking account or else they’ll downgrade you to a non-Hub Checking account with much higher fees. But it’s very easy — all it takes is setting up e-statements and a direct deposit.

We do have one complaint about their checking account: It doesn’t earn interest. If you could get all these banking benefits while also earning a nice return on your money, why not take the upgrade? These top checking accounts offer many of the same perks as Direct Federal Credit Union while paying spectacular interest rates.

Direct Federal Credit Union savings account options

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How Direct Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

You could do worse than this savings account. It has no monthly fee, only takes $5 to open and earns an above average interest rate. It’s a huge step-up compared to what you’d get at a larger national bank, with their non-existent returns.

Still, if you put in a little research, there are even better options out there. Take a look at our rankings of of the best savings accounts. You’ll see that these options also have low fees and pay more than triple the rate at Direct Federal Credit Union. Your savings will grow much more quickly with one of these choices instead.

Direct Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

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How Direct Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

For the most part, Direct Federal Credit Union’s Certificate rates are average to below average. However, they have a few hidden gems mixed between everything — their 7 month, 11 month and 30 month Certificates pay rates that are as good as anyone else out there.

Pay attention when you sign up — a longer term doesn’t always mean a higher rate. For example, their 30 month Certificate pays nearly twice as much as the 60 month, despite tying up your money for a much shorter amount of time.

Besides the rates, we appreciate that Direct Federal Credit Union lets you open a certificate for just $250, much lower than the standard $1,000 minimum at most lenders. Also, their early withdrawal penalties are low, so they don’t ding you too badly for taking money out before the maturity date.

If one of the Direct Federal Credit Union’s top offers matches your savings goal, they are an excellent choice. But if the terms don’t fit your timeline or you just want to make sure you’re getting the best deal, you can compare against this list of the best CD rates in the country.

Direct Federal Credit Union money market account options

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How Direct Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

If you plan on keeping at least $25,000 in your money market account, Direct Federal Credit Union could be an excellent choice. Their Rate Riser already pays a phenomenal rate and it will only get better in 2019, when they increase by another 0.25%. The only catch is that if your balance ever falls below $25,000, even for a day, you won’t earn interest for the month.

Besides Rate Riser, Direct Federal Credit Union has a less-impressive standard Money Market account. While it has no monthly fee and pays interest on all balances, the rates aren’t great. You need to deposit $75,000 to outearn the savings account — and with that amount, you could easily qualify for the Rate Riser instead.

For large deposits, we strongly recommend the Direct Federal Credit Union Rate Riser account. If you plan on depositing less or want to see what else is out there, we highly recommend these money market accounts. They are competitive with Rate Riser and some of them can be opened for a lot less than $25,000.

Direct Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates

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How Direct Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Direct Federal Credit Union offers all kinds of variety for your retirement plan. First, they have over a dozen terms available for Fixed Rate IRA CDs. You can find plenty of both short and long-term accounts. Direct Federal Credit Union also offers a Variable Rate account, which you can open for a smaller balance, and an IRA Money Market account, which lets you take money without an early withdrawal penalty.

If you ask us, it’s almost too much variety, since not all of the IRA CD rates are of the same quality. Some are exceptional, like the 7 month, 11 month and 30 month term; some are average, and a few are below average. Having choice is nice, but they might want to trim down their offerings to just the best products.

With that being said, if you focus on their best offers, Direct Federal Credit Union has some excellent IRA CDs. They are right up there with the very best IRA CDs nationwide.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

David Rodeck is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email David here


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