As a TTCU member, you know that credit unions do things a little differently than the big banks. In fact, that’s something we’re proud of. While we offer all the same products (plus a lot of extra benefits), sometimes the names are different. A prime example is a share certificate, which acts like a bank’s certificate of deposit.  

A share certificate can be an advantageous savings tool to complement a regular savings account. Keep reading to find out how it works and what type of certificate could be a great money move for you. TTCU offers a variety of options, so there’s something for everyone. 

How a Share Certificate Works 

A share certificate lets you earn dividends on your savings, but unlike a regular savings account, it requires you to lock in your funds for a certain amount of time. The benefit is that your annual percentage yield (or APY) is usually higher than what you’d get with a regular savings account — meaning you earn more money on your deposit amount. 

Your term length can range anywhere between 45 days and four years. The longer your term, the higher APY you typically qualify for. It’s generally best to use savings that you feel comfortable not touching before the certificate matures.  

What happens if you do take out your share certificate funds early? 

You will have to forfeit some of the dividends your account earned. The exact amount depends on the term length of your certificate. In most cases, longer-term certificates cause you to forfeit more days of dividends than a shorter-term certificate would.  

If you happen to encounter a financial emergency and are considering making an early withdrawal from your share certificate, give us a call first. We have a lot of options available and can help you explore the best path forward. 

Share Certificate Ladders 

To help you get ongoing access to cash while still taking advantage of better rates, consider implementing a certificate ladder strategy. You essentially stagger your certificates so that one matures on a frequent basis, such as every year. 

For example, you could open both a 6-month certificate and an 18-month certificate at the same time, which would put you on schedule to access your funds (plus your earnings) every 12 months. If you don’t foresee needing the extra cash that year, you can then simply roll your certificate into a new one to keep the cycle going — and you’ll continue earning dividends. 

Types of Share Certificates 

As you can see, different share certificates come with different term lengths and eligibility criteria. At TTCU, we offer a variety of options so you can pick the right one to match your financial goals. Here’s a brief overview of our two specialty share certificate programs. 

Ready, Set, Grow 

We designed the Ready, Set, Grow share certificate specifically for our members who are 35 years or younger. It’s a good way to dip your toes into an alternative saving strategy. You need just $300 to get started and are limited to a maximum $5,000 balance. The term length is only six months so you don’t have to worry about a long-time commitment.  

This certificate is an easy entry point if you don’t have a ton of cash to put away or you want to get the feel for how a share certificate works before jumping in with a higher dollar amount. The Ready, Set, Grow certificate pays dividends on a quarterly basis. Once it matures after the six-month period, you can’t renew it; instead, you could see if you’re ready to try out one of our longer certificates. 


This certificate is perfect for those who want to use the dividends on their savings for living expenses, such as retirees. You do need an opening deposit of at least $100,000 to qualify for this option. Terms range from 6-months to 48-months. Since your dividends are paid out monthly to your TTCU savings or checking account, these certificates do not have compounding dividends.  

The Income Share Certificate requires a larger deposit but comes with some great advantages. You earn dividends more frequently and those funds are available to spend as needed. This certificate is a perfect choice for members looking to add additional income each month to their cash flow.  

Which Certificate is Right for You? 

Look at the amount of money you have to put in a share certificate as a starting point to make a decision. Your term length is also important, especially when you consider how much liquid savings you have on hand to take care of any emergencies that come up. Pick a certificate that allows minimal penalties for early withdrawals or consider using a ladder strategy to constantly rotate your available cash.  

If you have any questions about how share certificates work or TTCU’s specific offerings, don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. Always consider all your options to create a robust financial strategy that makes your money work for you!