The best states for police and fire credit unions
Join a credit union to make lower payments and save more money
By PoliceOne Staff
Want to save more money? As a first responder, you're eligible to receive special rates at credit unions that will help you grow your savings faster than a national bank.
Credit unions serve the same functions as a bank. Both can make loans, issue checks and credit cards, and offer investment services for their members. The difference is that since credit unions are owned by their members, they can offer many advantages over banks such as:
- Lower interest rates on auto and home payments
- Higher APY for savings deposits, IRA accounts, and shares certificates
- Fewer fees
Depending on your banking needs, a credit union might be the best choice for making car payments or setting up long-term savings.
Police credit unions and APY
APY stands for annual percentage yield, or the amount of money your deposit will earn over a single year just for letting the bank use it. If you made a deposit of $1,000 and had an APY of 1 percent (which is pretty good), you’d end up with $1,010 after one year. For comparison, Wells Fargo offered its members 0.01 to 0.07 percent APY depending on what service you signed up for. Those rates are much lower than what you can get at a firefighter or police credit union, especially if you're eligible to join one of the top performers on our list.
Of our list of police and first responder credit unions, the average APY fell between 0.17 and 0.61 percent, which is already significantly higher than what Wells Fargo offers. The credit unions that offer the highest APY are listed in order here:
Police and fire credit unions and IRA accounts
IRA accounts are meant for long-term savings. You can expect greater returns from an IRA, but they require more money to start and can't be withdrawn without penalties until certain conditions (such as retirement) are met.
The rates offered by Wells Fargo are about what you can expect from a large bank, yielding a maximum of 1.05 percent annual growth when APY is maxed out. Again, getting a membership with a dedicated credit union for first responders can double and almost triple that rate.
Not all police, fire, and EMS credit unions offer the option of starting an IRA account, but the many that do offer good rates for long-term savings. The credit unions we found to offer the highest rates for IRAs and CDs are:
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