Credit unions generally offer the same products and services as banks do, but because credit unions are structured differently, sometimes the terminology is different. Certificates of deposits (CDs) are offered by banks; credit unions offer share certificates, often just called certificates. Otherwise they are essentially the same. For CDs you are paid interest; for share certificates you are paid dividends. CDs at a traditional bank are insured by the FDIC. Credit union share certificates are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

A certificate can be an important part of your overall savings plan. By choosing the right type, taking advantage of a laddering strategy and not withdrawing the funds until the certificate matures, you can earn a nice rate of return on your money with the security of having your savings backed by the federal government.

To learn more about certificates please view the following articles: