Become a first-time saver
Late to the savings game? No worries. Some credit unions offer high rates to beginning savers who want to build healthy savings habits.
For example, Delaware Alliance Federal Credit Union in New Castle, Del., has its Savings Builder Account, which was developed in partnership with the First State Saves Initiative. To stimulate savings, the credit union offers a respectable 1.05 percent rate. Once you've saved $500, you can make withdrawals. And when you hit the $1,000 mark, you must transfer balances to a checking account or withdraw the money. The credit union also teaches you how to set financial goals, track spending and pay off debt.
Box Elder County Credit Union in Brigham City, Utah, has its Starter Certificate, which helps you become a disciplined saver. With a minimum balance of $50, you can earn a 0.55 percent rate. Still, you must commit to making monthly deposits of at least $25.
"These are teaching accounts," says Filene's George Hofheimer. "Some credit unions even offer newsletters and financial education."