Third Federal Savings and Loan Association Review 2019

Third Federal Savings and Loan Association Logo

3.5/5

Third Federal Savings & Loan Association is a Cleveland-based financial institution that supports local communities in Ohio and Florida – and offers some banking products online.

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About Third Federal Savings and Loan Association

Third Federal Savings and Loan Association was established in May 1938 during the Great Depression. Initially, its customers were primarily Eastern European immigrants living in Cleveland, Ohio, but as the bank grew and opened new branches, it began serving communities in the surrounding suburbs. By its 25th anniversary, the savings and loan association had more than 65,000 customers.

Today, Third Federal Savings serves hundreds of thousands of customers nationwide and offers mortgage loans in nearly half of the states. It’s one of the largest financial institutions in Ohio and is still headquartered in Cleveland. In addition to offering first and second mortgages, Third Federal Savings provides consumers with the opportunity to refinance, open bank accounts and start saving for retirement.

You’ll love Third Federal Savings & Loan Association if you’re looking for a smaller bank that offers high-yield CDs.

 Pros

  • Third Federal offers a range of high-yield CDs and special CD deals.
  • Some product offerings --- like certain CD specials --- are available nationwide.
  • The bank offers hundreds of fee-free ATMs, thanks to a partnership with Fifth Third Bank, a regional bank based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 Cons

  • Branches are only available in Ohio and Florida.
  • There is an app, but it lacks the digital features you would find in a mobile app provided by a bigger bank, like person-to-person payments.
  • Some deposit accounts --- like checking accounts --- cannot be opened online.

Third Federal Savings and Loan Association Services

Savings Rating

3.5/5

On the Third Federal High-Yield Savings Account, a minimum of $100,000 is needed to earn the account’s highest APY of 0.8 percent. That's eight times the national average but well below top-yielding savings accounts. The lower tiers for Third Federal's savings accounts are 0.3 percent ($25,000 minimum deposit) and 0.1 percent ($10 minimum deposit).

 Pros

  • The savings account charges no monthly fees.
  • Customers are automatically enrolled in a Loyalty Perks program.

 Cons

  • You can find savings accounts with higher yields elsewhere.
  • $100,000 is a very high minimum balance to earn the top APY.

Savings accounts available from other banks

CDs Rating

3.3/5

Third Federal offers CDs to consumers nationwide. In addition to providing access to standard CDs across multiple terms, the savings and loan association offers CD specials and retirement CDs. The minimum deposit for traditional and special CDs is just $500. CDs can be opened online, over the phone or in a branch. Early withdrawal of the principal balance will result in a penalty that varies depending on the CD term.

 Pros

  • Third Federal offers many CD terms with competitive yields.
  • A low minimum deposit is required to open a CD.

 Cons

  • The grace period for withdrawing before the CD automatically renews is shorter (seven days instead of 10).

CDs available from other banks

Checking Rating

3.5/5

Third Federal’s High-Yield Checking Account offers interest bearing accounts for daily balances of at least $10. Conveniently, $10 is also the amount required to open an account. The monthly service charge for the accounts is relatively low at $7 per month. The monthly service can be waived for those who have an average daily balance of at least $1,500.

 Pros

  • Tiered interest rates so higher balances earn more
  • Low monthly fee of $7

 Cons

  • Balance to avoid the monthly fee is relatively high ($1,500)

Checking accounts available from other banks

MMAs Rating

3/5

Third Federal’s Money Market Account is how you can earn the highest APY at this institution. You can earn nearly a top-tier APY, nearly 10 times the national average APY on $25,000 or more. There is one catch: You need to visit a Florida branch to open this account. If your balance drops between $5,000 and $24,999, you earn around 10 times the national average APY. And if you drop below $5,000 — or below $2,000 for an IRA — you don’t earn any interest. Third Federal’s Money Market account is a Money Market Savings account and does not offer checks.

 Pros

  • You can earn near a top-tier APY on $25,000 or more.
  • There are no fees for going below a certain balance.
  • You’re rewarded for depositing more money, since there are three interest tiers.

 Cons

  • Interest isn’t earned on balances below $5,000 (or less than $2,000 on IRA accounts).
  • You must visit a Third Federal Florida Branch to open the account.
  • The account doesn't offer check-writing privileges.

MMAs available from other banks

Bank Experience Rating

2.5/5

The bank's app receives high marks for both iOS and Android, though the features are fairly standard compared with apps for other financial institutions. Still, you can use the mobile app to find out your bank balance before you, say, checkout at the grocery line. You also may find a long-lasting relationship with an employee at Third Federal Savings & Loan Association. In its latest earnings report, the bank highlighted how its average associate tenure is 13 years.

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