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State Employees Credit Union banking products: Savings and Checking

This credit union offers a variety of products, but has limited membership requirements.

Updated

State Employees Credit Union

Eligible members can enjoy a host of products offered by State Employees Credit Union (SECU) at a relatively low cost. While it provides services to members in other states, SECU only has branches in North Carolina. Membership criteria is also fairly limited, with little option to qualify if you’re not a North Carolina state worker or in the immediate family of a current SECU member.

Am I eligible?

To establish your membership, you’ll need to open a Share Savings account with a minimum $25 deposit and meet one of the following requirements:

  • You work in North Carolina
  • You work for a public board of education
  • You’re a member of the North Carolina National Guard
  • You’re a federal employee who works for a North Carolina department (i.e. US Department of Agriculture employee who works for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture)
  • You’re a county employee of Social Services, Health, Mental Health and Civil Defense
  • You’re retired from one of the businesses mentioned above
  • You’re the spouse, parent, sibling or child of a current member
  • You live with a current member

What banking products does SECU offer?

Personal banking

  • Checking. A checking account with SECU has a $1 monthly maintenance fee that goes to the SECU Foundation and an interest rate of 0.25% APY.
  • Share. Like most credit unions, you’re required to open a share account to establish a relationship with SECU. You’ll pay a $25 minimum opening deposit and keep a minimum balance of the same. The current APY is 0.75%.
  • Cash Points Global. An electronic-only deposit account that doesn’t pay dividends and doesn’t support ACH debits or checks, but can be used for loan advances, tax refunds and wire transfers.
  • Holiday Cash Club. This savings account is intended to help you save for holiday shopping, and features a 0.75% APY.
  • Money Market Share. Save more with a 1.60%–1.61% APY interest rate, but get ready to pay a $250 initial deposit and keep the same as a minimum balance.
  • Share Term Certificate. Earn more interest on your money with interest rates from 1.90%–2.40% by depositing your funds for a set time. Deposited funds can be used as collateral for SECU loans.
  • Health Savings. If you require an HSA for your high deductible health plan, you can use this account to pay for qualified medical expenses.
  • Education Savings. Choose from two different education savings accounts to help prepare for your child’s future.
  • Summer Cash. If you’re an employee at a community college or public school, this account helps you save for unpaid summer months.
  • Retirement. Open a Roth, Traditional or Simplified Employee Pension IRA and start saving for retirement with a $25 opening deposit.
  • Accounts for Kids. Set up a joint savings account for your child aged 12 and under, or help your teen sign up for savings and checking accounts.

Other products

  • Auto loans. You can be preapproved for an auto loan up to a set amount using SECU’s Auto Power Program. Terms are up to 96 months for new vehicles and 72 months for used.
  • Home loans. Refinance your existing mortgage or take one out to purchase a home or open a home equity line of credit.
  • Personal loans. Open-ended and short-term loans are available, along with various student loan options.
  • Credit card. The SECU Visa® Credit Card is available to residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.
  • Insurance. Health, Medicare supplement, life, auto, homeowners and other insurance are available through SECU.
  • Investment accounts. Choose from tax-advantaged and taxable accounts with the help of an investment representative who will help you evaluate your goals and current financial health.
  • Estate planning. Establish a trust, get help with your will or use SECU’s estate planning program to meet with attorneys and prepare estate documents at a set cost.

How does SECU compare to other banks and services?

State Employee’s Credit Union (SECU) is a North Carolina-based credit union with 267 locations. Its broad selection of products are aimed for kids, teens and adults.

Checking accounts

Pros

  • Earns interest. SECU’s checking accounts earn 0.25% interest, which compounds daily and is paid out monthly.
  • Free ATM network. Use your debit card for free at any CashPoint ATM, which is North Carolina’s largest ATM network.
  • No minimum balance. You’re not required to keep a certain amount of money in this account as long as you have enough to cover the $1 monthly fee.

Cons

  • Two accounts. SECU only offers two checking options: one for you and one for your teen.
  • Monthly maintenance fee. Although you can’t avoid the $1 fee, the money goes to the SECU Foundation.

What’s the SECU Foundation?

The SECU Foundation promotes local community development in education, housing, healthcare and human services projects.

Savings accounts

Pros

  • Decent APY. SECU’s savings accounts earn anywhere from 0.75% to 2.05% APY, which is much higher than the current national average.
  • Goals-based accounts. SECU has savings accounts for holiday shopping, health savings, education savings and teachers who have unpaid summer breaks.

Cons

  • Minimum balance requirements. If you have a SECU Money Market Share account, you must maintain a $250 minimum daily balance to earn interest and avoid the $2 monthly fee.
  • Withdrawal limits. There’s typically a six transaction limit each month. At this time, it may be waived for a limited period. Check with the provider.

CDs

Pros

  • High APYs. Every SECU CD earns between 1.55% and 2.05% APY. The longer you lock your money away, the more you’ll earn.
  • Wide terms. CD terms range from six months to six years.
  • Can be used as collateral. If you have an SECU loan, you can use your CD as collateral.

Cons

  • $250 opening deposit. Although some CDs have opening deposits as high as $10,000, others let you get started with as little as $0.
  • Early withdrawal penalty. You’ll pay a fee equal to 90 days interest or all accrued interest, whichever is less.

Overall banking

Pros

  • Keep all your accounts in one place. With the extensive range of products offered by SECU, you could potentially keep all of your accounts together.
  • Low fees for a good cause. Some accounts don’t require a maintenance fee, and those that do have a low fee of $1 that goes to the SECU Foundation.
  • 24/7 member support. Call SECU’s 27/7 automated hotline to check your last 10 transactions, move money between your SECU accounts, check payment dates for your SECU loans and more.

Cons

  • Restrictive membership requirements. Eligibility is restricted to North Carolina state employees, federal employees assigned to work for North Carolina departments, direct family members and those sharing housing with a current SECU member.
  • No national network. SECU and its ATMs are primarily in North Carolina. If you travel outside this area, you can’t visit a branch or use a free ATM.
  • Must have a Share account. You establish your SECU membership by opening a Share account, so you may want to choose another institution if you don’t need a savings account.

SECU customer service

There are several ways to contact SECU’s customer service:

  • Branch locations. Get in-person help at a North Carolina branch weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except on designated holidays.
  • Phone. Contact 24/7 member services at 888-732-8562, or use the Ask SECU voice response system by calling 800-275-7328.
  • Email. Contact customer service at info@ncsecu.org.
  • Secure message. Send a message using your member account online.
  • Mail. Reach SECU by mail at P.O. Box 26807 Raleigh, NC 27611.
  • Lost or stolen cards and fraud reports. Call 888-732-8562 24/7, or visit your local branch.

Compare State Employees Credit Union to the competition

$
$
months
Name Product Interest rates (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest earned
American Express® High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
American Express® High Yield Savings
0.50%
$0
$0
Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account. Accounts offered by American Express National Bank, Member FDIC.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account

1.00% on $0 to $10,000 but you’ll need to be enrolled in Aspiration Plus and make at least $1,000 in debit card purchases a month
$0 per month or $15 per month for Aspiration Plus ($12.50 per month if you pay annually)
$10
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
0.61%
$0
$250
No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balance requirements. Interest compounded daily.
CIT Bank Money Market
Finder Rating: 3.9 / 5: ★★★★★
CIT Bank Money Market
0.45%
$0
$100
A savings account with a higher-than-average rate and minimal fees.
CIT Savings Connect
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
CIT Savings Connect

0.50% on + If you deposit $200+ monthly into your eChecking account, otherwise 0.42%
$0
$100
CIT Savings Connect combines aspects of a checking and savings account in one product.
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Bottom line

You have the potential to manage all of your finances in one place with SECU’s extensive line of products and services. However, you’ll need to meet the eligibility requirements, and you may not find the yields to be as high as what other banks offer.

Frequently asked questions

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