Does Closing a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

If you’re thinking about closing a credit card, you may be wondering: Does closing a credit card hurt your credit? Like most financial questions, the answer is that it depends.

If you already have good to excellent credit, closing one credit card generally won’t have a huge impact on your credit score. However, there are a few scenarios where closing a credit card can hurt your credit score. We’ll explore the potential consequences of closing a credit card, as well as alternatives to explore to avoid possible impacts to your credit score.

Ways Closing Your Credit Card Can Affect Your Credit Score

If you’re worried about whether it hurts your credit to close a credit card, you should know that there are two main ways that canceling a credit card can indeed affect your credit score.

Through Credit Card Utilization Ratio

The first way that canceling a credit card affects your credit score is by lowering your credit card utilization ratio. Your utilization ratio (sometimes called your utilization percentage) is the total amount of available credit that you’re actually using. If you have a credit card with a $10,000 limit and you regularly spend $5,000 on that card each month, you’d have a utilization ratio of 50% ($5,000 divided by $10,000).

Having a low utilization ratio is generally considered a positive factor in determining your credit score.
Lenders prefer when you’re not using all of your available credit, since doing so can be an indicator of financial distress. When you cancel a credit card, you lower the total amount of your available credit line, which will generally raise your credit card utilization ratio.

Recommended: What is the Average Credit Card Limit

Impact on the Length of Credit History

Another way that canceling a credit card can affect your credit score is by impacting the average length of your credit history. Your average age of credit accounts is another factor in determining your credit score, with an older average being better. You’ll especially see an impact on your score if you close a card that you’ve had for a very long time — and the impacts of a bad credit score are myriad.

When Canceling a Credit Card Might Make Sense

There are several scenarios when canceling a credit card might be the right financial move, such as when:

•   Your card has a steep annual fee that isn’t worth it. One of the most common reasons for when to cancel your credit card is if you have a card with an annual fee and you’re no longer getting enough in benefits to justify paying that cost. It doesn’t make sense to pay an annual fee of $100 or more a year if you’re not getting much benefit from having the card — and there are plenty of credit cards that come with no annual fee.

•   You have multiple credit cards and want to streamline your finances. Another scenario is if you have multiple credit cards and want to simplify your finances. With how credit cards work, missing a payment can have a big negative impact on your credit score. So if you’re in a situation where you have too many credit cards and are having trouble keeping payments straight, it may be a good idea to simplify your life and cancel some of your credit cards.

•   You have a high interest rate on a card. Particularly if you need to carry a balance for whatever reason, ditching a card with a high interest rate might be in your best interest. That will save you from paying more than necessary in interest charges.

•   You want to replace a basic or secured credit card. Another reason you might consider canceling your card is if you have a very basic starter credit card, or if you have a secured credit card and want to upgrade to an unsecured card. Especially if your credit score has dramatically improved since you opened that card, you could secure better terms and potentially the opportunity to earn rewards as well.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due

When It Might Make Sense to Keep the Credit Card Account Open

On the other hand, there can be good reasons to keep your credit card accounts open as well. This includes if:

•   Your card doesn’t have an annual fee. If the card has no annual fee, you could always keep the card open and not use it rather than closing the account. When you close an account, the next time the credit bureaus are updating your credit score, your score may decrease. Keeping your credit card open instead will prevent that.

•   You don’t have many accounts open. One of the factors that’s used to determine your credit score is your mix of accounts. If you don’t have many accounts open, closing one of your few accounts could ding you in this area, possibly dragging down your credit score. Plus, it could cause your available credit to take a big hit, which would increase your credit utilization.

•   Your only reason for canceling is not using your card very often. Given the potential impacts to your credit, if you don’t have much reason to cancel a credit card, you’re likely better off keeping it open due to the importance of good credit. That way, you won’t risk driving up your credit utilization or lowering the average age of your accounts, both of which can cause your score to drop. Plus, there aren’t any penalties for not using a credit card frequently.

Guide to Closing a Credit Card Safely

To close a credit card safely, there are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind before canceling your card.

Automatic Payments

If you have any automatic payments being charged to the card, you’ll want to contact the vendors and change them to another card, if you own multiple credit cards. Once you close your credit card account, if a vendor attempts to charge your account, the charge will likely be denied. This could lead to interruptions in other areas of your life, especially if it’s for something crucial like rent or utilities.

Recommended: What is a Charge Card

Paying Your Balances in Full

Simply closing your credit card account does not eliminate your responsibility for any charges already on the account. You’re still just as responsible and liable for the total balance on your account, so you should pay off your balance in full, if possible. If you don’t pay the full balance when you close the account, your card issuer will still issue you monthly statements, and interest will continue to accrue.

Recommended: Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

Redeeming Your Rewards

If you have a credit card that allows you to earn cash-back, travel, or other rewards, you’ll want to redeem those rewards before you close your account. Once you close your account, you may not be able to access them, and it’s possible that you will lose some of your hard-earned rewards. To avoid that possibility, you should redeem your rewards before canceling your credit card account.

Alternatives to Canceling a Credit Card

If you’re worried about how closing a credit card can hurt your credit, there are alternatives to explore.

Downgrade to a No-Fee Card

If one of the reasons you’re considering canceling your credit card is to avoid paying an annual fee, you may be able to downgrade the card instead. Many credit card issuers offer a variety of different cards, and only some of them come with annual fees. Downgrading to a no-fee card will keep your account open without having to pay the annual fee.

Negotiate With Your Credit Card Company

Another option is to negotiate with your credit card company. Most credit card issuers do not want you to cancel your card, so you may be willing to negotiate for better terms. This might include waiving the annual fee, lowering the interest rate, or getting additional rewards — it never hurts to call your credit card company to ask what they might be willing to do.

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

Put Your Card Away

If you’re considering canceling your credit card because you’re worried about overspending on the card, you also have the option to just take it out of your wallet. Depending on your situation, simply placing the card in your sock drawer, for instance, might prevent you from overspending without having to actually close the account.

Check Your Credit Report Before Closing an Account

If you’ve decided to close your credit card account, you’ll want to check your credit report both before and after canceling your card. If you’re concerned about how checking your credit score affects your rating, remember that it won’t affect it.

Also keep in mind that you have different credit scores, so take some time to check each one before and after closing your account. That way, you’ll have an accurate idea of how closing your credit card affected your credit score.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score

The Takeaway

While closing a credit card likely won’t have a huge impact on your credit score, it can lower it, especially in certain situations. Unless you have a good reason for closing your account, you may want to consider keeping your credit card open. Instead, you could consider downgrading to a no-fee card, negotiating with your credit card company, or just taking your card out of your wallet.

FAQ

Is closing a credit card bad?

Closing a credit card isn’t usually bad, but it also won’t help your score in most situations. Instead, consider alternatives to closing your credit card like downgrading your card or negotiating with your card issuer.

Is it better to cancel unused credit cards or keep them?

In many scenarios, it’s preferable to just keep your credit card accounts open, even if you don’t regularly use them. This allows your average age of accounts to increase and also lowers your utilization ratio by having access to a higher total of overall available credit. Both of these factors can help raise your credit score.

Does closing a credit card with a zero balance affect your credit score?

If you close a credit card, even if you have a $0 balance, your credit score might drop. This is because closing your card could lower your average age of accounts and/or increase your credit utilization ratio. Instead of canceling your credit card, consider negotiating with your card issuer for a lower interest rate or lower fees.

How much does your credit score drop if you close a credit card?

If you already have good or excellent credit, closing a credit card generally won’t have a huge impact. If you have a bad credit score already, however,it’s possible that closing a credit card can hurt your score even more. This is especially true if the card you close is one you’ve had for a long time or one with a high credit limit.


Photo credit: iStock/wichayada suwanachun

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

The SoFi Credit Card is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A. pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.

1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.

New and existing Checking and Savings members who have not previously enrolled in direct deposit with SoFi are eligible to earn a cash bonus when they set up direct deposits of at least $1,000 over a consecutive 25-day period. Cash bonus will be based on the total amount of direct deposit. The Program will be available through 12/31/23. Full terms at sofi.com/banking. SoFi Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.

SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 4.00% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on Savings account balances (including Vaults) and up to 1.20% APY on Checking account balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for these rates. Members without direct deposit will earn 1.20% APY on all account balances in Checking and Savings (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 3/17/2023. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet

Members earn 2 rewards points for every dollar spent on purchases. No rewards points will be earned with respect to reversed transactions, returned purchases, or other similar transactions. When you elect to redeem rewards points into your SoFi Checking or Savings account, SoFi Money® account, SoFi Active Invest account, SoFi Credit Card account, or SoFi Personal, Private Student, or Student Loan Refinance, your rewards points will redeem at a rate of 1 cent per every point. For more details, please visit the Rewards page. Brokerage and Active investing products offered through SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. SoFi Securities LLC is an affiliate of SoFi Bank, N.A.

SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, a statement credit, or pay down eligible SoFi debt.

SOCC0722004

Read more
stock market amsterdam

When Is the Stock Market Closed?

Generally, investors can buy and sell stocks Monday through Friday between 9:30am-4pm ET, but the exact schedule can vary based on time zone, market, and holiday season. The stock market is closed on weekends and many holidays. Additionally, the major stock exchanges may close or stop trading unexpectedly due to several reasons, like natural disasters or technical glitches. It’s all a part of how the stock markets work.

While a person can always access stock market data, the stock exchanges have strict operating hours during a typical work week. Knowing the stock market schedule and when the stock market is closed can help investors make better investment decisions.

U.S. Stock Market Holidays 2022

Even with standard operating hours, stock markets will close their markets completely for certain holidays. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq recognize the following holidays:

•   New Year’s Day

•   Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Monday, January 17

•   Washington’s Birthday – Monday, February 21

•   Good Friday – Friday, April 15

•   Memorial Day – Monday, May 30

•   Juneteenth National Independence Day – Monday, June 20 (observed)

•   Independence Day – Monday, July 4

•   Labor Day – Monday, September 5

•   Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 24

•   Christmas Day – Monday, December 26 (observed)

Additionally, the stock market closes early (at 1pm ET) on the following dates:

•   Black Friday

•   Christmas Eve, if the holiday falls on a weekday

Stock exchanges in other countries might have different national holidays and operating schedules.

Is the Market Closed the Following Monday After a Holiday?

For holidays with a fixed date, like Juneteenth (June 19), Independence Day (July 4), and Christmas (Dec. 25), the stock market will be closed on the preceding Friday if the holiday falls on a Saturday or the following Monday if the holiday falls on a Sunday.

However, if New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) falls on Saturday, the holiday is not observed; the stock market will be open on the preceding Friday and the following Monday.

Other Times the Stock Market Closes or Is Halted

In addition to planned holidays, historically, the stock market has closed trading in times of crisis or technical challenges.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, markets were halted multiple times due to unprecedented drops in the market. Called trading curbs or circuit breakers, these are temporary pauses mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2012. Each level follows different criteria:

•   Level 1: A 7% drop in the S&P 500 Index compared to closing the day before will trigger the market to be paused for at least 15 minutes.

•   Level 2: A 13% drop in the S&P 500 compared to closing the day before will trigger at least a 15-minute pause in the market.

•   Level 3: A 20% drop in the S&P 500 compared to closing the day before will trigger a premature close on trading for the rest of the day.

Trading curbs can occur for a single stock and a whole market. It’s more common for the curb to be tripped on a single stock, but unprecedented events can spark a whole market pause. Covid-19 caused three trading curbs in just over a week.

The stock market may also close unexpectedly due to unprecedented events. For example, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, caused the NYSE to close for a week, while Superstorm Sandy forced the NYSE to close for two days in Oct. 2012.

Additionally, the markets may close down to honor the death of a world figure, as was the case with George H.W. Bush and Martin Luther King Jr.

The market has also closed unexpectedly due to technical glitches and cybersecurity threats; in July 2015, the NYSE temporarily stopped trading because of a technical issue on the floor.

Get up to $1,000 in stock when you fund a new Active Invest account.*

Access stock trading, options, auto investing, IRAs, and more. Get started in just a few minutes.


*Customer must fund their Active Invest account with at least $25 within 30 days of opening the account. Probability of customer receiving $1,000 is 0.028%. See full terms and conditions.

Stock Market Operating Hours

In the United States, the major stock exchanges are generally open Monday through Friday, with core trading hours between 9:30am-4pm ET. The stock market does not operate during the weekend.

Because the different stock exchanges operate on eastern time, these trading hours are different throughout the U.S., depending on time zones and daylight savings time.

However, with so many global stock exchanges, a market may always open if an investor is interested in trading in foreign markets. Most markets operate during their time zone’s business hours.

💡 Recommended: Pros & Cons of Global Investments

Why Does the Stock Market Close Each Day?

The stock market closes each day for several reasons, notably because it allows for the settlement of all trades that have occurred. The close gives market professionals time to calculate the day’s trading results and prepare for the next day.

Additionally, the stock market close is helpful for investment brokers and traders to catch up on paperwork and other administrative tasks.

While the stock market closes each day at 4pm in the United States, other markets, like cryptocurrency and foreign exchange markets, offer trading 24 hours a day.

💡 Recommended: Is 24/7 Stock Trading Available?

When Does the Market Open for Premarket Trading?

The market opens for premarket trading at 4 am ET and operates until 9:30 am ET.

While most stock trading occurs during the normal 9:30am-4pm ET operating hours, investors can also take advantage of extended-hours trading. Investors may be interested in trading during the premarket because of the release of economic data, company earnings reports, and other major news events.

Investors must use an alternative trading system known as electronic communication networks (ECNs) to make trades during premarket trading.

However, investors must be aware of the risks associated with premarket trading. Because fewer buyers and sellers operate during the early hours, there is lower liquidity and higher volatility.

Premarket trading probably isn’t for a beginner investor; if you don’t need to buy or sell a stock immediately, you might prefer to wait until regular trading hours.

💡 Recommended: How to Invest in Stocks: A Beginner’s Guide

After-Hours Trading

The closing bell for the major U.S. stock exchanges might ring promptly at 4 pm ET, but there’s still after-hours trading: it’s possible to buy, sell, and trade stocks between 4pm-8pm ET. Electronic trading tools like ECNs mentioned above make it possible to conduct business after hours, but making moves during after-hours trading comes with its own risks, just like during premarket trading.

The Takeaway

Investors should be aware that the stock market is closed on weekends, designated holidays, and for world events and other disruptive circumstances. When the stock market is open, the exchanges generally operate on a 9:30am-4pm ET schedule, Monday through Friday. Knowing when the stock market is open and closed can allow investors to strategize the best time to make trades and investments.

If you’re ready to invest, SoFi Invest® can help. With a SoFi online brokerage account, you can trade stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and fraction shares with no commissions for as little as $5. For a limited time, funding an account gives you the opportunity to win up to $1,000 in the stock of your choice. All you have to do is open and fund a SoFi Invest account.

Get started with SoFi Invest today.

FAQ

Is the stock market closed on holidays?

The stock market is generally closed on New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

When is the stock market closed and opened?

The stock market in the United States is closed on weekends and some holidays. The stock market is generally open Monday through Friday from 9:30am-4pm ET.

Is the stock market open for extended hours?

The stock market is open for extended hours, from 4am-9:30am ET for premarket trading and 4pm-8pm for after-hours trading. However, trading during this period can be risky.


SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit SoFi.com/legal.
Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Claw Promotion: Customer must fund their Active Invest account with at least $25 within 30 days of opening the account. Probability of customer receiving $1,000 is 0.028%. See full terms and conditions.

SOIN0822027

Read more
couple with financial advisor

Mortgage Broker vs Direct Lender: What’s the Difference?

You’re ready to buy a house, and you need financing. There are two main options: direct lenders and mortgage brokers.

Which should you shop for a mortgage with? If you have credit issues or other needs, considering a broker’s array of options would make sense. If your financial health is solid and you want to save time and money, applying with a direct lender could be a good course of action.

In any case, it’s smart to get a few quotes and compare offers for the same type of loan and term.

What Is a Mortgage Broker?

A mortgage broker is a middleman between the mortgage seeker and lenders, including banks, credit unions, and private mortgage companies.

With a single application, a broker will provide you with access to different types of mortgage loans and, if you choose one, will walk you through underwriting.

Mortgage brokers are licensed and regulated. You’ll want to ensure that any broker you’re interested in working with is credentialed by checking the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry consumer access site. You can also check platforms like the Better Business Bureau and Yelp to see what past clients say.

Brokers are compensated by the borrower or lender. Borrower fees typically range from 1% to 2% of the total loan amount. Lender commissions may range from 0.50% to 2.75% of the total loan amount, but lenders usually pass the costs on to borrowers by building them into the loan.

How to Find a Mortgage Broker

You could ask your current lending institution, friends, family members, or real estate agent for a referral to a mortgage broker.

After checking licensing, you may interview more than one broker before deciding on one. You might want to ask about their fees, lenders they work with, and experience.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


What Is a Direct Lender?

In the mortgage broker vs. lender dichotomy, a direct lender is the bank, credit union, or mortgage company that originates, processes, and funds mortgages.

Mortgage loan officers, processors, and underwriters work for the company. Loan originators usually work on commission.

A loan officer may offer a mortgage at various price points, from a loan with discount points for a lower rate to a no-closing-cost loan, which is when the lender agrees to pay the closing costs in exchange for a higher interest rate.

Recommended: First-Time Home Buying Guide

How to Find a Direct Lender

Most people have a relationship with a bank or credit union, which they might want to expand on by getting a mortgage quote. Then there are myriad online mortgage lenders.

Pulling up the day’s mortgage rates online will conjure a list of direct lenders advertising their rates.

What Are the Pros of Working With a Mortgage Broker?

Because they are able to offer a variety of quotes from different sources, brokers can be useful if you’re looking to easily compare mortgage options.

They may offer specialized loans.

Loan brokers set their own profit margins, so negotiating could be easier.

A broker could be useful if you have concerns like a fair or bad credit score or student loan debt.

What Are the Cons of Working With a Mortgage Broker?

Brokers may have preferred lenders that don’t necessarily offer the best interest rate. And some lenders won’t work with brokers at all.

If paid by lender commission, a broker could be tempted to steer a borrower to a more expensive loan.

Brokers’ loans may take longer to close.

Broker fees tend to be higher, but that could be because the mortgages offered are sometimes more complex. And mortgage brokers may charge borrowers directly (the fee of 1% to 2% of the total loan amount).

What Are the Pros of Working With a Direct Lender?

By working with a direct lender, you’ll skip the broker fees, and you may get a better rate with lower closing costs (although both lenders and brokers can offer “rebate pricing” — a higher interest rate in exchange for lower up-front costs).

A direct lender typically does all the loan processing, underwriting, and closing in-house.

You may be able to negotiate underwriting or origination fees.

What Are the Cons of Working With a Direct Lender?

Comparing rates and terms on your own from a sample of lenders takes time.

You’re limited to the loan programs of the institutions where you decide to shop.

What Works for My Situation?

You’ve probably toyed with at least one home affordability calculator and gotten pre-approved for a loan.

Once you’ve found a home and your offer has been accepted, it’s decision time on a lender. You are not required to stay with the lender you used for pre-approval.

If you have a sparse credit history, subpar credit, or other challenges, a mortgage broker might be able to find a loan program that’s a good fit.

But if you have solid credit, a strong income, and assets, you may be able to save time and money by working with a direct lender.

What about rates? In weighing mortgage broker vs. bank, there might be no difference to speak of. The rate you’re offered depends more on your qualifications than on the lender.

The mortgage loan process can seem mysterious, and a broker or a loan officer at a direct lender can act as a loan seeker’s guide.

That guide should be willing to answer all of your mortgage questions, including those about points, fees, mortgage insurance, and the closing timetable.

You’ll receive loan estimates after applying. When comparing mortgage offers, it’s important to look at more than the interest rate. Be sure to compare APRs.

Look at the fees in the “loan costs” section, and compare closing costs.

Gain home-buying insights
with the latest housing
market trends.


The Takeaway

If you’re in the market for a mortgage, you might think the choice comes down to mortgage broker vs. direct lender. But you may get loan quotes from both and compare them. It’s called shopping, and a home is a rather important purchase.

You might find that the fixed-rate mortgage loans from SoFi stand up to the competition nicely.

Finance a primary home, second home, or investment property. Live large with a jumbo loan.

Get a personalized rate quote in a few clicks.


SoFi Mortgages
Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SOHL0722003

Read more
Guide to Yankee Certificates of Deposit

Guide to Yankee Certificates of Deposit

A Yankee certificate of deposit is a special type of CD that’s issued domestically by a branch of a foreign bank.

Yankee CDs, sometimes referred to as YCDs in finance, have several features that set them apart from other types of CDs, including higher minimum deposit requirements, short terms, and a lack of FDIC protection.

For those reasons, it’s helpful to understand how a Yankee certificate of deposit investment works and the potential risks involved.

What Is a Yankee Certificate of Deposit?

What are Yankee certificates of deposit? And how does a certificate of deposit work? Let’s compare the two.

First, a regular CD is a deposit account that requires investors to lock up their cash for a fixed period of time (typically a few months to a few years), and in exchange pays a higher interest rate than a traditional savings account. CDs purchased at a bank are generally FDIC insured up to $250,000 (CDs bought at a credit union are NCUA insured up to the same amount).

By contrast, a Yankee certificate of deposit is a CD account that’s issued by a branch of a foreign bank in the U.S., to U.S. customers. In general, the term of a Yankee certificate deposit is less than a year, and the minimum deposit required is more in line with a jumbo CD.

So, for example, a Canadian bank that has branches in the U.S. could offer Yankee CDs to U.S. residents. Even though the CDs would be issued by a foreign bank, they would still be subject to U.S. regulation by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve Board. But a Yankee certificate of deposit would not be federally insured.

Foreign banks that operate in the U.S. can issue Yankee CDs in order to generate capital for making loans or investments. These CDs can be purchased at issuance or on the secondary market.

Recommended: What is Liquid Net Worth

How Yankee CDs Work

As noted above, Yankee CDs work much the same as other types of deposit accounts that are CDs. There are some differences, however, with regard to:

•   Minimum deposits

•   Interest rates

•   Maturity terms

•   Investment risk

Minimum Deposits

Though you might be able to invest in a standard CD with $500 or $1,000, a Yankee certificate of deposit investment might require an initial deposit of $1 million or more. Scotiabank, for instance, issues its Yankee CDs in increments of $250,000 while UBS requires a $1 million minimum deposit for Yankee CDs offered through its Stamford, CT, branch.

A CD of this size issued by a U.S. institution could be categorized as a negotiable CD or NCD. NCDs have a face value of $100,000 or more. But Yankee CDs are not negotiable CDs because they are not FDIC insured.

Fixed and Variable Rates

Interest rates for Yankee CDs may be fixed or variable, which is another difference from other CDs which typically offer a fixed rate, making them more predictable instruments for fixed-income investors.

Shorter Terms

Maturity terms for a Yankee certificate of deposit tend to be shorter (one to three years, depending on the issuer), while regular CDs can have terms ranging from 28 days up to 10 years. The investor cannot access their cash until the CD matures, without triggering an early withdrawal penalty.

Potential Risk

Perhaps the biggest difference between Yankee CDs and other types of CDs is the level of risk involved. Generally speaking, CDs are considered to be safe investments since they offer a practically guaranteed rate of return, and deposits are federally insured up to a certain amount. Yankee CDs, on the other hand, carry certain risks including credit risk and the possibility of lower-than-expected returns if you’re choosing a variable-rate option.

Recommended: Average Savings by Age

Why Does a Yankee CD Matter?

Yankee CDs are not something the everyday investor is likely to be concerned with. After all, most people don’t have $1 million or $50 million to invest into a single CD.

If you’re able to invest in a Yankee CD, however, it’s possible that you could earn a higher rate of return for your money. That’s important if you’re working on building wealth and want to diversify your portfolio.

Are CDs smart investments? They can be, if you’re comfortable leaving money in a CD account until it reaches maturity. Again, with a Yankee certificate of deposit you may be looking at a one- to three-year wait until the CD matures. So given the higher deposit requirements involved, it’s important to consider how comfortable you are typing up larger amounts for that long, and what kind of return you can expect.

From a banking perspective, Yankee CDs matter because they’re a source of capital for foreign banks, which may need U.S. dollars to cover domestic obligations.

Yankee CDs: Real World Example

Scotiabank is one example of a Canadian bank that offers Yankee CDs to U.S.-based savers. The bank, headquartered in Toronto, offers both floating-rate and fixed- rate Yankee certificates of deposit. The bank’s floating-rate products have maturity terms ranging from two to three years, with minimum deposits of $250,000 and target principal amounts ranging from $50 million to $90 million.

The fixed-rate Yankee CD earns an impressive yield and requires a minimum deposit of $250,000, with a target principal amount of $100 million. The maturity period for this CD is also two years. Scotiabank offers these CDs exclusively to institutional investors who are accredited.

Special Considerations for Yankee CDs

There are two important things to keep in mind with a Yankee certificate of deposit investment. First, investors assume a certain amount of credit risk with these CDs.

The quality of these CDs is determined by the credit rating of the issuing bank. Banks with lower credit ratings may be more likely to default on financial obligations, including the payment of interest to CD holders. Tying up large amounts of money in Yankee certificates of deposit issued by banks with questionable credit ratings could therefore be risky.

Second, it’s important to keep in mind that FDIC protection does not apply to these CDs. Ordinarily, CDs issued at FDIC-insured banks are protected up to $250,000 per depositor, per financial institution, per account ownership type, in the rare event that the bank fails. With Yankee CDs, you don’t have that reassurance that your money is safe should the worst happen.

How to Open a Yankee CD

Opening a Yankee isn’t that different from opening any other type of CD. Here are the main steps involved:

•   Locate banks that offer Yankee CDs in the U.S.

•   Compare the Yankee certificates of deposit available, including the minimum deposit and interest rate.

•   Complete the application to open an account.

•   Make your initial deposit.

As noted, it’s important to choose a financial institution with good credit ratings. So you may want to take the additional step of checking credit ratings with Moody’s or Fitch Ratings to measure the bank’s financial health and strength.

Get up to $300 when you bank with SoFi.

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account with direct deposit and get up to a $300 cash bonus. Plus, get up to 4.60% APY on your cash!


Alternatives to Yankee CDs

If you’re looking for CD options that may be more accessible than Yankee CDs, there are some other possibilities. You could use any of the following to reach your savings goals:

•   Standard CDs. A standard CD is a regular CD offered by a bank or credit union that pays interest and has a reasonable minimum deposit.

•   Jumbo CDs. Jumbo CDs are similar to standard CDs but have larger minimum deposit requirements. For example, you may need $10,000 or more to open a jumbo CD.

•   No-penalty CDs. A no-penalty CD allows you to withdraw money from your C before its maturity date without triggering an early withdrawal penalty.

•   Bump up CDs. Raise your rate or bump up CDs allow you to raise your interest rate once or twice during the CD term. This type of CD might be attractive if you expect rates to rise.

•   Add-on CDs. An add-on CD allows you to make additional deposits to your account after your CD has been opened. Ordinarily, CDs don’t allow additional deposits.

You may also consider CD-secured loans if you’re interested in a CD product that can help you build credit. With a CD-secured loan your CD serves as collateral. Your money stays in the CD until maturity, earning interest. Meanwhile, you make payments to the loan which can be reported to the credit bureaus.

Once the CD matures, you can withdraw the principal and interest or roll it into a new CD. You also get the benefit of on-time payment history, which can help to improve your credit score.

The Takeaway

A Yankee certificate of deposit is issued domestically by a branch of a foreign bank to U.S. investors. Yankee CDs are designed to help investors earn a solid return while allowing foreign banks to raise capital via U.S. investors. Due to their high minimum deposit requirements (as much as $1 million or more), these CDs may be better suited to some investors than others; they’re sometimes restricted to institutional investors.

Yankee CDs may offer competitive rates, but they are not federally insured like most U.S.-issued CDs.

If you’re committed to seeing your money grow slowly and steadily over time, the good news is you don’t have to miss out on a great rate when saving money. If you’re banking with SoFi, you can take advantage of SoFi’s all-in-one Checking and Savings. You can sign up for an account right from your phone and pay zero account fees — and if you qualify and sign up with direct deposit, you can earn a competitive APY.

Better banking is here with SoFi, NerdWallet’s 2024 winner for Best Checking Account Overall.* Enjoy up to 4.60% APY on SoFi Checking and Savings.

FAQ

Can you lose money on a certificate of deposit?

Certificates of deposit (CDs) are generally a safe, secure way to save money. It’s possible, however, to lose money with a Yankee CD if the bank that issued it is unable to meet its financial obligations and pay interest to investors as scheduled.

What are the cons of a certificate of deposit?

Certificates of deposit may offer lower rates of return compared to other investments, which means your money has potential for growth. With bank CDs, savers may face early withdrawal penalties if they take money from their accounts before the CD matures.

How do I redeem a certificate of deposit?

If your CD is reaching maturity or you need to withdraw money for any other reason, you can visit a branch to redeem your CD or do so online if your bank allows it. You’ll need to specify how much money you want to withdraw and where that money should be sent if you’re redeeming CDs online.


SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2023 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
The SoFi Bank Debit Mastercard® is issued by SoFi Bank, N.A., pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.


SoFi members with direct deposit activity can earn 4.60% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Direct Deposit means a recurring deposit of regular income to an account holder’s SoFi Checking or Savings account, including payroll, pension, or government benefit payments (e.g., Social Security), made by the account holder’s employer, payroll or benefits provider or government agency (“Direct Deposit”) via the Automated Clearing House (“ACH”) Network during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Deposits that are not from an employer or government agency, including but not limited to check deposits, peer-to-peer transfers (e.g., transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc.), merchant transactions (e.g., transactions from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.), and bank ACH funds transfers and wire transfers from external accounts, or are non-recurring in nature (e.g., IRS tax refunds), do not constitute Direct Deposit activity. There is no minimum Direct Deposit amount required to qualify for the stated interest rate.

As an alternative to direct deposit, SoFi members with Qualifying Deposits can earn 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances. Qualifying Deposits means one or more deposits that, in the aggregate, are equal to or greater than $5,000 to an account holder’s SoFi Checking and Savings account (“Qualifying Deposits”) during a 30-day Evaluation Period (as defined below). Qualifying Deposits only include those deposits from the following eligible sources: (i) ACH transfers, (ii) inbound wire transfers, (iii) peer-to-peer transfers (i.e., external transfers from PayPal, Venmo, etc. and internal peer-to-peer transfers from a SoFi account belonging to another account holder), (iv) check deposits, (v) instant funding to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, (vi) push payments to your SoFi Bank Debit Card, and (vii) cash deposits. Qualifying Deposits do not include: (i) transfers between an account holder’s Checking account, Savings account, and/or Vaults; (ii) interest payments; (iii) bonuses issued by SoFi Bank or its affiliates; or (iv) credits, reversals, and refunds from SoFi Bank, N.A. (“SoFi Bank”) or from a merchant.

SoFi Bank shall, in its sole discretion, assess each account holder’s Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits throughout each 30-Day Evaluation Period to determine the applicability of rates and may request additional documentation for verification of eligibility. The 30-Day Evaluation Period refers to the “Start Date” and “End Date” set forth on the APY Details page of your account, which comprises a period of 30 calendar days (the “30-Day Evaluation Period”). You can access the APY Details page at any time by logging into your SoFi account on the SoFi mobile app or SoFi website and selecting either (i) Banking > Savings > Current APY or (ii) Banking > Checking > Current APY. Upon receiving a Direct Deposit or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits to your account, you will begin earning 4.60% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% on checking balances on or before the following calendar day. You will continue to earn these APYs for (i) the remainder of the current 30-Day Evaluation Period and through the end of the subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period and (ii) any following 30-day Evaluation Periods during which SoFi Bank determines you to have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits without interruption.

SoFi Bank reserves the right to grant a grace period to account holders following a change in Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits activity before adjusting rates. If SoFi Bank grants you a grace period, the dates for such grace period will be reflected on the APY Details page of your account. If SoFi Bank determines that you did not have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits during the current 30-day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, then you will begin earning the rates earned by account holders without either Direct Deposit or Qualifying Deposits until you have Direct Deposit activity or $5,000 in Qualifying Deposits in a subsequent 30-Day Evaluation Period. For the avoidance of doubt, an account holder with both Direct Deposit activity and Qualifying Deposits will earn the rates earned by account holders with Direct Deposit.

Members without either Direct Deposit activity or Qualifying Deposits, as determined by SoFi Bank, during a 30-Day Evaluation Period and, if applicable, the grace period, will earn 1.20% APY on savings balances (including Vaults) and 0.50% APY on checking balances.

Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. These rates are current as of 10/24/2023. There is no minimum balance requirement. Additional information can be found at https://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Photo credit: iStock/utah778
SOBK0322024

Read more

Refinancing Student Loans to Buy a Car

If you’re thinking about buying a car, it’s important to consider how the purchase will fit into your overall financial responsibilities, including student debt. You’ll want to be sure you can afford both the cost of the car and the ongoing expense of driving and maintaining it.

Refinancing student loans to buy a car is one option that may allow you to free up money to put toward the cost of a car or monthly car payments. Here’s what to know about refinancing student loans to buy a car, if you can use student loans to buy a car, and how to make the choice that’s right for you.

Can I Use Student Loans to Buy a Car?

Federal student loans (and many private ones) are for “qualified” educational expenses, such as tuition, room and board, and books and supplies. And while the cost of transportation (for example, commuting to school) is considered a qualified expense, purchasing a car is not.

So can you use student loans to buy a car if you’re using the car to drive to class? No – only an allowance for the cost of driving the car to school would be an eligible expense. It’s an important distinction: A borrower caught misusing student loan funds can face serious repercussions, including having their loan revoked and the balance becoming immediately due.

Some private loans may have broader criteria for what constitutes an educational expense, and fewer penalties for how you use the loans. Still, using a private student loan to buy a car may not be the most efficient or smartest use of funds. You may end up paying more interest than you would on a typical car loan, and then have fewer funds to go toward the educational expenses you need.

So what do you do if you have student debt and need to buy a car? Refinancing may be an option, and can free up money in your budget to open a car loan. Here’s what to consider before refinancing student loans to buy a car.

Recommended: Should I Buy a New or Used Car?

Refinancing Student Loans to Buy a Car

When you refinance a student loan, you pay off all or some of your loans with a new loan with new terms from a private lender. The primary benefit of refinancing is that you can save money over the life of the loan if you’re able to lower your interest rate.

You can also change the terms of your payment, potentially spreading your payment over a longer period of time, and paying less each month. If you go this route, however, you may end up paying more in interest over the life of your loan.

Refinancing student loans can help lower your monthly payments and have more room in your budget to cover the costs of a car. However, it’s important to understand that if you refinance federal student loans, you’ll lose access to federal benefits and protections, such as income-driven repayment plans and forgiveness. If you’re planning to take advantage of any of these federal programs, refinancing is likely not a good option for you.

Pros of Refinancing Student Loans to Buy a Car

Considering the pros and cons of refinancing student loans to buy a car can help you decide if this choice is right for you. You’ll want to be able to cover the costs of the car as you continue to pay your student loans back. Some of the pros of refinancing a student loan to buy a car include:

Lower Monthly Student Loan Payments Can Offset Car Costs

Refinancing your student loans can lower your monthly student loan payment if you’re able to secure a lower interest rate or extend your loan term. A lower monthly student loan payment can mean that you have more funds to cover the costs of buying or maintaining a new car.

Recommended: Guide to Student Loan Refunds

As mentioned, lowering your interest rate can save you money over the life of a loan. Extending your loan term may not save you money, but it can free up cash to have more funds to put toward the costs of a car.

Simplified Payments Can Make Tracking Car Expenses Easier

When you refinance multiple loans into a single new loan, you’ll have one new monthly payment. This can make it easier to keep track of your student loan payments and be sure you’re making them on time.

And if you’re looking for ways to get a car loan, having a simplified student loan payment can make budgeting easier as you add a new loan to the mix. As mentioned earlier, you may find lower interest rates on car loans than what you’re paying on your student loans — another reason using student loans funds toward car expenses may not be the best choice even if they’re allowed according to your loan terms.

Saving Money on Student Loans Can Help Pay for a Car

Many people explore refinancing even when they don’t need to make an immediate purchase like a car. That’s because refinancing may help save money over the life of the loan if you can lower your interest rate.

And while applying for student loans can be arduous, applying to refinance student loans is relatively straightforward. You can check your rate and get an estimate of loan terms before you officially apply, and an application can generally be completed online. You can also compare refinancing rates without triggering a hard credit check—a credit check is only done once a formal loan application is submitted.

Cons of Refinancing Student Loans to Buy a Car

While refinancing student loans to buy a car can be one way to cover car payments when you have existing student debt, there are cons to this option as well. Here are some of the cons of refinancing a student loan to buy a car.

Recommended: How To Save Up For a Car

Losing Access to Original Loan Terms

If you refinance your loans, you lose access to the terms of the original loan. This may be important to consider if you’re refinancing federal loans.

Refinancing federal loans not only means potentially missing out on federal forgiveness or repayment programs, but also the opportunity for deferment or forbearance if you qualify.

As mentioned earlier, if you plan to take advantage of federal programs, refinancing is likely not a good option for you. Some people may choose only to refinance private loans.

Repayment May Take Longer

If you extend the length of your student loan term when you refinance to lower your monthly payments to offset the costs of a new car, it will take longer to repay your loan and you may end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan.

Overstretching Your Budget

It’s important to make sure that you can afford any car loan that you take out. If you’re planning on getting a car loan or leasing a car, will you be able to comfortably cover your student loans, the car payment, and other bills? What would happen if you were to lose a job or source of income? Those questions can help you assess whether a car payment would stretch you financially.

A borrower who can’t make the payments risks having the car repossessed and damaging their credit. If you ever think you’ll miss a monthly car payment, reach out to your lender to find out what your options are. Down the road, refinancing your car loan is also an option if you’re able to secure better terms.

Pros of refinancing student loans to buy a car Cons of refinancing student loans to buy a car
Lower monthly student loan payments can offset car costs Losing access to federal benefits and protections if you refinance federal loans
Simplified payments can make tracking car expenses easier Longer repayment time if you extend your term
Saving money on student loans can help pay for a car Overstretching your budget if you’re not able to afford the costs of a new car

Recommended: Passive Income Ideas

Refinancing Your Student Loans With SoFi

When you need a new car, you may need to rethink your finances in order to cover the costs. Refinancing student loans to buy a car is one option that can help you free up funds. You may be able to lower your monthly payments and save money over the life of the loan if you qualify for a lower interest rate. You can calculate your potential savings using a student loan refinance calculator.

Refinancing can be a good option if you’re able to qualify for a lower interest rate and are not planning to use any federal programs. When you refinance a federal loan, you lose access to federal benefits and protections.

If you’re considering refinancing your student loans, SoFi offers flexible terms, competitive rates, and no fees.

Learn more about whether refinancing student loans with SoFi is right for you.

FAQ

Do car dealerships look at student loans?

Your student loans appear on your credit report. If you apply for a car loan from a dealership, then they may be able to see your payment history and your credit score on your credit report. Student loans also count toward your debt-to-income ratio which may affect your ability to secure a car loan.

Does financing a car affect student loans?

Financing a car won’t affect your current student loans, but consider how taking on another loan will impact your finances. It’s important to be certain that you’ll be able to pay both your student loan payments and any new car loan payments on time. Refinancing a student loan can help offset the costs of a new car if you can save money by qualifying for a lower interest rate. It can be a good option if you’re refinancing private loans or not planning to take advantage of any federal programs.

Is it smart to buy a car after college?

Buying a car after college is a personal decision. But keep in mind that a lot can change in a few years, and a new car or a lease may be a liability if your plans change. It may make sense to consider buying a used car or holding off on buying a car until you have a sense of what your commute and lifestyle will look like.


Photo credit: iStock/LeoPatrizi

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are a federal student loan borrower, you should consider all of your repayment opportunities including the opportunity to refinance your student loan debt at a lower APR or to extend your term to achieve a lower monthly payment. Please note that once you refinance federal student loans you will no longer be eligible for current or future flexible payment options available to federal loan borrowers, including but not limited to income-based repayment plans or extended repayment plans.


SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.

SOSL0222005

Read more
TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender