What to Do When Your CD Hits Maturity

By Rebecca Lake · May 05, 2023 · 9 minute read

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What to Do When Your CD Hits Maturity

Opening a certificate of deposit (CD) account is one way to save for short- or long-term financial goals. You can deposit money, then earn interest for a set term until the CD maturity date rolls around.

At that point, you’ll have to decide whether to continue saving or withdraw the money. Your bank may renew the CD automatically if you don’t specify what you’d like to do with the account.

Understanding CD maturity options (and there are several) can help you decide what to do with your savings once the term ends. Here, learn more about:

•   What happens when a CD matures

•   What you can do with your CD when it matures

•   What to do if you miss the grace period to withdraw funds

•   What are the tax implications when a CD matures

What Can I Do When My CD Matures?

A certificate of deposit is a time deposit account. That means you make an initial deposit which earns interest over a set maturity term. You’re typically not able to make additional deposits to your CD, though some banks offer what are known as add-on CDs that allow you to do so.

You are not supposed to withdraw any or all of the funds until the CD matures; you’ve committed to keeping your cash there. That’s why CDs may pay a higher annual percentage yield (APY) than a conventional savings account.

Early withdrawal can trigger penalties, though there are some penalty-free CDs available, typically at a lower interest rate.

So what happens when a CD matures? It largely depends on your preferences, but there are four main possibilities for handling a CD once it reaches maturity.

Deposit It Into a Different Bank Account

If your financial goals have changed or you’d just like more liquidity when it comes to your savings, you could deposit CD funds into a bank account. For example, savings accounts and money market accounts are two types of deposit accounts that can earn interest.

You might deposit funds at the same bank or at a different bank if you’re able to find a higher rate for savings accounts elsewhere. Or you may choose to put your CD savings into checking if you were saving for a specific purchase and the time has come to spend that money.

Quick Money Tip: If you’re saving for a short-term goal — whether it’s a vacation, a wedding, or the down payment on a house — consider opening a high-yield savings account. The higher APY that you’ll earn will help your money grow faster, but the funds stay liquid, so they are easy to access when you reach your goal.

Deposit It Into a New CD

Another option is to continue saving with a new CD. You might prefer a certificate of deposit vs. savings account if you know that you won’t need the money prior to the CD maturity date.

Otherwise, you could end up paying a CD withdrawal penalty, as noted above, if you need to break into the new CD before it matures. The penalty for withdrawing money from a CD early can vary from bank to bank but it could cause you to forfeit a significant portion of the interest earned.

Automatically Renew the CD

Banks can renew CDs automatically if the account owner doesn’t specify that they’d like to make a withdrawal at maturity. In that case, your initial deposit and the interest you’ve earned would be moved into a new CD that would begin a new maturity term of similar length. The interest rate might be different, however, if rates have increased or decreased since you initially opened the account.

Continuing to save in CDs (or a savings account) can keep your money safe. When accounts are held at a FDIC-member bank, they’re protected up to $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership type, per financial institution by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. If you choose to have a CD at an insured credit union, NCUA (the National Credit Union Administration) will provide similar insurance. So if you’re wondering, “Can CDs lose money?” fear not. You can rest assured knowing your savings are covered.

A point worth noting: When you invest in CDs, their security can make them a good way to balance out your holdings. They can be a wise move if you have some funds in the stock market or other more volatile uninsured investments.

Withdraw CD Savings In Cash

A fourth option is to withdraw your CD savings in cash. That might make sense if you need the money to pay for a large purchase. For example, if you were using a CD to save money so you could buy a car, you might use the proceeds to cover the cost.

How Long Do I Have to Withdraw My CD?

Banks typically offer a grace period for CDs which allows you time to decide what you’d like to do with the money at maturity. The CD grace period is usually around 10 days (say, one to two weeks), and the clock starts ticking on the day the CD matures.

Your bank should notify you in advance that your CD maturity date is approaching so you have time to weigh your options. You may also be able to find your CD maturity date by logging in to your account or reviewing your account agreement.

It’s important to keep track of CD maturity dates, especially if you have multiple CDs with varying terms. For example, you might build a CD ladder that features five CDs with maturity terms spaced three, six, nine, 12 and 18 months apart. Being aware of the dates and grace periods can help you plan in advance which of the maturity options mentioned earlier you’d like to choose.

What Happens If I Miss the Grace Period to Withdraw?

Once the CD grace period window closes, you’ll generally have to wait until maturity to make a withdrawal. As mentioned, banks can impose an early withdrawal penalty if you take money from a CD ahead of schedule.

The penalty may be a flat fee, but it’s more common for the fee to be assessed as a certain number of days of interest. The longer the maturity term, the steeper the penalty usually ends up being. For example, you might have to pay three months’ worth of interest for withdrawing money early from a 6-month CD but that might get bumped up to a year’s worth for a 5-year CD.

There is one way to get around that. If your bank offers a no-penalty CD, you’d be able to withdraw money at any time during the maturity term without paying an early withdrawal fee. There is something of a trade-off, however, since no-penalty CDs typically offer lower interest rates than regular CDs.

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Things to Think About When Your CD Matures

If you have one or more CDs that are approaching maturity, it’s important to have a game plan when deciding what to do with them. Otherwise, you could end up locked in to a new CD which may not be what you want or need.

Here are a few things to consider when weighing your CD maturity options:

•   Do I need the money right now?

•   Could I get a better rate by moving the money to a new CD or savings account elsewhere?

•   If I let the CD renew automatically, how much of a penalty would I pay if I decide to withdraw the money early later on?

•   Would it make more sense to keep the money in a savings account so that it’s more accessible if I end up needing it?

•   If I have multiple CDs in a CD ladder, does it make sense to roll the money into a new CD “rung” or use the funds for something else?

Thinking about your financial goals and your current needs can help you figure out which option might work best for your situation.

What Are the Tax Implications Once a CD Matures?

Here’s one more question you might have about CD maturity: Are CDs taxable? The short answer is yes. Interest earned from CDs is considered taxable interest income by the IRS if the amount exceeds $10. That rule applies whether the bank renews the CD, you deposit the money into a new CD or savings account yourself, or withdraw the money in cash. If you have a CD and it accrues more than $10 in interest, those earnings are taxable.

Your bank should send you a Form 1099-INT in January showing all the interest income earned from CDs (or other deposit accounts) for the previous year. You’ll need to hang onto this form since you’ll need it to file taxes. And if you’re tempted to just “forget” about reporting CD interest, remember that the bank sends a copy of your 1099-INT to the IRS, too.

The Takeaway

CDs can help you grow your money until you need to spend it. Assuming your goals line up with your CD maturity dates, that shouldn’t be an issue.

On the other hand, you might prefer to keep some of your money in a savings account so you have flexible access. When you open an account with SoFi, you can get Checking and Savings (and the ability to spend and stash your cash) in one convenient place. You’ll earn a competitive APY on balances, and you won’t pay any of the usual account fees. Those are two features that can really help your money grow and work harder for you!

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Which should you do when your CD matures?

When a CD matures, you can roll it into a new CD, deposit the funds into a savings account, allow the CD to renew, or withdraw the money in cash. The option that makes the most sense for you can depend on your financial goals and whether you have an immediate need for the money.

Do you have to pay taxes when your CD matures?

Interest earned on CDs is taxable. Your bank will issue you a Form 1099-INT in January showing the interest earned for the previous year. You’ll need to keep that form so you can report the interest earnings when you file your annual income tax return.

Are there penalties if you withdraw a CD early?

Banks can charge an early withdrawal penalty for taking money out of a CD before maturity. You may pay a flat fee or forfeit some of the interest earned. The amount of the penalty can vary by bank and by CD maturity term. Generally, the longer the maturity term, the higher the penalty ends up being.

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