Smart Start Certificate

A serious savings account made super easy.

Smart Start Certificate 101

A certificate is an earnings-driven savings account, similar to a CD, or Certificate of Deposit, in the traditional banking world. Our Smart Start Certificate pays quarterly dividends, only requires $100 to open, and allows you to make additional deposits of $5 or more anytime over the 24-month term.

Smarter savings, plain and simple.

Patience pays off in more ways than one. If you’ve got $100 to put away for a few years, this certificate will make the wait worthwhile. The dividends (aka interest) you earn will vary and change over the life of the certificate, but you can withdraw your dividends, fee-free, anytime. No matter what you’re saving for, putting away some cash to earn even more money isn’t just smart, it’s a no brainer.

What’s to Love

Keep the deposits coming

Boost your initial investment with an extra deposit of $5 or more, penalty-free, any time. Most traditional certificates don’t allow more than one deposit, but what can we say? We’re not like the rest.

Smart Start Certificate Rates

Type Dividend Rate APY* Balances
24 Months Variable
Dividend Rate:

*APY = Annual Percentage Yield. Early Withdrawal Penalty Fees could reduce earnings. Penalties will/may be imposed for early withdrawal on time accounts. Additional deposits allowed during the term, $5 minimum. Dividend rate & APY are subject to change during the term.

Smart Start Certificate Benefits

Always in your pocket

On the couch or on the go, keep your money close with our Mobile App and Online Banking.

Where you go, we go

Credit Unions around the world work together to make sure our members can use branches and ATMs everywhere — surcharge-free. Nice, right? Download our CO-OP app and plot your next getaway.

Save more earn more

Money still doesn’t grow on trees, but Fortera savings accounts do collect dividends quarterly. (Dividends are our version of interest, or in other words, free money.)

Goal setting made simple

Our skilled experts are easy to reach and happy to help. For members and non-members alike, meetings and consultations are always free, so make the most of your money, on us.

Rest easy

With us, your money is always protected and insured by the National Credit Union Administration. You’re covered on all deposits up to $250,000, so save away.

Statements that save

....Trees, space, and worry. Always enjoy access to 18 months worth of e-statements. Keep more trees, toss your file cabinet, and know your info is always safe and sound.

Get by with a little help

Or even a lot. Either way, we’re here. Call, text, or chat with our experts anytime you need a friend who knows all things Fortera.

Get started!

It’s always a good day for a strong start. Open your Smart Start Certificate today and get to saving.

Need a hand?

Tag us in. Whether you are on your couch or halfway around the world, use Fortera Video Chat to get quick answers from a friendly face.
How much does it cost to open a Smart Start Certificate?

It cost $100 to open a Smart Start Certificate. $100 is the required account minimum balance.

Can I add additional deposits to the Smart Start Certificate?

Additional deposits are allowed in this account. Each deposit must be a minimum of $5.

What are dividends and how do they work for the Smart Start Certificate?

Dividends are extra money that your account earns just by being open and meeting our minimum account dividend earning value. The Smart Start Certificate earns dividends quarterly as long as your account has at least $100 deposited in it. It is just another way we like to say thank you to our members for trusting us with your hard-earned "dough". To learn more about what the current dividend rate is and our other savings accounts that earn dividends, please see our Rate and Fee Disclosure.

What documents do I need to open a Smart Start Certificate?

To verify your identity, we always ask that you come prepared with a government issued ID. It is important that it is not expired. Examples of acceptable IDs include a State Driver's License or a U.S or Foreign Passport. If we have trouble validating your ID, we may ask for a secondary ID. For children, we have a variety of other documents we can use to verify identities. These include social security cards, birth certificates, medicaid cards, and insurance cards. If you have a question about whether or not an ID can be used, just text us at 931.431.6800.

Can I open a Smart Start Certificate online or do I need to open it at a branch location?

You can open this account online or in-person. The choice is yours.

What is a Smart Start Certificate

A certificate is an earnings-driven savings account, similar to a CD in the traditional banking world. Each one comes with a variety of options in regards to term length, rate types, and flexibility.

Our Smart Start Certificate is a longer-term certificate with a minimum balance of $100. It also allows additional deposits. It's because of these features that we recommend this account for those who are new savers looking for an easy way to practice more long-term saving. Definitely one of our favorite accounts.

Who is eligible to open a Smart Start Certificate?

To be able to open a Smart Start Certificate, you must meet the following eligibility requirements: (1) You must be 18 years of age or older (2) You must live, work, worship, or attend school in one of our service regions; join an affiliated partner, or have an immediate family member who is a Fortera member. Our service regions include Montgomery, Stewart, Chester, Decatur, Lewis, McNairy, and Perry counties in Tennessee or Christian, Trigg, Todd, McLean, and Webster counties in Kentucky. Residents of other counties in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, and Arkansas may also be eligible. (3) You must have a Share Savings Account to establish Fortera Credit Union Membership.

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What's New

Nitty, gritty, and super important.

Fine print is your friend. When you have a minute, give these a good read:
Member Service Agreement
View PDF
Rate and Fee Disclosure
View PDF