Featured Savings Rates
Featured Accounts

Self-Help Credit Union

Popular Accounts at this Credit Union

1.31%18-month CD18 Month CD
1.31%18-month IRA18 Month IRA (Traditional, Roth)
2.07%5-year CD60 Month CD

Overview / Commentary
301 W Main St
Durham, NC 27701

With an extremely small amount of capital (raised through a bake sale!), Self-Help Credit Union got its start in the early 1980s to help North Carolina workers get financing. Today, Self-Help Credit Union is a part of the Self-Help family of nonprofit organizations – which includes two credit unions (Self-Help Credit Union and Self-Help Federal Credit Union), a loan fund (Self-Help Ventures Fund), and a research and policy organization (Center for Responsible Lending). Self-Help Credit Union focuses on communities throughout North Carolina.

In addition to consumer loans and financial services, Self-Help Credit Union offers various deposit banking products. These include checking accounts, saving accounts, money market accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Certificates of Deposit (CDs), and IRA CDs.

The credit union offers “premium” checking accounts, which yield better interest rates in return for a larger initial deposit and minimum average daily balance. In addition to basic savings accounts and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), it also provides savings accounts for children and for special purposes (such as holiday expenses). Self-Help’s checking and savings accounts all offer convenient online and mobile banking, as well as nationwide ATM access.

Self-Help’s money market accounts earn dividends in two tiers, depending upon the balance of the account. The credit union’s CD terms range from 3 months to 60 months. As for IRA products, Self-Help provides both Traditional and Roth IRAs. It also offers the option to open a CD and/or savings account within the IRA. The terms for IRA CDs range from 12 to 60 months.

On the corporate side, Self-Help Credit Union also offers business savings accounts, business money market accounts, and business CDs. Its business savings accounts have very low required initial deposits to open, and they can easily be linked to other accounts. Self-Help’s business money market accounts offer two dividend tiers depending upon account balance, just like the personal money market options. Finally, Self-Help’s business CDs also range in terms from 3 to 60 months, with higher interest rates for longer terms. The credit union also offers “community-friendly term certificates,” in which the deposits specifically help Self-Help to support the environment, women and children, and local businesses in North Carolina.

Field of Membership Restrictions

Membership in Self-Help Credit Union is open to anyone through joining the Center for Community Self-Help ($5 membership fee). Membership is also open to those live, work, worship, or attend school in Washington, Hyde, Beaufort, or over other 40 counties in North Carolina.
See current membership details

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Reviews (7)

Better Than The Big Boys!!!

To Who Ever Reads This Review,

Please listen to someone who actually banks with Self Help Credit Union. I am a very satisfied client and would NEVER go back to the "BIG" Banks. I have a long banking history with two major banks and have had average satisfaction. The cost of an average checking account is over $150.00 annual but free if you "only" do online banking. Really? What's the point of having a bank next door if I can't go in for any of the services plus there are many hidden fees is you do not go by the rules. With Self Help Credit Union there are no fees with direct deposit. If you do not have direct deposit and have to mail in your deposit Self Help Credit Union sends you paid postage envelpoes to do so and the monthly fee is only $5.00. I do everything online anyway and have always had direct deposit. As a matter of fact direct deposit is standard, hardly anybody receives a check in the mail anymore. The online banking is extremely user friendly and dependable. Self Help Credit Union is not comparable to dealing with the big banks they are better. I e-mail any questions I have and I receive a prompt reply. If you need to talk to someone via phone they are there to help and are very friendly. They are Honest and truly put their clients first. As the realtor vents her frustration listen to what she says...the bank went through the client to get things done! Isn't that the way things should be? Who has to re-pay the money anyway. The client should be apart of all decisions where their money is concerned. They offer everything the big banks offer but are way more affordable. To get a loan...you don't need the standard 4 tradelines of debt to prove you can pay back your loans and are trustworthy. In this economy, what is the point of carrying all that debt to get a loan for more debt. Isn't that train of thought backwards? I think so. If you are a responsible person and are trying to save money you probably don't have all those trade lines and with Self Help Credit Union thank God you don't need them. All you need is two(2) tradelines to apply for a home loan or a small business loan. If you are patient, do not mind banking online and withdrawing cash at Walmart, Dollar Tree or anywhere that offers cash back for free at check out then Self Help Credit Union is like a Diamond in the Rough. You'll make out way better with them than you would with any big bank. Plus you keep your $150.00 and you earn dividends on your basic checkings...Yes they pay you!

I'd be their poster person if they advertised and I'd do it for free. That's how GREAT they are.


Raeford, NC

Never been happier

Posted by: T.J.S. | Jun 3, 2014

We left a major bank two years ago and became part of the Self-Help family (originally they were Cape Fear Credit Union) and we have been thoroughly pleased. The interest rates we're earning on the basic checking account is higher than we received from our old big name bank.
We're able to do online bill pay and transfer money from checking to savings easily and with fees and when we do go the the local branch to deposit checks or whatnot the staff is always prompt and friendly.
There do not have locations on every corner but for our needs that doesn't matter. Loan rates may be lower at other credit unions (we haven't shopped around) but all in all our time with Self-Help has been nothing but wonderful.


Posted by: RichL40T | Aug 8, 2017

I opened an account, and linked the accounts a few days later to external accounts to fund transfers in. The reversal of the micro deposits from these institutions generated 2 insufficient funds charges despite $1000.00 sitting in the account. I was able to call them, and they reversed the charges with minimal argument.
Other times I called for account setup questions, and was on permahold. I left a message on their system, and sent a secure message on their website. Neither was returned.

When you can speak to a person, they are pleasant and competent, but they seem to have too much business relative to their staffing levels, thus I haven't funded the account beyond my first deposit.

Overdrawn Account

Posted by: Sancee | Sep 27, 2016

My issue with this Credit Union is that your ATM transactions are not consistent, for example. if my direct deposit is $1,000.00 and I withdraw $300.00 when I check my balance it still state that I have a $1,000.00. If, I check it again it'll tell b
me I have $700.00, check it again after purchases online it's still reflects a $1000.00. My point is the automated system is faulty. I feel as though this is a racket in order to apply overdraft charges due to your account being overdrawn, when I addressed this issue with the Credit Union I was told that I should keep up with my transactions so that I avoid being overdrawn. I am not the financial institution, if you aren't able trust the Credit Union to do right by its customers then what is one to do?

Self Help Is A Perfect Name Because They Only Help Themselves!

Posted by: Jsteins | Mar 29, 2016

It is extremely rare that I feel so strongly about a business that I take time out to write a review, but the customer service is so atrocious at this CU that I felt the need. I originally joined this CU when it was a smaller CU named Carolina Mtn CU. Had nothing but good things to say about them. Then they were bought out by Self Help CU and things immediately began to change. Their customer service became a joke. Any attempts to call, got you transfered into an automated hell that eventually got you to the person you were trying to reach, only to have them not answer and then be told the mailbox was full and you couldn't leave a message. The few times I was actually able to leave a message the call was never returned. I should have known then that I needed to run! I've stayed several years, ignoring the ridiculous customer service policies that made it clear I was a number and not in any way important to them as a customer. Now I only have a small credit account with them so I realize that right now, I am small potatoes to them, but should that make a difference? I'm currently in a medical internship working on becoming a surgeon so in the future, my account could have become more substantial, but I will hide my money in a shoebox in the backyard before I put any more of it in this CU. Multiple correspondences with this business has shown me that they don't even bother to know their customers in the basic sense. I have lived several states away from NC for several years now and I can't count the number of times I have been told to "stop by a branch office" both in letters and over the phone. A quick glance at the address listed below my name should be enough to show that's not an option for me. Also, heaven forbid if you get behind on a payment! Like I said, I'm a doctor, but currently an intern, who makes next to nothing after 10 years of college (just ask any intern!). I got a month behind on my payments and have struggled to catch back up. This of course was met with threatening letters to call within 4 days (this in a letter that took 4 days in the mail to even reach me) about the late payment, no option to pay the payment online, but they will take a payment by phone for an exorbitant extra fee. They will also suspend your online access so you can't even verify that the payments you are making are being credited to your account properly! When I call to ask about why my online access has been suspended, I call one branch and literally no one ever answered the phone. I go through the automated hell and press 0 for an operator only to hear it ring until the automated system resets itself. I then call another branch to hear that my online service is suspended because even though my account is now current, I have to wait a month of being current before they will grant me the supreme privilege of looking at my own account online. I was once again told that I can always call to check on my account (yeah, if they'll answer), or once again, I can stop by a branch office (a little tough to do from 14 hours away).
Everything about Self Help CU is aimed at making it difficult for the customer. I have since joined another CU and have had great customer service that is actually helpful and not only treats me with respect but actually bothers to treat me like a human and not another number.
Bottom line...if I could rank negative stars, I would.

Worst Credit Union Ever!

Terrible hours. Limited locations. Refused to allow a debit for a large purchase even though we could answer every single one of their verification questions. Basically refused to give us our money!! And since it was a Friday, we couldn't complete the purchase until Monday, because they aren't open AT ALL on the weekends, and we were required to go in person and get a certified check. They weren't willing to work with us at all, and we are beyond frustrated. Closing our accounts and moving elsewhere ASAP. Stay clear!!

Should Be Called Self-HELPLESS Credit Union

Posted by: rdnealey | Jun 28, 2012

Should be called Self-HELP-LESS

It is seldom that I come across a company like this. I have been selling Real Estate for many years and I came across a client that wanted to use this place. I had not had any dealings with them so worked with my client and Self Help.

They require you to jump through so many hoops that you get lost in the maze, then you keep asking for an appraisal and they push you off, they do not communicate with the agents at all, if an agent (buyer, seller or attorney) tries to communicate with them they respond to their client. My client even gave them specific instructions to communicate with me and the still will not. They dont even send an email back saying "we will only communicate with our client"

The week before closing they had stil not ordered an appraisal. When we finally pressured them to they came back and stated oh your home didnt appraise for the amount of your deal. The client was paying 50% cash which means his LTV was 50% (actualy 53%). They said he needed to come up with an additional sum of money because the appraisal was off by $10k. Then 3 days prior to closing they say oh we need to send it to underwriting for final approval before we can issue a committment letter. OMG are you kidding me. The contract expires in 3 days closing in 3 days already received 3 extensions on the closing date and seller refused to extend further thinking we were all jerks.

The loan officer over there is totally overwhelmed and unresponsive. A 2nd client asked me about this place and I told him this story so he said it cant be that bad, and went over, he thinks because of his ethnic background that he was pushed away. The loan officer was cold to him, told him she would let him know something on a pre-qual letter in 3-4 days ... FOR A PREQUAL letter.. OMG are you crazy !!!! Finally he pestered her enough until she said NO, there is nothing we can do, have a good day and walked out of the office.



Health Grade Components

NCUA #66258
Year Chartered1983
Primary Regulator
Profit Margin
Return on Assets - YTD1.45%
Return on Equity - YTD13.07%
Annual Interest Income$19.2MM
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ2 2017vs Q2 2016$851.3MM$740.9MM
LoansQ2 2017vs Q2 2016$579.1MM$505.8MM
DepositsQ2 2017vs Q2 2016$724.8MM$628.8MM
Equity CapitalQ2 2017vs Q2 2016$89.5MM$76.3MM
Secondary CapitalQ2 2017vs Q2 2016$26.0MM
Loan Loss AllowanceQ2 2017vs Q2 2016$12.9MM$13.1MM
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ2 2017vs Q2 2016$13.2MM$16.1MM
Real Estate OwnedQ2 2017vs Q2 2016$1.3MM$1.6MM
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Always verify rates and promotions with the bank or credit union. We are not Self-Help Credit Union; we are a rate comparison website and cannot provide official rates or promotions.

* The APY shown varies based on the deposit amount. Expand the listing to see APYs for other deposit amounts.

Self-Help Credit Union Savings Account Rates

1.31%$100-IRA Savings
0.25%--Savings Account
0.25%--Club Accounts

Self-Help Credit Union Money Market Rates

1.37%*$500k*-Money Market
OTHER TIERS: 1.27% $500 - $500k

Self-Help Credit Union Checking Account Rates

0.15%$2,500-Premium Checking
0.05%$100-Basic Checking
0.05%--Small Business Checking
0.05%--Nonprofit Checking

Self-Help Credit Union CD Rates

2.07%$500-60 Month CD
1.82%$500-36 Month CD
1.82%$500-48 Month CD
1.56%$500-24 Month CD
1.31%$500-12 Month CD
1.31%$500-18 Month CD
0.25%$500-3 Month CD
0.25%$500-6 Month CD

Self-Help Credit Union IRA Rates

2.07%$500-60 Month IRA
1.82%$500-36 Month IRA
1.82%$500-48 Month IRA
1.56%$500-24 Month IRA
1.31%$500-12 Month IRA
1.31%$500-18 Month IRA