A term deposit is a sum of cash you can invest in a financial institution like a bank, building society or credit union. It’s really like a savings account where you lock your cash away so you don’t dip into it while it earns interest.
You invest your money for a fixed amount of time on a guaranteed interest rate. At the end of the term, you can withdraw your money, including the interest earnt. Carefully consider how long you want your money tied up, because there is usually a financial penalty if you take it out early.
Term deposits may be an appropriate option if you are looking for a set return on your investment. You will avoid the insecurity of the fluctuating share market; it’s also a safeguard against a falling cash rate.
Australian financial institutions offer term deposits that start from as short as 30 days and can run as long as five years.
What is a 180-day term deposit?
If you choose a 180-day term deposit, your money will be held with the financial institution for 180 days, or almost half a year. At the end of that time, your money will be returned to you with interest.
Who offers 180-day term deposits?
Banks, building societies and credit unions offer 180-day term deposits.
You might want to choose from an authorised deposit-taking institution. ADIs are subject to prudent standards and must meet certain criteria. It’s also important to note that some providers may require a minimum amount of cash to be deposited.
Make sure you consider all the options and compare the different products. Thankfully, RateCity has done considerable research for you. You can use RateCity’s handy term deposit calculator to see exactly how much interest you’ll earn during your 180-day term deposit.
How do I open a term deposit?
It’s common now for financial institutions to let you apply for a term deposit online or over the phone. You’ll need to prove your identity and date of birth with either a driver’s licence, passport or birth certificate. You may also be asked to verify your residential address. Some providers offer electronic verification for online applications, or you might be asked to go into a branch.
Picking the right product for you
A term deposit is a really effective way to boost your savings, but be sure you read the product disclosure statement (PDS). As well as looking for a suitable interest rate, it’s also important you know any possible penalties and fees that may apply. These do vary a lot between financial institutions.
In Australia, we have what’s called the Financial Claims Scheme. Under the scheme, the government guarantees deposits of up to $250,000 at ADIs, in the event that the institution collapses. This makes a term deposit a safe investment.