CD ladder

Take your savings to new heights with a CD laddering strategy.
Certificates of deposit can be a helpful tool to grow your savings. Rates are locked in for a set period of time and you know exactly what the rate is.

You make a CD ladder by opening separate CDs with staggered maturity dates. This gives you the potential to earn a higher rate of return than you typically get in a regular savings account or in a shorter-term CD, while still giving you periodic access to a portion of your savings.

Here are some benefits of a CD ladder and how to set one up.
Man sitting with women reviewing the CD ladder benefits

CD ladder benefits

  • Earn a higher APY (annual percentage yield) with CDs that are for longer terms—typically, the longer the term, the higher the APY.
  • Retain periodic access to a portion of your savings fund at the times your CDs mature.
  • As each CD matures, you have the ability to re-evaluate the CD term, current rates and options and decide what works best for you.
CD Ladder Visual of A Bar Graph

How to build a CD ladder

  • Decide how often you want access to your funds. For example, do you want the ability to use the money (if needed) every 3 months, 6 months, or once each year?
  • Split up the total amount of money you want to save into different CD accounts with staggered maturity dates.
    • Let’s say you have $4,000 to put into a CD. You only want access to the funds once each year. Instead of putting all the funds into one CD, you divide it up and put $1,000 each into CDs with a 4-year term, 3-year term, a 2-year term and a 1-year term.
    • Note: TCF requires a $500 minimum deposit for each CD.
  • When the first CD matures after one year, put the funds into a longer-term CD (in this case, a 4-year term). When the second one matures, do the same (again, for our example, a 4-year term), and the same for the third.
  • Now your CD ladder is built. CDs with longer terms typically earn higher CD rates (APYs). Each year, one of your four CDs will mature, so the funds in that CD will be accessible if you need them. You’ll get a letter informing you of the CD’s maturity date. You’ll have a 7-day grace period after your CD’s maturity date in which to make changes, so stop by your branch and see the rates and terms that best fit your needs, and continue your CD ladder if it still makes the most sense for you.


  • Just like when you leave the dentist, when you leave the branch after renewing your CD, mark your calendar with your CD maturity date—like for a checkup.
  • Set up alerts if possible.
  • You can enroll in digital banking and see your CD balance, term, interest earned, date of maturity and more.
  • If you don’t visit a branch and take action on your maturing CD within the 7-day grace period, your CD will renew for the same at the current standard CD rate. It’s particularly important to visit a branch during this time period to learn about your renewal options.
  • APYs and interest rates are subject to change. Different products have different terms and fees, so you should always research and compare current rates to make the best decision for you.
Please note that CDs are subject to early withdrawal penalties.

Also, the information above is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. It should not replace a financial advisor or planner. The information provided is general and does not apply to individual financial situations or needs.

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