A certificate of deposit (or Certificate) is a savings instrument offered by a credit union that has a fixed date of maturity and a fixed dividend rate. A credit union might use the term Share Certificate, Term Certificate or just Certificate to refer to the same product. Most Certificates require a minimum deposit amount and may offer rates contingent on the size of the deposit. Certificates are insured by the NCUA, up to $250,000 per individual depositor. As a Certificate depositor, you are committing to leave your funds in the Certificate for the term of the Certificate. As a result of that time commitment, rates offered on Certificates are typically higher than traditional savings or money market accounts. Keep in mind that an early withdrawal of funds will likely come with a financial penalty.