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CD Ladders FAQs

  • What is a CD ladder?

    A CD ladder is a group of CDs with staggered maturity dates. A CD ladder is a great savings solution that allows you to take advantage of the generally higher earning power of longer term CDs, while still maintaining the more frequent access to a portion of your money that comes with shorter term CDs.

    Learn more about CD Ladders

  • How do I build a CD ladder at Ally?

    Building a CD ladder at Ally Bank is simple. The key is to open a combination of Ally CDs with staggered maturity dates.

    Here's an example of a 3 year CD ladder:

    • Take your initial deposit and divide it into 3 equal parts.

    • Use each part to purchase a High Yield 12-month CD; a Raise Your Rate 2-year CD; and a High Yield 3-year CD.

    • Each year, one of your CDs will mature, and you'll either renew it into a new 3-year CD to keep the ladder going, or cash it out.

    • This allows you to benefit from the higher interest rates typically available for longer term CDs while still having regular access to your money.

    Check out our CD Ladder Basics for more information.

  • Can I build a CD ladder that doesn't tie up all of my money for years?

    Yes. You can customize your CD ladder according to your savings goals. By staggering the maturity dates of each CD, you can have regular access to a portion of your funds.

    When each of your laddered CDs matures, you'll have the option of cashing out if you need the money, or renewing into a new, longer-term CD.

  • What if I need to access the money in my CD ladder early?

    Since the CDs in a ladder have staggered maturity dates, you can have regular penalty-free access to a portion of your money, as each CD within the ladder matures.

    If you need access to your money before your CDs mature, there may be an early withdrawal penalty.

    For example, with a 3-year ladder, one of your CDs will mature every year, and you'll either renew it into a new 3-year CD to keep the ladder going, or you can cash it out. This allows you to benefit from the higher interest rates typically available on longer term CDs while still having regular access to your money.

  • What if interest rates go up, and I have a CD ladder?

    One of the benefits of a CD ladder is the staggered maturity dates. When a CD in your ladder matures, you can renew it at the current, potentially higher rate.

    Plus - if your CD ladder includes the Ally Raise Your Rate CD, you'll have the option of a one-time rate increase during the term of the 2-Year Raise Your Rate CD, and with the 4-Year Raise Your Rate CD, you can increase the rate twice during the term if our rates go up.

    Learn more about the Ally Raise Your Rate CD

  • What products can I use for a CD ladder?

    Since CD ladders work best with CDs that have staggered maturity dates, consider building your ladder with Ally High Yield CDs and Raise Your Rate CDs. Since you can choose from several different terms, you can customize a CD ladder according to your savings goals. You can also build a ladder using our IRA High Yield CDs and IRA Raise Your Rate CDs.

    To set up a sample CD ladder, try our CD Ladder tool.