you may want to consider what is usually known as a “flexible” or “revolving” time deposit. With these, the interest rate will change according to the different cycles you set. For example, if in a one-year deposit (the maximum being five years) you choose three-month cycles, your rate would change every three months. (One-, two-, three-, four-, five-, six- and 12-month cycles are available.) In optimistic times, you would hope that your rate would rise with each cycle, thus earning you more than you initially signed up for. This is slightly riskier than a regular time deposit in that no rate can be guaranteed, so be sure to ask your teller which option would be good for you. The advantage over a regular time deposit is that you do not need to keep your deposit invested until maturity. Instead, you have the option to cancel the deposit and withdraw the principal and any interest accrued at the end of your chosen cycle period.
Installment accounts Let’s say you don’t have an initial deposit to put down or you want to use that money for something else; you may be interested in what we call an installment account. An installment account is where you can choose to deposit as much or as little as you want on a fixed date each month, or as and when you please. Generally, depending on which product you choose, deposit periods can range from six months to five years, allowing you to put a little bit away throughout your stay in Korea. A popular option for those earning a salary in Korea is to first open an account into which your salary would be paid. (At Shinhan, this is called a salary savings account, which is a basic savings account where the interest is calculated based on the average amount of money held in your account each quarter.) Thereafter, you may take installments from your salary account and place them in an appropriately named installment account. Certainly in the case of Shinhan, our customers who have both accounts can often receive more favorable rates. With this account, you set and agree on the time period, and the interest rate applicable to you is based on the rate your bank posts on the actual day you open the account, plus any extra interest depending on which other products and services you use with that same bank. As with time deposits, you may cancel your installment account at any time. However, if you do so before maturity, you will not receive the full rate of interest initially agreed upon. It is also worth noting that, after maturity, funds left in accounts will no longer earn significant returns. It is therefore recommended that you either open a new time deposit or installment account immediately upon maturity, or if you think you are going to leave Korea permanently, close the accounts and retrieve your funds. Either decision will have to be made in-person at a branch. Take this into consideration if you are planning to leave Korea in the near future. Please note that, in addition to the options above, there are a variety of other strategies to consider. For more detailed information, please visit a branch Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or call your bank’s English call center. Shinhan’s English call center can be reached at 1577–8380, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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