Guest Post: Find a Local Credit Union and Assess Its Safety

In support of Huffington Post’s call for people to move our money from the giant banks to community banks and credit unions:

  • Here is a site which lets you find local credit unions
  • Here is a site which rates the safety of banks, thrifts and credit unions
  • And here is another site which rates the safety of credit unions

As USA Today pointed out in August 2008:

Credit unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA, or by state agencies. The NCUA oversees the safety and soundness of all credit unions.

If you want to check up on your credit union, make sure it’s federally insured by the NCUA and look at its finances, you can do that any time. Go to the NCUA’s website at, click on the “Credit Union Data” link on the left-hand side of the page below where it says Data and Services. Next, click on the Find a Credit Union link, type in the credit union’s name and click the Find button.You can then choose to view the Financial Performance Report or the official regulatory document, called the 5300 report. This report will tell you how well capitalized the credit union is and even let you see how many of the loans are going bad.

What about your asset protection? Credit unions are backed by the NCUA, through the NCU Share Insurance Fund, which is backed by the U.S. government. Individual accounts are backed up to $100,000, with additional coverage up to $250,000 for certain retirement accounts. Joint accounts may qualify for coverage of up to $200,000.

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  1. michael

    I am doing just that right now: moving my money away from the big C. Not because of the Huffington Post by the way – I was thinking about doing so for a while, but didn’t know how to find a safe smaller bank.
    What I found, and I think it is another good site, is
    If you register (free) it will show you the banks in the neighborhood of your ZIP.
    A full report costs $50 per bank, however their overall rating for one bank can be seen free of charge at related on the right hand side below “Get an IRA Bank Stress Index rating on your bank now!”

  2. Glen

    I’ve been with nothing but credit unions for over twenty five years. Low credit card rates and signature loans for your account balance. It’s the way to go.

  3. Dennis

    credit unions are not immune to foolish investments — see savings & loan fiasco. Or, more current example, look at the Spanish savings banks. sitting on billions of dollars in real estate theyve collected from defaulting debtors/mortgagors.

  4. Peter T

    Credit Unions limit their customer base to those who live or work in a defined field – once in, however, you won’t be kicked out. Our credit union from Michigan has followed us around to Minnesota, and our banking is all online.

  5. dekan

    Re: In addition to credit unions

    There are also several privately owned banks in my area. In fact the one I use has a “stop TBTF” banner on its website.

    I find the customer service at this bank to be superior to that of my credit union. Plus I like the feeling that big brother isn’t keeping metrics on every employee from afar.

    I’ve also seen the argument that it won’t make any difference. Kindly correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t the big banks use depositors money to meet their capital requirements?

    I was so thrilled to see this movement start to get some legs. It’s something people can actually do to make a statement.

  6. Albert

    Hey George, can we see your financial statements? And maybe Ariana’s too?

    Me, I’ll click on that “Why Powerful People — Many of Whom Take a Moral High Ground — Don’t Practice What They Preach” link above first….

  7. Beata

    I have been with my university-related credit union since I was an undergraduate student. I have always been extremely pleased with it. I am glad to see that it gets a five-star rating! I agree with Glen that a good credit union is the way to go.

  8. Vinny G.

    The various divisions of Citibank received between 3 and 5 stars on Bankrate, if that says anything.

    I think I’ll just take my money out of all the banks, buy gold, and bury it.


  9. emca

    As a philosophic matter, I don’t need the Huffington Post to do what’s right. It is nice to have a readily accessible list(s)in order to better make an informed decision on what I plan to do anyway, given the odd way my limited resources have now ended up in an institution which has to be publicly protected from their own mismanagement and ineptness(stupidity).

    As a practical strategy, the Huffington scheme, although they have their heart in the right place, is doom to failure. The public at large is so brand oriented, that any move from a big, well advertised arena will be seen as unsafe(sic)and dangerously bold…and if that isn’t irony, then I don’t know what is.

    As to piling my funds under the mattress, I can’t take the stress of having to defend my horde against the evildoers of the world. Good luck on your endeavor.

  10. Omerine

    I have worked in the CU movement for over 30 years and can say from first hand experience that member service is all important and most (though not all) made conservative loans. The other thing that is great is you can read all their financial statements (unlike the TBTF guys, they aren’t that complicated) at the site under “find a credit union”. Check out capital and delinquency/loss ratios there.

  11. Dean Stockman

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    Many stock investors could use a similar inspiration and I have found that inspiration for myself, and hopefully for other traders at

    It is a great website with free stock trading signals, which has already earned me a few thousand dollars. Make sure you check it out!

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