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 www.ncua.gov, 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.