Q. I have money in certificates of deposit at my credit union and would like to add more because the rates there are slightly higher than they are at the banks I've considered. Are credit unions covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in case anything happens?
A. Deposits in most credit unions are covered by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), rather than by the FDIC. The coverage is similar, and the limits are the same as for the FDIC: The fund covers up to $250,000 for all of your individual accounts combined at a single credit union. If you hold any joint accounts at the same credit union, up to $250,000 of each account holder's share is covered. Plus, up to $250,000 for all of your retirement accounts, such as IRAs, are protected.
Both the NCUSIF and FDIC cover deposit accounts, such as savings accounts, checking accounts, money-market accounts and CDs. They do not insure money invested in stocks, bonds or mutual funds.
The NCUSIF is administered by the National Credit Union Administration, which is an independent federal government agency that charters and supervises federal credit unions and most state-chartered credit unions. To find a credit union in your area and to see if your deposits are fully insured by the NCUSIF, go to http://www.mycreditunion.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
(Kimberly Lankford is a contributing editor to Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and the author of Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, $18.95). Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit http://www.Kiplinger.com.)