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credit & debt

Are Your Bank Deposits Insured?

As long as your financial institution is federally insured, your deposits are protected — up to certain limits.

When the economy is cratering, you may be tempted to move money from your bank account to under your mattress, especially if you’re haunted by memories of banks collapsing during the 2008 financial crisis. But as long as your financial institution is federally insured, your deposits are protected — up to certain limits — in case the bank fails. Plus, banks are in better shape now than they were during the previous downturn.

Banks are federally insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and credit unions by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). To look up whether your institution is covered—nearly all are, except for some state-chartered credit unions—you can use the FDIC tool at fdic.gov/bankfind or the NCUA tool at ncua.gov.

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Check your coverage. The FDIC and NCUSIF insure accounts in various categories at each institution. One category involves single ownership of deposit accounts, including checking and savings accounts, money market deposit accounts (but not money market mutual funds), and certificates of deposit. For accounts that are in only your name, the sum of all your deposits at a single institution are insured up to $250,000.

If you have joint deposit accounts, they are considered a separate category, and up to $250,000 of your share of the deposits is insured. So if, say, you and your spouse have a joint checking and a joint savings account with a bank, your total coverage for the joint accounts is $500,000. That is in addition to the coverage you each have for any single-ownership accounts at that bank. Other insured categories include certain retirement accounts, revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts.

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