Reader Question: With banks failing, is my bank account safe?
Yes, but only if your bank is properly insured. Bank accounts should be in an FDIC insured bank (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp). Credit union accounts should be in an NCSIF insured credit union. (National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund).
The insurance will only cover checking, savings, and CD accounts. It will not cover investment accounts if your bank is also an investment house. For this year, the reimbursement limits have been increased to $250,000 per account holder. If you keep all your money in one bank, make sure that the balance of all your accounts is under that amount. If your total is more than $250,000, you should move some of the money to a different bank.
Remember, these limits go back down to $100,000 on January 1, 2010 (unless Congress increases them again), so make sure your money is divided accordingly.
Some of you may be thinking that you’ll never have more than $100,000 in the bank, so you won’t have to worry about it. But, there are circumstances that could make you the temporary holder of a large amount of cash such as a home sale with delayed home purchase, an insurance or legal settlement, or a pending asset distribution after the death of a relative. Even if you only have the money for a few weeks, that’s long enough for a bank to fail, so keep it safe by following these rules.