If your savings is at a credit union, I want you to listen up right now. Most credit unions are just as safe as an Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-insured bank account. But the wise move to make in these scary times is to double-check that you are absolutely 100 percent protected.

Okay, first let me explain a few things about credit unions. Just like banks choose to participate in the FDIC program, credit unions have the choice to participate in the federal credit insurance program. Its official name is the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). This insurance program is managed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and was created by Congress in 1970. Since its creation, no insured credit union account has lost a penny. Federally insured credit unions are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. So if you have your money at a federally insured credit union and you don't exceed the insurance coverage limits, your money is super safe.

Okay, here's how to figure that all out. First, I want you to check that your credit union is indeed a member of the NCUSIF. You will see the logo on your credit union's website, or check your latest statement. If your credit union is not federally insured, I suggest you move your money to a federally insured bank or credit union. Given what is going on in the markets and the economy right now, I think it is wise to err on the side of being super safe.

If your credit union is federally insured and you have less than $100,000 deposited at the bank, you can officially stop worrying. Your money is safe. Even if something happens to the credit union, the NCUSIF will step in and make sure you receive every penny of your money.

If you have more than $100,000 at a single credit union, you probably know the drill by now: The money may be insured if your accounts meet NCUSIF rules. Again, it's all very similar to the rules that govern FDIC bank insurance. I encourage you to use the NCUA's Share Insurance Estimator to verify that all your accounts, and all the money in those accounts, are 100 percent insured.

Now you know. Be safe.

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Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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