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Why Credit Unions Are Safe in Tough Economic Times

March 14, 2023

In times when news about financial uncertainty picks up steam, it’s important to remember why credit unions like Columbia CU are insulated from tough economic situations by our not-for-profit structure, and how your funds deposited at Columbia Credit Union are safe.

Your accounts are fully insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) to at least $250,000 (similar to the FDIC for banks), with higher amounts available based on account ownership and structure. This insurance means your accounts are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

How Credit Unions Are Different From Banks

Credit unions are structured differently than banks. Banks are owned by stockholders and must deliver profits to them, whereas credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives, essentially owned by you and your fellow members using our services. The decisions about products and services offered are made in your best interests. Our board of directors is comprised of people just like you who are members of the credit union. During challenging economic times, credit unions remain strong because credit unions don’t profit from motives that are driven by risk. We can provide you with the same services – opportunities to save, to borrow so you can buy a car, a home, or start a business – but the bottom line is that credit unions are not-for-profit. As a cooperative, we invest our earnings back into you, the member. That’s why you will often get a better interest rate on your car loan or savings accounts. And, we live and work in this community, too. We exist solely to serve our members, taking local deposits and making local loans. 

The Columbia Credit Union Difference

For more than 70 years, Columbia Credit Union has been investing in the financial well-being of our members while also protecting your trust and hard-earned money through strong risk management practices. We are well-capitalized in equity with an additional billion in available liquidity sources, providing an appropriate buffer against market fluctuations and changing interest rates, as we balance the needs of our borrowers and savers while maintaining a growing, resilient community-focused financial resource.

How your funds are protected at Columbia Credit Union:

  • Individual Accounts: All of your Columbia CU deposit accounts (other than IRA deposits) owned by you alone are combined and insured to $250,000.
  • IRAs: All of your Columbia CU IRA accounts are combined and insured to $250,000.
  • Joint Accounts: All of your Columbia CU accounts with two or more owners, each having equal share, are combined and insured to $250,000 for each owner.
  • Revocable Trust Accounts: For most revocable trusts, the coverage is determined by simply multiplying the number of beneficiaries by $250,000. If the revocable trust is more than $1,250,000 AND there are more than five beneficiaries, then an extra step is taken. Coverage is determined by what percent of the trust is allocated to each beneficiary with a maximum coverage of $250,000 per beneficiary.

Want to learn more?

If you’re curious about the insurance fund, credit unions in general, or want to calculate your deposit coverage, visit MyCreditUnion.Gov/Estimator. You can also chat with us online using the icon at the bottom of the screen, or stop by your favorite neighborhood branchWe’re happy to review your account ownership, structure options, and share our products and services with you.

Spread the word. If you have friends or family members who are concerned about bank failures in the news, tell them about credit unions’ accountable, safe, not-for-profit cooperative structure. We would welcome them to join us. Just use our Refer a Friend tool.