How Safe Is Your Bank Account?
A Few Tips Regarding Bank Account Security
Think your bank account is safe and sound? You might want to think twice. There's a reason those who lived through the depression era stash "mattress" money in shoe boxes and between box springs. Banks aren't always as reliable as they would have you believe. With some saying the economy is heading for an even harder hit, you need to make sure your bank account is protected. Here are some things to keep in mind...
Is It FDIC Insured?
If your bank isn't FDIC insured, you've got a problem. If your bank is suddenly out of business (and with recent financial institution failures, this isn't as impossible as one might believe), the FDIC insurance will protect your account.
No FDIC insurance? If your bank isn't insured, your money will be lost should your bank ever go under. If you are currently banking with an institution that is not insured by the FDIC, you need to move your funds elsewhere -- and do it sooner rather than later.
Protection is Limited
Even if your bank is FDIC insured, it doesn't mean all of the money in your account is protected. All of your checking, savings, money markets and CDs are insured for up to a total of $100,000 (joint accounts can be insured for up to $200,000) and retirement accounts such as IRAs can be insured for up to $250,000. If you have more than that in one bank, you might want to move funds around.
If The Worst Does Happen
If your bank does happen to go under, it doesn't mean all of your checks are automatically going to bounce and that your funds will no longer be accessible. In most situations, a stronger bank will buy the failed bank and while some of the terms of your banking services may change, you should, for the most part, experience a pretty seamless integration into the new organization.