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NEWS ALERT: NOVEMBER 9, 2012 Expiration of the Temporary Unlimited Coverage for Noninterest-Bearing Transaction Accounts. Beginning January 1, 2013, noninterest-bearing transaction accounts will no longer be insured separately from depositors’ other accounts at the same FDIC-insured depository institution. Instead, noninterest-bearing transaction accounts will be added to any of a depositor’s other accounts in the applicable ownership category, and the aggregate balance insured up to at least the Standard Maximum Deposit Insurance Amount (SMDIA) of $250,000, per depositor, at each separately chartered FDIC-insured depository institution.
NEWS ALERT: JULY 21, 2010 Basic FDIC Insurance Coverage Permanently Increased to $250,000 Per Depositor. President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which, in part, permanently raises the current standard maximum deposit insurance amount to $250,000. The standard maximum insurance amount of $100,000 had been temporarily raised to $250,000 until December 31, 2013. The FDIC insurance coverage limit applies per depositor, per insured depository institution for each account ownership category. With this permanent increase of deposit insurance coverage to $250,000, depositors with CDs above $100,000 but below $250,000 will no longer have to worry about losing coverage on those CDs maturing beyond 2013.
NEWS ALERT: MAY 20, 2009 Deposits at FDIC-insured institutions are now insured up to at least $250,000 per depositor through December 31, 2013. On January 1, 2014, the standard insurance amount will return to $100,000 per depositor for all account categories except for IRAs and other certain retirement accounts which will remain at $250,000 per depositor. The extension announced on May 20, 2009, does not apply to the Transaction Account Guarantee Program. The unlimited coverage under the Transaction Account Guarantee Program is only in effect for depositors at participating institutions through December 31, 2009.
Basic FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage Limits*
*These deposit insurance coverage limits refer to the total of all deposits that an accountholder (or accountholders) has at each FDIC-insured bank. The listing above shows only the most common ownership categories that apply to individual and family deposits, and assumes that all FDIC requirements are met.
**The legislation authorizing the increase in deposit insurance coverage limits makes the change effective October 3, 2008, through December 31, 2013.
If you have questions about FDIC coverage limits and requirements, please visit www.FDIC.gov, call toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC, or call BANK'34.
BANK'34 was chartered in 1934 and has a long, safe & sound history of serving our community! Member FDIC and proud member of the American Bankers Association. Get the facts. Ask us how we can help structure your money to be safe & sound.
These days, it seems that organizations of many types, from credit unions to savings clubs, are after your banking business. Even the company that sells you furniture or a refrigerator wants to advance you a loan!
While each of these organizations may offer services similar to a bank's, only a Full Service Bank offers all of them, plus the fundamental security of the U.S. banking system, second to none in the world. That translates into "real world" benefits for you.
Here Are The Facts:
They aren't restricted to a field of membership, store shoppers, or some other specialized group. Banks are in the community to serve the community, regardless of who you know or where you work.
You don't have to go one place for a home mortgage, another for a car loan, and a third place for competitive savings rates. Your Full Service Bank has all these other traditional bank services.
Simply put, the business of banks is investing in people: through home mortgages, business loans, auto financing and a host of other transactions. That's why a bank's prosperity depends so much on the prosperity of the community it serves. And, through the Community Reinvestment Act, banks make loans available to those who otherwise might not have access to them. The Act's standards are strict, yet most banks go beyond the letter of the law to assure that the community's credit needs are met.
All depositors' accounts, in a federally insured bank, are fully guaranteed against loss by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and full faith and credit of the United States government. This safety net is paid for by banks and has meant that not one depositor has ever lost a penny of FDIC-insured deposits.
In many ways, banks are central to our lives and economy. Banks help families buy homes and send children to school. They help create jobs by supporting small businesses. And they help improve our quality of life by funding hospitals and other needed services.
So if someone says "all financial institutions are the same," don't believe it. Banks help make communities better places to live and work for everyone.
Your deposits in an FDIC-insured bank or savings institution couldn't be safer. These institutions are fundamentally sound, their insurance fund is well-capitalized, and a U.S. Government agency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), administers the deposit insurance program. Banks and savings institutions maintain capital reserves and observe lending policies that aid in protecting those reserves. This is one reason why they continue to hold up well in periods of tight credit and financial turmoil.
Your money is only as safe as the insurance system that protects it. The fund protecting federally insured banks and savings institutions is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's 8,560 banks and savings associations and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars---insured financial institutions fund its operations. Consider these other facts about the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF), which is administered by FDIC to protect federally insured banks and savings institutions:
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)is an independent agency of the United Santes government that protects against the loss of insured deposits if an FDIC-insured bank or savings association fails. FDIC deposit insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Since the FDIC was established, no depositor has ever lost a single penny of FDIC-insured funds.
FDIC insurance covers funds in deposit accounts, including checking and savings accounts, money market deposit accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). FDIC insurance does not, however, cover other financial products and services that insured banks many offer, such as stocks, bonds, mutual fund shares, life insurance policies, annuities or municipal securities.
There is no need for depositors to apply for FDIC insurance or even to request it. Coverage is automatic.
To ensure funds are fully protected, depositors should understand their deposit insurance coverage limits. The FDIC provides separate insurance coverage for deposits held in different ownership categories such as single accounts, joint accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and trust accounts.
The Deposit Insurance Fund is Exceptionally Strong
Capitalization of the fund is now over $50 billion in reserves. This is one good reason why not one penny of insured savings has ever been lost by a customer of a federally insured bank.
The Fund Balance is Reviewed Each Year to Ensure Continued Strength
The FDIC closely monitors the contribution levels of member institutions in order to evaluate the current viability of the fund. FDIC uses a risk-based assessment method, assuring that banks that might have a riskier profile pay more in annual premiums to help cover the risk.
Federally Insured Banks Are Fundamentally Sound
The great majority of federally insured banks and savings institutions meet or exceed capitalization adequacy goals, the leading indicator of safety and soundness for banks, and bank profitability remains strong.
For More Information From the FDIC
Start by going to the FDIC web site at www.fdic.gov to find publications. Or call toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. For the hearing-impaired, the number is 1-800-925-4618.
Identity theft,, financial fraud and scams are terms used to describe crimes in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data or financial information without their knowledge, typically for economic gain. Identity theft can cost you time and money. It can destroy your credit and ruin your good name. Believe it or not, there is no typical fraud victim. Scammers don't care about your age, race, income, or geographic location. They just want your money. Thousands of people are defrauded each year. Scam artists use the latest trends and sophisticated techniques.
Skilled identity thieves use a variety of methods to steal your personal information, including:
Deter identity thieves by safeguarding your information.
Detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements.
Defend against identity theft as soon as you suspect it. Here is a checklist for victims.
Fake check scams can leave YOU owing money! If someone you don't know wants to pay you by check but wants you to wire some of the money back, beware! It's a scam that could cost you thousands of dollars.
How do fake check scams work? There are many variations of the scam. It usually starts with someone offering to:
The scammers often claim to be in other countries and say it's too difficult to pay you directly, so they'll have someone in the U.S. who owes them money send you a check or money order.
The amount of the check or money order may be more than you are owed, so you are instructed to deposit it and wire the rest to the scammer or to someone else. Or you are told to wire some of the money back to pay a fee to claim your "winnings." In some cases, the scammer promises to transfer money directly to your bank account. You provide your account information for an electronic fund transfer. Instead, the crook sends your bank a phony check or money order with instructions to deposit it in your account. When you check your balance, it looks like the funds have arrived. Whatever the set-up, the result is the same---after you've wired the money, you find out that the check or money order has bounced.
Q) Can my bank tell if the check or money order is good or not when I deposit it?
These fakes look so real that even bank tellers may be fooled. Some are counterfeit money orders, some are phony cashier's checks, and others look like they are from legitimate business accounts. The companies whose names appear may be real, but someone has dummied up the checks without their knowledge.
Banks usually make the funds you deposit available quickly---most often within one to five business days. But just because you can withdraw the money doesn't mean the check is good, even if it looks like a cashier's check or money order from the post office. Forgeries can take weeks to be discovered.
Q) If the check or money order turns out to be fake, isn't that the bank's problem?
You are responsible for the checks and money orders you deposit. That's because you are in the best position to determine how risky the transaction is---you are the one dealing directly with the person who is arranging for the payment to be sent to you. When a check or money order bounces, you owe your bank the money you withdrew. The bank may be able to take it from your accounts or sue you to recover it. In some cases, law enforcement authorities could bring charges against the victims because it may look like they were involved in the scam and knew the check or money order was counterfeit.
Q) How do these scammers find their victims?
Fake check scammers scan newspapers and online advertisements for people listing items for sale, and check postings on online job sites from people seeking employment. They place their own ads with phone numbers or email addresses for people to contact them. And they call or send emails, letters, or faxes to people randomly, knowing that some will take the bait.
Q) How can I protect myself from fake check scams?
There is no legitimate reason for someone who is giving you money to ask you to wire money back---that's a clear sign that it's a scam. If a stranger wants to pay you for something, insist on a cashiers check for the exact amount, preferably from a local bank or one with a branch in your area.
If you think someone is trying to pull a fake check scam, don't deposit it---report it! Contact the National Consumers League's Fraud Center, www.fraud.org. For more information about fake check scams and how you can avoid them, go to www.fakechecks.org.
Your individual credit report is one of the most important barometers of your overall financial health. This summary of your financial responsibility---prepared by credit bureaus (also called credit reporting agencies) ---tells lenders about your history of paying bills and is used by them to decide whether to loan you money and how much to charge.
The official website, annualcreditreport.com, is the ONLY authorized online source for you to get a free credit report under federal law. You can get a free credit from each of the three national credit reporting companies every 12 months. Some other sites claim to offer "free" credit reports, but may charge you for another product if you accept a "free" report.
A recent amendment to the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies---Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion---to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. But there is only one online source authorized to do so: annualcreditreport.com. Beware of other sites that may look and sound similar.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, advises consumers who order their free annual credit reports online to be sure to correctly spell annualcreditreport.com, or link to it from the FTC's website to avoid being misdirected to other websites that offer supposedly free reports, but only with the purchase of other products. While consumers may be offered additional products or services while on the authorized website, they are not required to make a purchase to receive their free annual credit reports.
Note: www.annualcreditreport.com will NEVER send you an email solicitation for your free annual credit report, or use pop up ads."
The FTC has received complaints from consumers who thought they were ordering their free credit reports online. Some consumers responded to TV ads, email offers, or simply searched online.
The FTC recently settled a lawsuit against Consumerinfo.com over the "free credit report" promotion it advertised on television, radio and the Internet. If you ordered a free credit report from Consumerinfo between November 1, 2000 and September 15, 2003, and were enrolled in its credit monitoring program, you may be eligible for a refund under the FTC's settlement.
File a complaint
The FTC wants to hear from you if you paid for what you thought was your free annual credit report. Go to www.ftc.gov and click "For Consumers" on the menu.
The FTC also wants you to forward any unsolicited emails you've received offering you a free annual credit report. Send them to email@example.com.
The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have set up one central website, toll-free telephone number, and mailing address through which you can order your free credit annual report. To order, go to annualcreditreport.com, call 877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, PO Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Do not contact the three nationwide consumer reporting companies individually. They are only providing reports through the contacts listed above.
Note: An employer or prospective employer cannot get a copy of your report without your written consent.
If you find inaccuracies in the report:
A credit score is a number used to make a decision on a loan or other credit. Many lenders use a system developed by Fair Isaac and Company called the FICO score---a point system based on your credit history to predict creditworthiness. FICO scores analyze five types of data from your credit reports. They are payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, types of credit used and new credit, in that order.
Late payments, a past bankruptcy, debt collections or a court judgment ordering you to pay money as a result of a lawsuit will negatively affect your credit score. Too much debt relative to your income is also a warning sign to creditors and will usually lower your score.
In general, the better your credit score, the better your chances of getting credit with an attractive interest rate. Since your credit score is highly dependent on your credit report, it is critical that your credit report is accurate.
Your score, along with an explanation of how the score was derived, is available from any of the three major credit bureaus. Each bureau may have different information about you, so your score may vary from one company to another.
Having good credit and using it wisely are more important than ever these days. Fortunately, it is also easier than ever to monitor your credit files and to correct errors that could have a negative impact on your credit rating.
The FACT Act gives you specific rights when you believe that you are the victim of identity theft:
The decisions you make now and about how you manage your finances and handle money and credit can affect your ability to borrow money in the future, as well as the cost of borrowing that money. They also can affect your ability to rent or buy a place to live, get auto or life insurance, or even get a job. The more you know about credit, the better prepared you will be to manage your finances and establish a solid financial foundation.
When you get credit, you are borrowing money from a lender, and you have to pay back that money---usually with interest. You can get credit in many different ways: through a credit card, a personal loan, an educational loan, an automobile loan, or a home mortgage. It's important to maintain a good credit record because it can affect how much you pay to borrow money. If you have a good record, it means that you are a good candidate for a loan---based on your history of paying bills, your job history, and your salary---and it will be easier for you to get loans at lower interest rates. That usually translates into lower monthly payments.
If you have a poor credit history, however, it can be a big problem. A poor credit history usually results from making payments late or borrowing too much money, and it can mean two things: 1) that you might have trouble getting a car loan, a credit card, a place to live and, sometimes, a job or 2) that you will pay a lot to get the loans you need.
Suppose you never financed a car, a computer, or some other major purchase. How do you begin to establish credit?
If your application for credit is turned down, the creditor must tell you why. It may be that you haven't been at your current address or job long enough. Or your income may not be high enough. Different credit card companies have different standards. But if several companies turn you down, it may indicate that you are not ready for the responsibilities that come with getting credit.
A credit card makes it easy to buy things now and pay for them later. If you're not careful, you can lose track of how much you've spent by the time the bill arrives. And if you don't pay your entire bill, you'll probably have to pay finance charges on the unpaid balance. If you continue to charge while you have an outstanding balance, your debt will grow. Before long, your minimum payment will cover only the interest. Not only could it take years to catch up, but you will have paid much more for the items than they originally cost. If you start having trouble repaying your debt, you could harm your credit record.
If you've already established your credit history but are having trouble making your monthly payments---or if you're being contacted by debt collectors---you might feel overwhelmed. But there are things you can do to manage your debt.
In many families money is a taboo topic. But experts agree that the more you talk about money the better it is understood. Starting today---you can help your children and grandchildren learn financial lessons that will last a lifetime.
Look for teachable moments in your daily life that naturally bring up the topic of money. The important thing is to talk about money in an open and honest way. Here are some examples of teachable moments to help you get started.
When Depositing Your Paycheck, talk to your kids about:
When grocery shopping, talk to your kids about:
When using your credit cards, talk to your kids about:
When giving children an allowance, talk to your kids about:
When you pay bills each month, talk to your kids about:
When using an ATM machine, talk to your kids about:
What if the questions are more personal than you're comfortable with? Your annual salary may be off limits, but you can talk about the things your paycheck pays for, like food, rent and clothing.
What if your child asks questions that you can't answer? Write them down and together research the answer on the internet, at the library or just ask your banker. We're here to help you care for your money---take advantage of our expertise.
Look for this symbol of Federal insurance coverage at your bank.