A credit union’s charter dictates eligibility based on factors such as common employment, association or residence. Check with the credit union you are interested in to confirm your eligibility. If you are not eligible, many credit unions allow membership through family members, a spouse or friends who are participants. Eligible members must join by submitting an application and purchasing one share in the union. The credit union determines the cost of one share, but expect rates to be around $5-10. By purchasing one share, members own a piece of their credit union and can vote in officer elections.
Credit unions are assigned a Net Worth Classification by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) that acts as an indicator of the risk involved in that union as well as its financial stability. The classification is based on the total assets of the credit union and a risk assessment of the its investments. These are the classifications assigned to credit unions by the NCUA.
- Well Capitalized: the credit union has a net worth ratio of seven percent or greater and meets any applicable risk-based net worth requirement under §§702.103 through 702.108.
- Adequately Capitalized: a credit union has a net worth ratio of at least six percent but less than seven percent. It also meets any applicable risk-based net worth requirement under §§ 702.103 through 702.108.
- Undercapitalized: the credit union has a net worth ratio of at least four percent but less than six percent. It does not meet any applicable risk-based net worth requirement under §§ 702.103 through 702.108.
- Significantly Undercapitalized the credit union has a net worth ratio of at least two percent but less than four percent or a net worth ratio of at least four percent but less than five percent, while either failing to submit an acceptable net worth restoration plan within the time prescribed in § 702.206, or failing to implement a net worth restoration plan approved by the NCUA Board.
- Critically Undercapitalized a credit union has a net worth ratio of less than two percent.
Both Federal Credit Unions and Federally Insured State-Charted Credit Unions (FISCUs) receive the same insurance coverage by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). The NCUA, however, defers responsibility of state-chartered credit unions to state supervisory agencies.
The U.S. government insures deposits in federal credit unions up to $250,000 under the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). Provisions in the Federal Credit Union act’s bylaws also protect member savings.
The chart above displays the percentage breakdown of type across all Credit Unions on Credio.