Safe & sound. At Bankrate.com, navigate to a report on any credit union or bank. Each is rated up to five stars, with specific notes on such key indicators as the institution's liquidity and nonperforming-asset ratio.
Insurance estimator. Back at the National Credit Union Administration site, use this calculator to see whether your combined credit union accounts are fully covered by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. In general, the coverage goes to $250,000.
Also check out the FAQ about this federally backed credit union account insurance:
Private insurance. Some credit unions offer additional coverage - up to $500,000 - on high-balance accounts through the private group American Share Insurance.
Shopping around. If you're looking to compare credit unions and banks, BauerFinancial Inc. offers this Web page, where you pick a state and get a list of all its rated institutions with headquarters there. The lists are alphabetical, but each entry starts with a star rating, with five being the best.
National association. Here's the site of the Credit Union National Association, the industry group, where you can read up on efforts by credit unions to maintain faith in their institutions.
Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or email@example.com.