Is Your Credit Union Safe?

by Weiss Ratings | July 19, 2011

If you think credit unions automatically give you a safe haven far removed from the weakened U.S. banking system, think again. 

Of the 7,391 credit unions rated by Weiss, only 10%, or 736, are rated strong (B+ or higher).   In contrast, 2,376, or 32.1%, of the nation’s credit unions are financially weak.  And only 372 credit unions were awarded the highest Weiss ratings of “A-” or better.  Bet you’re wondering how your own credit union rates when it comes to safety.   

Fortunately, we’ve crunched the numbers and done the analysis to help you separate the wheat from the chaff, based on each institution’s capital, asset quality, liquidity and overall stability.

Here’s how you can best use this valuable information.

First, check the list of lowest-rated, large credit unions.   If yours is on it, think seriously about moving your money.

Second, if your credit union is not among them, it’s too soon to breathe a sigh of relief.  Visit to search for your specific credit union.  If your institution is rated D+ or lower, seriously consider moving your money.

And, you should make it a point to check back quarterly when the ratings are updated based on each credit union’s latest financial results.  Whether you’ve been doing business with the institution for a long time, or planning a new relationship, financial safety should be a key factor in your decision.

Third, for the strongest credit unions, start shopping with our list of the strongest in the country.  These simple steps could make a big difference for your overall safety and peace of mind. 

Credit unions don’t have the same profit incentive as commercial banks.  So, they are often a good place to look for lower fees, customer service or better interest rates.   

But, while most credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration, it’s still important to know the financial standing of the credit union you choose.  Whether it’s your money or you’re responsible for your employer’s money, your children or parent’s money, you won’t want to have to wait for any financial fallout to clear before you can get to the dollars.   

So, if you’re going to put your money anywhere besides under the mattress, it makes sense to know the financial skinny on the institution both before you make the deposit, and while you watch your money grow.  Did we say grow? One can only hope!   


Related Links

View the list of lowest-rated, large credit unions.
View the list of strongest credit unions.
Search for a credit union by name.
Read more about credit unions.