There are two charter types for credit unions: federally chartered and state chartered.
Federally chartered credit unions are referred to as federal credit unions and are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). State chartered credit unions are referred to as state credit unions and regulated by their local state supervisory authority. Federal credit unions generally have the words “federal credit union” in its name. Additionally, any credit union headquartered in one of the following states is a federal credit union: Arkansas, Delaware, South Dakota, Wyoming, or the District of Columbia.
All federal credit unions are insured by NCUA’s Share Insurance Fund. Most state credit unions are also insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Established by Congress in 1970 to insure member share accounts at federally insured credit unions, NCUSIF is similar to deposit insurance coverage provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
State-chartered credit unions not insured by the NCUSIF are privately insured. Deposit insurance coverage on funds at privately insured credit unions is not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.
Federallyinsured credit unions can be identified on NCUA’s Research a Credit Union site. Credit unions insured by the NCUSIF must also place in their offices the official NCUA insurance sign as seen below. No credit union may terminate its federal insurance without first notifying its members.
The official NCUA insurance sign is located here.