FDIC Consumer News
Important Update: Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage
The FDIC deposit insurance rules have undergone a series of changes starting in the fall of 2008. As a result, certain previously published information related to FDIC insurance coverage may not reflect the current rules. For details about the recent changes, visit Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage. For more information about FDIC insurance, go to www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/index.html or call toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342). For the hearing-impaired, the number is 1-800-925-4618.
Programs That Can Help You Through the Current Crisis
Two of the most important recent actions taken by the federal government are the initiatives helping mortgage borrowers stay in their homes (see Making Your Home Affordable) and the temporary increase in the basic deposit insurance coverage (see Congress Extends $250,000 Insurance Coverage Through 2013 and Shopping for a CD). Others include the following:
First-time homebuyers who purchase a home starting January 1 through December 1, 2009, may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $8,000.
Buyers of new cars, light trucks, motor homes and motorcycles between February 17 and December 31, 2009, may be eligible to deduct the sales and excise taxes they paid.
Reverse mortgages, which are home loans for people age 62 or older that do not have to be repaid until the borrower moves, sells the property or dies, now have new rules. Provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 increase the maximum loan amount for reverse mortgages guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, impose a cap on fees and permit reverse mortgages to be used to buy a home. (The FDIC encourages consumers to understand the pros, cons and costs before borrowing money with a reverse mortgage. For more information, see After You Retire: Managing Your Expenses on a Fixed or Reduced Income in the Spring 2008 FDIC Consumer News.)
Families have more help paying for college, including expanded tax credits for qualifying post-secondary education expenses and increased funding for Pell Grants for low-income college students.
Small businesses can benefit from reduced fees and increased guarantees for many loans backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Another new program from the SBA will help small businesses meet existing debt payments. In addition, under a change in the tax code, small businesses may be able to save on taxes when they make certain investments in their business, such as purchases of machinery and computers.
"Consumers and small businesses can directly benefit from countless actions the federal government is taking to promote economic recovery," said Luke W. Reynolds, Chief of the FDIC's Community Affairs Outreach Section. "This is an example in which knowledge is power — where awareness of a new federal initiative can help you or someone you know."
For more information about initiatives resulting from the new recovery law, visit www.recovery.gov. For details on the broader array of federal loan programs and other government benefits you may be eligible for, start at www.govbenefits.gov. Also see Foreclosure Rescue and Loan Modification Scammers and Beware of Various Frauds Tied to the Economic Slowdown.