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FDIC Consumer News - Summer 2000

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 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.

Test Your Financial Savvy
Think you're pretty sharp when it comes to bank products, deposit insurance, your rights as a consumer, and ways to avoid financial fraud? Find out how well prepared you really are.

1.  Which two of the following products and services offered by banks are eligible for FDIC insurance?

A. Safe deposit boxes.

B. Mutual funds and annuities purchased from an FDIC-insured institution.

C. Mutual funds that invest only in U.S. government securities.

D. A certificate of deposit issued by an insured bank but obtained from a brokerage firm.

E. A money market deposit account.

2.  The basic FDIC insurance limit is $100,000 for...

A. Each account you have at an insured institution.

B. Each ownership category of account you have at one insured institution. That means you'd get $100,000 of coverage for your individual accounts, $100,000 for your part of any joint accounts, and so on.

C. All your money at all FDIC-insured institutions combined.

3.  You get a letter saying you've been "pre-approved" for a card with a very high credit limit and a very low Annual Percentage Rate (interest rate). What does it mean if you've been pre-approved?

A. You're guaranteed to get that credit card at the credit limit and interest rate featured in the letter. All you need to do is call or write the card issuer and say "sign me up."

B. You're definitely guaranteed to get a credit card but, upon further review of your finances, the card issuer can instead offer you a card with less-attractive rates and terms.

C. You're not guaranteed a card. You first must send in an application and undergo a credit check. If your application is approved, you can be offered a card with less-attractive rates and terms.

4.  Federal laws restrict the amount of interest and service charges that credit card issuers can charge consumers. True or false?



5.  When you apply for a credit card, auto loan, mortgage or any other type of loan, the lender probably will look at your "credit report" from a credit bureau that describes your financial reliability, such as how timely you are with bill payments. How often do most experts say you should get a copy of your credit report to be sure it's accurate?

A. Every time you apply for a loan—no matter how frequently (or infrequently) that is.

B. Approximately once a year.

C. Only about once every five years, because the basic information in the report doesn't change much from year to year.

6.  You find proof of a bank account that a deceased relative had 20 years ago. You're not sure if this account was closed or if it's forgotten money that can still be claimed. Which of the following is true?

A. The bank is required to keep savings accounts indefinitely. So, if the account wasn't closed by your relative, the money will be there waiting to be claimed.

B. Under the typical state law, if a bank account is "inactive" for about five years, and efforts to reach the owner are unsuccessful, the bank will transfer the funds to a state unclaimed property office.

C. Under the typical state law, the bank must keep an inactive account open for at least 20 years before transferring the funds to the state.

7.  You're surfing the Web and you come across a site for an unfamiliar bank that offers attractive deals on a deposit account or a credit card. Before you send money or file a credit card application, how can you be sure the bank and the Web site are legitimate?

A. E-mail the Web site or call the phone number listed on the site and ask if the bank is legally authorized to do business in the U.S.

B. First contact a federal or state bank regulatory agency to confirm that the bank is legitimate. If it is, next make sure the Web site belongs to that same bank by calling the institution directly, using a phone number provided by the government, the phone book, directory assistance or some other trusted source.

C. Either of the above.


See the Right Answers      

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Last Updated 06/27/2000 communications@fdic.gov