NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Are credit union deposits FDIC-insured? No, but it doesn't matter. For starters, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. only insures deposits in banks and savings and loan associations. Federal credit unions have their own insurance fund, which is run by the National Credit Union Administration, of NCUA. When you join a credit union, you don't really make a "deposit." Instead, you become a "member" of the credit union and the dollars you put in are called "shares." If your credit union is insured by the National Credit Union Insurance Fund, or NCUSIF, your shares are insured in a similar way to the way bank deposits are insured by the FDIC. All federal credit unions are insured by the NCUSIF. State-chartered credit unions may be insured by the NCUSIF, or might have their own state insurance or private insurance. All credit unions insured by the NCUSIF are required to display the official NCUA insurance sign. The summary below covers some basic NCUA insurance scenarios, but you should double-check with your credit union if you have multiple accounts in various names, to make sure you understand how much of your shares are insured.
For revocable trusts, the NCUA says that the "person who holds the power of revocation is deemed to be the owner of the funds in the account." Things can get even more complicated for joint revocable trust accounts. The bottom line, is that you should discuss any share balances in trust accounts with credit union staff to make sure you have a clear understanding of what is insured. Retirement accounts: If you have an individual retirement, or IRA, account at a credit union, the IRA is separately insured from your non-IRA accounts, for a total of up to $250,000. Traditional IRA, Roth IRA balances in the name of the same individual are added together and insured for a maximum of $250,000. Keogh retirement accounts are insured separately, so if you have $250,000 in traditional IRA and/or Roth IRA shares, plus a $250,000 Keogh account in the same NCUA-insured credit union, the total insured shares are $500,000. Business accounts: Accounts in the name of a corporation, partnership or association is separately insured to an aggregate limit of $250,00, provided the organization "is engaged in independent activity," which is defined by the NCUA as "an activity other than one directed solely at increasing insurance coverage." So don't get cute -- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla. To contact the writer, click here: Philip van Doorn. To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/PhilipvanDoorn.