How Do You Know If You Are In Trouble?

Most Americans are not in trouble because of stock market losses in the past month.

Most people’s income is not primarily effected by the stock market.

If you are trying to get a loan, however, you’re suffering.

People about to retire are hurting.


How can I tell if my bank or credit union deposits are federally insured?

If your institution is chartered in the U.S. either by the federal or state government, chances are overwhelming that it’s covered by the FDIC. But many online banks are chartered overseas and are not covered by the FDIC. If you don’t know whether your money is federally insured, use the databases on the FDIC or National Credit Union Administration Web sites to find out.

How about my money market accounts? Are those safe?

That depends. Money market deposit bank accounts are covered by the FDIC. Money market mutual funds are not. But the Treasury Department announced plans last month to insure money fund shares held as of Sept. 19. The program, in which money market funds must choose to participate, is in effect until Dec. 18. After that, the government can decide whether it wants to extend the program. Contact your money market fund and ask whether it’s participating.

Are my home and car loans affected?

Not unless you have heard something from your lender. If you took out a loan with an institution that has been bought or absorbed by some other institution, your obligation to pay back that loan has not changed.

What’s the first thing I should do to get my finances in order?

You need to know whether you are in trouble. Do you have loans with interest rates that are about to balloon? Is your credit card debt so large that you can’t pay the minimum? Are you spending more than you make?

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (, he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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