FDIC Limits and How to Insure Excess Deposits

Peace of mind. That’s what you want when you place your money in a bank or savings institution. You want to know that your money is safe and sound, and chances are you’ve heard about FDIC insurance and know that it’s there to protect your dollars. What you may not know is exactly what the coverage limits are with FDIC insurance, and that there are full-coverage options available for your deposits – outside of the FDIC.fdic-limits-insure-excess-deposits

Most U.S. banks are members of the FDIC, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The purpose of the FDIC is to protect your deposits in the event of a bank failure. If an FDIC-insured institution fails, each customer there will have their deposits protected, up to $250,000. FDIC insurance covers all types of deposit accounts, including certificates of deposit (also known as CDs), checking and savings accounts, as well as money markets and some types of retirement accounts. It does not however cover investment accounts such as stocks, bonds or mutual funds, or life insurance policies, even if you purchased those products from an FDIC-insured bank.

FDIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, and since the FDIC’s creation, no depositor has ever lost a penny of their FDIC-insured deposits. But what about depositors that have more than $250,000 in a bank account? One way to insure excess deposits is through the Depositors Insurance Fund – commonly referred to as DIF.

The Depositors Insurance Fund is a private insurance fund that provides supplemental protection for funds deposited with Massachusetts-chartered savings banks. The good news is that if you don’t live in Massachusetts, you can still reap the benefits of DIF coverage. The Depositors Insurance Fund does not impose any residency restrictions, so as long as a DIF member bankAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon! accepts out-of-state deposits, you can open an account there and have your deposits covered in full.

Another way to obtain DIF coverage is to open an account with an online bank that is tied to a Massachusetts-chartered savings bank. For example, Bank5 Connect is an online bank that is a division of BankFive, a DIF member bank located in Fall River, Massachusetts. So, all deposits placed in a Bank5 Connect account are covered by DIF, regardless of which state the depositor resides in.

When you open a deposit account at a DIF member bank, DIF insurance automatically kicks in. There are no forms or applications to fill out, and there are no fees or surcharges required to obtain coverage.

In the event of a bank failure, the Depositors Insurance Fund works very closely with the FDIC. After a bank goes under, the priority for both organizations is to ensure depositors get their funds as quickly as possible. In addition, the DIF and the FDIC work together to determine what portion of the deposits are the FDIC’s responsibility and what portion will be paid out by the DIF.

To learn more about DIF coverage at Bank5 Connect, visit http://www.bank5connect.com/home/misc/fully-insured-deposits.

For more general information about FDIC and DIF coverage, go to:

http://www.FDIC.govAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!

http://www.DIFxs.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!

Equifax Data Breach – What to Do after a Compromise

You’ve likely heard about the recent Equifax data breach, which is thought to affect nearly half of the country’s population. The breach at Equifax isn’t the first time sensitive personal information has been compromised, and unfortunately it won’t be the last. Data breaches are compromises are on the rise – so what do you do?
computer security breach

First, you should check with the company that suffered the breach – they may have instructions and offer free credit monitoring services. You can find more information about the Equifax breach here: https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/As a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.BankFive.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of BankFive.com. Come back soon!.

If you believe your social security number was breached, it’s also a good idea to notify the three major national credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – and ask to have a fraud alertAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.BankFive.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of BankFive.com. Come back soon! placed on your credit report. A fraud alert requires creditors to verify your identity before approving any new credit. You can contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus at:

  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
  • Experian: 1-888-397-3742

Monitor your credit report regularly following the loss. Every year you’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus, and you can stagger those free reports so you have access to one every four months. You can access your free reports at AnnualCreditReport.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.BankFive.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of BankFive.com. Come back soon!.

Check your credit report for any irregularities, including accounts you didn’t open, addresses or aliases you don’t recognize, or hard inquiries you didn’t initiate or permit.

If you’re particularly worried about becoming a victim of identity theft following the loss of your wallet, you may get some peace of mind by placing a security freezeAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.BankFive.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of BankFive.com. Come back soon! on your credit file, or enrolling in a credit monitoring and identity theft protection service like LifeLock. Each of the three major credit bureaus also offer similar monitoring services.

It’s also a good idea to monitor your bank and credit card accounts closely following a breach. If you notice anything suspicious related to your Bank5 Connect accounts, please contact us immediately at 1-855-552-2655.

Check Your Credit Reports Regularly and Thoroughly

Knowing what’s in your credit report is very important. It can help alert you to identity theft before it ruins your credit history, and it can have a significant impact on whether you will be extended credit for a major purchase or for a financial move such as refinancing your mortgage. The reports are used by creditors, insurers, and other businesses to evaluate applications for credit. In some cases, they’re even reviewed by potential employers before offering you a job. These credit reports are loaded with information such your bill payment history (including late and missed payments), how much debt you have, and how much credit you have available to you. A positive credit report can translate into better interest rates on loans and more favorable consideration from credit card companies.check-your-credit-history-regularly

There are three major credit reporting companies that compile and manage these reports – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Fortunately, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can order your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies for free once a year. The nation’s consumer protection agency, the Federal Trade Commission, enforces this law in an effort to promote the accuracy and privacy of the information in your credit reports.

When reviewing your credit reports, it’s important to look closely at all of the information provided to ensure it’s accurate. Incorrect information in your report could have a negative impact on your credit history. For example, if you’ve always paid your mortgage on time, but there are missed or late payments noted, you’ll want to contact the credit reporting agency to have the discrepancies remedied.

Checking your credit reports on a regular basis can also help you to spot identity theft. For example, if you notice addresses on your report that you’ve never lived at, or credit card accounts you’ve never opened, there’s a good chance someone could be fraudulently using your identity, and harming your credit in the process. If you notice anything suspicious in your report that makes you think your identity has been compromised, contact the credit reporting agency immediately.

It’s important to note that the credit reporting companies don’t share information with each other, so it’s possible for the information in one agency’s report to differ from your reports from the other two agencies. Some people prefer to order their free report from all three reporting agencies at the same time to help identify any inaccuracies across them. Other people choose to stagger their free reports, ordering a free report from one of the three reporting agencies once every four months. This strategy can help you to keep closer tabs on your credit throughout the year.

The only website that is authorized to provide you with your free annual credit reports under the Fair Credit Reporting Act is www.annualcreditreport.comAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!. If you’d prefer to order your free reports by phone, you can do so by calling 1-877-322-8228. You can also mail a request form to Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. Click on this link — Annual Credit Report Request FormAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!to access the document.

Once you’ve ordered all three of the free credit reports you’re entitled to annually, you can still order more, but you’ll have to pay for them through the individual credit reporting agencies. However, there are some special circumstances that could entitle you to more than one free credit report from each reporting agency. These situations include having your credit limit reduced, being denied credit, or becoming a victim of identity theft.

No matter what your situation, staying on top of your credit history is a sound and smart way to keep track of your financial health.

Send Money Fast With Person-to-Person Payments

There’s no question that online banking has transformed the way we handle money. And you don’t have to look any further than person-to-person payments for proof.send-funds-with-person-to-person-payments

Person-to-person payments, also commonly referred to as “peer-to-peer payments” or “peer-to-peer transactions”, have revolutionized the way people can send money to each other. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend sitting next to you in a restaurant or a family member across the country – you can send and receive funds electronically in a matter of a few days, if not a few hours, depending on which person-to-person payment service you use.

If you have a bank account or credit card, you can use it to make a person-to-person payment using online technology that lets you transfer funds from your accounts via the internet, using a computer, smartphone, or tablet.

There are two basic approaches to person-to-person payments. With one approach, users establish secure online accounts with a trusted third-party vendor (such as PayPal or Venmo), designating which bank account or credit card they’d like to use to transfer and accept funds. The third party’s mobile application or website is then used to send or receive funds. Users typically are identified by their e-mail address and can conduct fund transfers with anyone who is also a member of that same third-party network.

With the second approach, customers use their financial institution’s online banking interface or mobile app to designate which account they’d like to transfer funds from, and the amount of funds they’d like to transfer. The recipient is identified by either their e-mail address or phone number, and they do not have to be a member of the same financial institution as the sender. Once the sender has initiated the transfer, the recipient will typically receive an email or text message with instructions on how to deposit the payment into their account. In some cases, the sender will have already designated exactly which account the money should be transferred to, and in that case the recipient will simply receive a notification alerting them that the transfer has taken place.

Before initiating a person-to-person payment, it’s a good idea to check into such things as fee structures, funds availability, and privacy practices.

  • Fee-related questions to consider before choosing a person-to-person payment service include whether there are charges to sign up, send money, or receive money. At Bank5 Connect, there is no fee for Standard Delivery of person-to-person payments, however fees may be incurred if Expedited Delivery is selected.
  • Check into the service’s policy regarding when funds will be deducted and when they will be available to a recipient once a transaction has been initiated. Some services are quicker than others in this respect.
  • Check out the service’s privacy settings and adjust them to your preferences if possible. And keep in mind that a service provider’s privacy policy may change, so it’s always a good idea to periodically recheck them after signing up. At Bank5 Connect, we take your privacy and security very seriously. You can view the privacy policy and terms of service associated with our person-to-person payment service here.

Bank5 Connect’s person-to-person payment service is called Pay People, and is available through 5Online, our online banking system. To learn more about Pay People, or to sign up for online banking and being taking advantage of person-to-person payments, visit us at http://www.bank5connect.com/home/online-banking/moving-money

Make Money with a CD — Guaranteed

Some things in life are a “sure thing,” and a certificate of deposit is one of them. It guarantees that you’re going to make money on your money, no matter what.make-money-with-a-cd-guaranteed

A certificate of deposit, or CD, is a financial product similar to a savings account. Where a CD differs, however, is that it has a specific, fixed term and a fixed interest rate. It is intended that the CD be held until the end of the term, when it “matures”. At maturity, you can either withdraw your money along with the accrued interest, or you can choose to roll over the funds into another term and continue saving.

There are short-term and long-term CDs available at most banks. Short-term CDs can range from three months to a year, while longer term CDs typically range from 18 months to 5 years. Typically, the longer the term length, the higher the interest rate.

At Bank5 Connect, we offer CDs with terms of 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months. And the minimum deposit for our CDs is only $500. Our 24-month CD is a special “Investment CD” that provides more flexibility by allowing you to transfer funds into your CD at any time. This can allow you to save even more!

It’s important to point out that there is usually a penalty fee for withdrawing money from a CD before the term is over. Be sure to read all the fine print regarding withdrawal penalties before deciding which term length is right for you.

So, how much can you earn with a CD? We offer a handy calculator that lets you estimate your annual earnings using different average monthly balances and term lengths. Try it out to get a sense of what Bank5 Connect CD product could be right for you.

CDs are considered one of the safest ways to save money with a bank. Unlike stocks and other types of investments where interest earnings can fluctuate drastically or you could be in danger of losing your principal, a bank CD has a guaranteed, fixed interest rate you can depend on, and the money in your account is insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). What’s more, if your CD is with Bank5 Connect, it’s insured past the FDIC limit of $250,000. Because Bank5 Connect is a DIF-member bank, all of our deposit accounts, including CDs, are insured in full. This means that any dollar amount above the FDIC limit is insured by the Depositors Insurance Fund.

To learn more about our CDs, including current rates, go to http://www.bank5connect.com/home/cds. And don’t forget that it’s always a good idea to consult a tax advisor before making any major investment decisions. Happy saving!

Don’t Fall Victim to a Ransomware Attack – Be Vigilant and Alert Online

Bank5ConnectChances are you’ve heard about the recent “WannaCry” ransomware attacks that have affected more than 200,000 computers in over 150 countries. Unfortunately, these types of attacks are becoming more and more widespread, and Bank5 Connect would like to remind its customers about what they can do to protect themselves online. Here is some advice for helping to avoid ransomware attacks and other similar email phishing schemes.

• If you receive an email you weren’t expecting, be cautious from the get-go. Never click on any links, or open attachments in an email from someone you don’t recognize.

• You should also be on high alert if you notice poor grammar or misspellings in an email, especially one claiming to be from a legitimate company or organization. Quite often, these can be signs of a phishing email crafted by a con artist.

• It’s also common for phishing emails to use time-based deadlines or threats. If the email says you have “24 hours” to do something, or threatens you with jail time or hefty fines if you don’t respond quickly, you should be wary.

• Remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you receive an email promising you money, prizes, or even a job, you should tread with caution. Never provide personal or financial information to claim winnings you weren’t expecting. Likewise, if you ever receive a check (or the promise of a check) you weren’t expecting, don’t deposit it! Many money laundering schemes use unsuspecting people as middlemen. Remember to never conduct banking transactions for people you don’t know.

• Never provide personal or financial information from someone who requests it via email. Keep in mind that the government, and most banks and companies you do business with will never try to obtain sensitive information from you online (or over the phone for that matter). BankFive will never call or email you to obtain account information. If you receive an email requesting information and you’re having a hard time determining whether or not the communication is legitimate, just pick up the phone and call the company. Just remember to look up the company’s phone number on your own to ensure you’re calling the right place. Don’t rely on a phone number provided in an email that may be phony.

• And remember that if you ever do follow a link in an email, be very cautious of the site you end up on. NEVER enter your passwords, usernames or other personal information on a site you reach via an email link. It’s very common for phishing emails to “spoof” a website in order to trick users into thinking they’re on the authentic one. In reality, they can capture any sensitive information you enter on a phony site. If you’re looking to log into your account after reading an email, you’ll be safer entering the site’s web address directly into your browser, or using a bookmark to access it. This will help to ensure that you’re entering your info on the legitimate site, instead of a fake lookalike.

For more information on how to stay safe online, visit our Fraud Prevention page at http://www.bank5connect.com/home/security/fraud-prevention.

Lost or Stolen Wallet? Follow These Tips!

You just got a promotion, so you and your partner decide to celebrate by enjoying a fancy dinner at your favorite restaurant. The meal is exquisite, the conversation engaging. As the evening winds down, you ask for the check, and…you can’t find your wallet.AdobeStock_78078438

Not exactly the ideal ending to an otherwise wonderful night. But it really doesn’t matter where you are when your wallet goes missing. The feeling’s the same – gut-wrenching anxiety.

But you’re not alone. Almost everybody suffers through this traumatic experience at least a few times in their life. Whether the loss is temporary or permanent, there are ways to cushion the blow.

Once you realize that your wallet has disappeared, take stock of what was in it. If you had credit cards in there, contact the card issuers immediately and report them as missing. By law, if your credit card is compromised, credit card companies can only hold you accountable for the first $50 worth of charges that occur before it’s reported to them. So, if you report your missing card ASAP, before any fraud takes place, you won’t be responsible for any unauthorized charges. Once you’ve reported your card missing, the credit card company will likely place a hold on the card and issue you a new one.

In the case of missing ATM and debit cards, your liability for unauthorized use depends on how quickly you report the loss. If you report the cards as missing before they’re used without your permission, the financial institution cannot hold you responsible for any unauthorized transfers, according to federal law. To report a lost or stolen Bank5 Connect debit card, call us immediately at 1-855-552-2655 during regular business hours. If you need to report a missing card after hours, you can call our 24/7 support center at 1-800-472-3272.

And don’t forget about your driver’s license! You’ll need to contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to report the loss and order a replacement card.

If you were unfortunate enough to have been carrying around your Social Security card (or number) in your wallet, you’ll have a bit more cleaning up to do. First, you should report the loss of your Social Security card or number by calling the IRS Identity Protection Unit at 1-800-908-4490, the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT, and you should also file an online report at IdentityTheft.govAs a courtesy, you will be leaving Blog.Bank5Connect.com and going to another website. We have approved this site as a reliable partner, but you will no longer be under the security policy of Bank5Connect.com. Come back soon!.

You should also contact each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) to have a temporary 90-day fraud alert placed on your credit report. This will require creditors to verify your identity before approving any new credit, which can be vital in stopping someone from fraudulently applying for credit in your name with your compromised Social Security number. And luckily, placing a fraud alert on your credit report does not negatively impact your credit score.

It’s also a good idea to file a report with your local law enforcement agency. In the event that you fall victim to identity theft down the road, you’ll likely need a copy of a police report to apply for an extended fraud alert on your credit report.

To help prevent an identity theft disaster resulting from a lost or stolen wallet, security experts suggest keeping your wallet on a “lean diet” – that is, only keep what you absolutely need in it. For instance, one credit card and/or debit card, your driver’s license, your health insurance identification card, and one or two other “must have” items. And remember to NEVER carry around your Social Security card or Social Security number, or any Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). Having these items in your wallet is just an invitation to trouble.