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Frequently Asked Questions

 

​Q1: What is a credit union?
Q2: How do I start a credit union?
Q3: Do all credit unions have charter numbers?
Q4: What organization assigns charter numbers?
Q5: If a credit union goes out of business, is the charter number reissued to a new credit union that comes into existence later?
Q6: Are all credit unions required to report to NCUA? If not, what types of credit unions do?
Q7: How can I get a complete list of federally insured credit unions?
Q8: How can I get a list of the credit unions that don't report to NCUA?
Q9: Approximately how many credit unions are there that don't report to NCUA?
Q10: How current is the data from each cycle? For example, cycle 12/98 would contain data that is reported between which two dates?
Q11: Where can I download NCUA's call report data?
Q12: How do I know when the data is available for downloading?
Q13: What is a CAMEL Rating?
Q14: Where would I find the CAMEL Rating of a credit union?


Q1: What is a credit union?
 

A1: A federal credit union is a nonprofit, cooperative financial institution owned and run by its members. Organized to serve, democratically controlled credit unions provide their members with a safe place to save and borrow at reasonable rates. Members pool their funds to make loans to one another. The volunteer board that runs each credit union is elected by the members. Not for profit, not for charity, but for service is a credit union motto.
More Information About Credit Unions  


Q2: How do I start a credit union?

A2: For immediate details on forming a federal credit union, Chapter 1 in the NCUA Chartering and Field of Membership Manual can guide you through the steps to organize a federal credit union and the manual includes the necessary forms. The National Credit Union Administration charters federal credit unions.

NCUA has five regional offices across the country that charter federal credit unions in the states that they oversee. To get assistance from an NCUA regional office to help you form and charter a credit union:

  • Visit the NCUA Management Structure to learn about the organization
  • Link to the NCUA regional office located in or close to your home state, then
  • Contact the appropriate regional office for specifics.

Q3: Do all credit unions have charter numbers?

A3: Yes they all have charter numbers.  


Q4: What organization assigns these charter numbers?

A4: We (the National Credit Union Administration -- NCUA) assign them as follows:

1 = Federal (charter numbers 0-59999)
2 =federally Insured State Chartered (charter numbers 60000-79999)
3 = Non-Federally Insured (charter numbers 80000+)  


Q5: If a credit union goes out of business, is the charter number reissued to a new credit union that comes into existence later?

A5: No. NCUA generally issues charter numbers in consecutive order.  If a credit union goes out of business, that charter number is never reused.  


Q6: Are all credit unions are required to report to NCUA? If not, what types of credit unions do?

A6: All federal credit unions and state credit unions that are federally insured must report to us.  Some non-federally insured credit unions also report to NCUA at the request of their state regulator.  


Q7: How can I get a complete list of federally insured credit unions?

A7: The Credit Union Directory is complete as of December 1998. You can see the directory here. Financial Data for individual credit unions is available here.


Q8: How can I get a list of the credit unions that don't report to NCUA?

A8: Only non-federally insured state credit unions are not required to report financial data to the NCUA.  To get a list of them, contact the state regulator in the states where they are located.  These states are Alabama, California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, Ohio, and Puerto Rico.  


Q9: Approximately how many credit unions are there that don't report to NCUA?

A9: There are currently fewer than 500 non-federally insured state chartered credit unions.  


Q10: How current is the data from each cycle? For example, cycle 12/98 would contain data that is reported between which two dates?

A10: Each cycle's data contains data as of the cycle date.  For example, the December 1998 cycle includes the balance sheet data as of 12/31/98 and the income statement data for 1/1/98 through 12/31/98.  Depending on what the data is, it may be year-to-date or as of the reporting date.

The entire database is updated when we load data for a current cycle.  For example, the database loaded to the website for the June 1999 cycle will include all of the December 1998 data as well.  This keeps the database current and allows it to reflect corrections made after the cycle's data was originally posted.  


Q11: Where can I download NCUA's call report data?

A11: A variety of Call Report Data, including Quarterly Data Files, Quarterly Data Summaries, and Quarterly Forms Archives, is available for download here. Data for individual credit unions is available here.  


Q12: How do I know when the data is available for downloading?

 A12: Scheduled dates for data posting are noted here, or you can Find a Credit Union here or archived 5300 Call Report information here


Q13: What is a CAMEL Rating?

A13: CAMEL is an internal rating system used for evaluating the soundness of credit unions on a uniform basis, the degree of risk to the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), and for identifying those institutions requiring special supervisory attention or concern. NCUA Letter to Credit Unions Number:07-CU-12, CAMEL Rating System issued in December 2007 includes the CAMEL rating system.  


Q14: Where would I find the CAMEL Rating of a Credit Union?

A14: CAMEL ratings are confidential and are not published. You may find information about CAMEL ratings in Letter to Credit Unions Number:07-CU-12 , CAMEL Rating System issued in December 2007.