Are you low on cash or looking to get out of debt faster? Maybe you’ve considered getting a second job or selling your valuables to boost your finances.
Have you ever thought about looking for unclaimed money? There could be extra money hidden away with your name on it, you just have to know where to look. It may take the form of a few dollars from a refund check you never received, or even an old 401(k) worth thousands.
Knowing where to find unclaimed money can be tricky. But once you start digging, you could find a treasure trove of money to help improve your finances.
6 places to look for unclaimed money
1. State government offices
When your money goes unclaimed or undelivered, it most likely goes to one central spot — your state’s treasury. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administration, nearly $41.7 billion in unclaimed money is being held by US states and territories.
This is because many state laws require that organizations such as banks and businesses turn over money that can’t be given back to the owner. For example, if a bank closes down and a bank account holder doesn’t come forward to claim their money or property, it goes directly to the state.
To find this money, you’ll need to contact your state’s treasury or missing money office. This means contacting any state you may be associated with. If you grew up in Illinois, studied in New York, and currently live in Florida, you’ll want to check in all three.
Additionally, if you want to take the search for unclaimed funds a step further, check in with any states associated with deceased family members and businesses you worked with. Even the smallest amount of money is collected by the state on your behalf free of charge.
2. Your parents’ bank
Often times unclaimed money is held by the bank because an account went inactive, or “dormant.” The bank will either send your money to the state or hold on to it for you for a specific period of time.
If you had checking accounts set up on your behalf by your parents through school programs or child banking initiatives, you may be surprised to see that those accounts still exist. Giving banks a call only takes seconds but could lead the way to unclaimed money in potential accounts.
But you shouldn’t stop there! Your parents and family members may have also invested on your behalf in accounts such as a savings bond.
Treasury Direct reports that every year, 15,000 savings bonds are returned to the U.S. Department of the Treasury because it is undeliverable. That is a whole lot of money that could go to paying down your student loan debt!
3. Old employers
When you got your first job in high school or college, you may have been completely unaware of all the benefits you were signing up for.
These benefits may have included a pension or retirement plan opened on your behalf. Unclaimed funds from these accounts can be rolled over into a current retirement plan or an IRA. If you’re looking to find unclaimed money from past retirement plans, check out the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits or ERISA
Not sure if you have any pensions? The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, a U.S. government agency, is a great place to start.
If you have a retirement account open, you’ll need to do a bit more work. Start by calling your old employer’s Human Resource Department and asking them to do some digging on your behalf.
Or, if your former employer is no longer in business, take your search to the IRS and ask for tax document 5500. This is filed on behalf of the majority of 401(k) accounts.
4. Deceased relatives or friends
You may access some unclaimed money because you’re the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
Many life insurance policies never get updated. A relative or family friend may have listed you years ago as their beneficiary, so money may be owed to you when they pass. In other cases, a person may not even know or have kept records of owning a policy.
Most unclaimed funds from life insurance policies go directly to the state. However, more recent deaths may still be held by the insurance provider. If you feel that you may be a beneficiary, try calling the lawyer or executor of the will to see if they can ask on your behalf.
Other insurance companies, such as MetLife, allow you to search an online database based on the policy holder’s information.
5. Past and current addresses
Like many recent graduates, you probably spent every year moving from your childhood home to the dorm room, to an apartment, to an overseas hostel, and beyond.
Having so many different addresses can make it difficult for you to get important money mail like class action suite winnings, tax refunds, and even paychecks.
Most checks and unclaimed funds will go straight to the state it came from (not necessarily the state you lived in at the time). However, the check may have also been returned to the sender. If you feel you are owed money, now is the time to reach out and ask for help.
If your past address includes a parent or family member’s house, you may also want to give them a ring. That pile of mail sitting on your childhood desk may be full of checks you ignored for the last few years. Now does opening the mail sound more exciting?
6. Online service sites
So far, you may have noticed that you have to do a lot of legwork to get that money back. But here’s a secret: many government and private organizations actually have websites where you can track down your money with just a few questions and clicks!
Here’s a short list of where you can start:
- State unclaimed funds offices: Unclaimed State Contact Map
- Life insurance policies: MIB Policy Locator
- Missing tax refund(s) from past year: IRS
In addition, there are paid services you can use to find money on your behalf. But with websites like these making it so easy to do, paying for someone to search your name is just not worth it unless you’re expecting a ton back.
Finding missing money you’re owed
Unclaimed money may be just waiting for you to find it.
So much money may be held by the state and federal government, potentially right under your nose. Take the time to search and inquire about it. You’ll find it’s so worth it for the potential payoff — no treasure map required.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.99% – 5.64%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.09%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 6.77%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|1.99% – 5.41%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews! |
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of July 31, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 7/31/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of September 10, 2020.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.16% effective August 10, 2020.