In early March, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it had over $1 billion in unclaimed tax returns for people who didn’t file in 2013.
In fact, every year the government holds onto a huge amount of unclaimed cash. What’s more, tax refunds aren’t the only source. People leave money behind in old bank accounts, back wages, and insurance funds.
Fortunately, that money isn’t lost forever. If you think you have unclaimed money from the government, here’s how you can track it down.
How to find your unclaimed cash
If you suspect you have unclaimed money from the government, you’ll have to do a little detective work. There’s no central website dedicated to finding money, and the government typically doesn’t notify you.
If you do get calls about free money from the government, they could be a scam. In general, it’s your responsibility to investigate your unclaimed money (and you should never have to pay a fee to get it).
1. Search for unclaimed tax refunds
There are two main reasons why you might not have received your tax refund. The first is if you moved and the IRS didn’t have your new address. In that case, your check travels back to the government.
The second reason would be if you never filed a return. Some taxpayers aren’t required to file if their income was low, but they could be missing out on benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit.
If you’re due a refund, you won’t get a penalty for filing late. Therefore, if you think you have unclaimed cash from the IRS, take a look at the IRS website.
2. Find unpaid back wages
Does an old employer owe you one last paycheck? If that’s the case, head to the Wage and Hour Division’s database. You’ll find a big list of workers who are waiting to get paid.
If your name’s on the list, you’re eligible to get back wages from your employer. Note that the Wage and Hour Division only holds on to back wages for three years.
3. Get back cash from a retirement pension or veterans’ life insurance fund
Sometimes, policyholders or their beneficiaries are missing out on money from a life insurance fund.
For unclaimed pension money, head to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation website. Search for your name to find any unclaimed cash. Often, you’re owed money if a company where you took out a policy went out of business.
- Life insurance
- Disability payments
- Savings bonds
- Military back pay
4. See what happened to your closed bank account or investments
Your money is supposed to be safe in a bank, but you could take a hit if the institution fails. There are a number of agencies that will help if your former bank or credit union shut down.
If your investment disappeared, take a look at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Information website. The SEC has resources to help harmed investors.
5. Check your eligibility for a mortgage refund
Some homeowners are owed a refund on their FHA-insured mortgage. To be eligible, you must have taken the mortgage out after September 1, 1983, and paid an upfront premium at closing. You also can’t be in default on your mortgage.
To learn more about a refund, call 1-800-697-6967 or review the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website.
6. Search your state for unclaimed cash
Finally, a state government may be holding onto your unclaimed cash. Perhaps you’ve moved a lot and left behind certain assets. Or maybe you overpaid on your utility bills and never got a refund.
According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), people have misplaced billions of dollars across the country. Check out the NAUPA website to find out if any of these billions belong to you.
As for how long it takes to get back cash, that differs by department and state. The state of Washington, for example, says that claims are processed within 60 days of receipt.
Track down your unclaimed money from the government
Money goes missing for a variety of reasons.
Maybe you never filed a tax return and didn’t get your refund, or your bank closed and you thought your checking account balance was lost for good. Perhaps you’ve moved so many times you didn’t realize that some assets were left behind.
Whatever the reason, check these websites for records of your unclaimed money. The resources on the list above are just waiting to help you claim it.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|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 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% 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 Month/Day/Year, 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 08/21/18. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 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
APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). 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 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.46% – 6.97%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.57% – 8.44%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.05% – 6.47%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.24%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.79% – 8.39%6||Undergrad & Graduate|