How would you feel if you found $10? Pretty good right? How about $100? Well that would be amazing. What if you found $4 million dollars? How would you feel then? It would probably feel like winning the lottery. Well that’s what happened to one lucky person who found their old brokerage account in New York. That account had grown to be over $4 million dollars! And they’re not alone. There are quite literally billions upon billions of dollars in unclaimed money around the country. Sometimes is small but sometimes it can grow to be HUGE!
(Looking for other opportunities to get money? Check out our monster post of ways to earn money online)
Billions In Unclaimed Cash:
These unclaimed amounts are from old bank accounts, old investment accounts, forgotten deposits from utilities/phone companies. After they go unclaimed for a certain amount of time they’re put into a trust. There are hundreds of trusts across the country. You should search them all to find out if you have any free money now!
How To Find Free Money Now:
First of all a word of caution! There are tons of unclaimed money scams out there. Scammers will pretend to be government officials. They’ll want you to pay fees to access your money. They’ll claim to be from real or even made up government agencies. They might even send you letters or emails on “official” letterhead. Usually scammers ask you to send money in the form of fees or taxes to release some amount of held money.
Watch Out For Scams!
Here’s how to spot a scam…
- You will never ask you to wire money
- You will never ask you to send a pre-paid debit card
- You will never be asked to pay a fee or pay taxes to release held money
- Ask for the “employee’s” name, agency, phone number and government ID. Then lookup that agency and call them directly asking for this “employee”
Find Free Money Now!
Old Banks and Financial Institutions:
As banks close, shutdown or go out of business their unclaimed deposits are held by the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp). If you’ve banked at a financial institution that has closed or gone out of business, you might have funds being held for you. Use the FDIC website to search for this free money now.
Old Credit Unions:
Similar to banks there could also be unclaimed funds available for you if you’ve ever banked at a credit union. To find out if you have any unclaimed funds visit the NCUA website. On the site they have a list of all the unclaimed deposits as well as instructions on how to claim that free money now.
Search By State:
Unfortunately there isn’t one central database where you can search for unclaimed money (which is probably why most people don’t do it!). You need to search each state individually. It’s recommended that you search every state in which you’ve previously lived.
Find each individual states unclaimed property program by using the NAUPA website (National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators)
Old Treasury Bonds:
Did you know that there are billions in unclaimed treasury bonds that are just waiting to be cashed? Every year there are over 25,000 payments that are unable to be made. To find that free cash visit the governments Treasury Direct website and use their Treasury Hunt tool.
If you or a loved one have worked for a company that’s gone out of business, you might still be able to claim a pension from their insurance company. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is a government corporation that insures some company pensions. To find out if you or someone you know has an unclaimed pension visit the PBCG website for details.
The IRS also holds undeliverable refund checks. If it’s taken longer than 21 days to get your refund then it could be that the IRS was unable to deliver it. You can search their site to find out if you’re owed any money.
If you’re not from the US you can still find free money by using your local bank/goverment websites:
- Canada: Bank of Canada unclaimed balances
- Australia: Australian Securities and Investments Commission unclaimed money
- UK: Experian’s Unclaimed Assets Register
- UK: British Bankers Association my lost account service
Find Free Money Now!
We’ve probably all found $20 in an old jacket or pair of jeans. And so we’ve all experienced that feeling of joy after finding this free money. Hopefully by using the sites above, you’ll be able to find even more free money now. If you DO find some free money please come back and let us know in the comments below.
Photo by William Cho via Flickr