Unclaimed money lists have become the stuff of urban legend — and like most urban legends, they’re something most of us scoff at. Unclaimed money? Me? Fat chance! The fact of the matter is, you don’t have to have had a long-lost relative leave you a spectacular inheritance to have unclaimed money. Especially when you’ve moved as many times as most PenFed members have, it’s fairly likely you’ve lost track of a few dollars here or there.
Unclaimed money is any financial asset that’s been abandoned by its owner for a year or longer — payroll checks, cashier’s checks, stocks and mutual fund accounts and more. Think how many places you’ve lived over the years, how many local bank accounts you might have created and then not used, how many savings accounts you began and then let fall by the wayside. Suddenly, the idea of doubling back to claim money you might have lost track of doesn’t seem so outlandish.
Consider whether or not you could have left behind money related to these accounts and processes:
- Bank accounts at local banks you’ve moved away from
- Balances in credit unions you no longer belong to (and by the way — thanks for being part of the PenFed family!)
- Balances in savings accounts you created for specific savings goals that have long since been used
- Co-op dividends from utility companies in places you used to live
- Payroll checks and direct deposits that occurred after you’d closed accounts and moved
- Small, unused funds on store gift cards that you might have put aside.
- Pension benefits from jobs you’ve left
Many of these sources are required to turn over inactive accounts to the state — but you can still stake a claim to what’s yours. Here’s where to go:
- Unclaimed.org Run a search for every state where you’ve lived or held accounts.
- TreasuryHunt.gov This secure site for unclaimed funds being held by the federal government is an official U.S. government website, so don’t feel hesitant when it asks for your social security number in order to search for possible unclaimed funds.
Once you’ve tracked down any long-lost funds, keep track of your money with these handy apps for budgeting and spending. You’ve never lose track of your place on your financial ledgers again!