Here’s a fun free money exercise… it’s time to find your missing money… again! Over five years ago, I wrote about how to find unclaimed money. I found my missing money, submitted my claim for the money and got a check in the mail.
If you haven’t been a reader for over five years (which includes the majority of you!), you may not have done this exercise. Ironically, for any of you who have done it, it’s time to complete it again! Why? Because as I was updating the resources for finding free money, I found some new missing money of my own from my last address!
Find Missing Money for Free
As of January 2013 there was more than $58 billion in unclaimed money. That’s up from $33 billion in unclaimed money last time I wrote about finding your missing money!
How to Find Money Owed to Me For Free
How can you find unclaimed money owed to you? There are multiple places to search for unclaimed money by person name for free. Some of the sites also use search based on social security numbers.
Depending on the type of money missing, there are various “who owes me money” free search databases. However, if you don’t know the money is missing, you probably don’t know what type it is! You might as well search all the categories.
Unclaimed Property and Bank Accounts
- Missing Money.com. This was the website I used to find my missing money. After searching for unclaimed money by person name, I found my account and submitted the claim via my state’s department of revenue.
- Failed Banks with the FDIC. You can search for money lost due to failed banks. The FDIC will pay based on the insured deposits up to the FDIC insurance limits.
Unclaimed Retirement Benefits
- Lost Pension Plans from PBGC. You can search for unclaimed pension plans. If you assumed you wouldn’t get a pension because your prior company went bankrupt, you may want to search the database and read What Happens to Your Pension When the Company Goes Bankrupt?
- National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits. This database was built by PenChecks, a retirement distribution processing company, as a public service effort.
Unclaimed Tax Refunds
- Unclaimed IRS Federal Tax Refunds. You can search for tax refunds from prior years. For more recent years, you can use the Where’s My Refund? tool.
- Unclaimed State Tax Refunds. Run by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, you can search by state for prior year state tax refunds.
Unclaimed Savings Bonds
- Lost Savings Bonds from Treasury Department. You can use Treasury Hunt to search by social security number for lost savings bonds.
Tips on Finding Missing Money
Search various states and names. Don’t forget to search for your maiden name and other variations in your name due to misspellings. Also search previous states that you lived in.
Avoid the Pay Sites. Because there are so many places to look for unclaimed money in your name for free, there really isn’t a need to pay for the service. One site that readers ask me about is unclaimedmoney.com. I looked into their search and they charge between $11 and $129 depending on the length of the membership.
Routinely Search.This might be one of those exercises that you put in your calendar for every 5 years. As you can see, even though I claimed all my missing money before, some more turned up!
Did you find any missing money owed to you?
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