How do I Find Unclaimed Money for Free?

Have you ever had the thrill of finding a $10 bill in an old jacket pocket that you’d completely forgotten about? It almost feels as if you got money for free. Despite working hard for it, we all seem to leave cash in the strangest places and forget about it. But what would you say if there was a ton of free unclaimed money out there that you could get? 

Well, you’re probably wondering: where can I get my hands on this unclaimed money for free? The answer is simple. Billions of dollars in unclaimed money is forgotten about in utility deposits, old checking accounts, FHA refunds, old 401(k)s, back wages, and lost tax refund checks. A chunk of that cash could have your name on it. 

It’s not just unclaimed funds belonging to you that you can get. By searching in the right places, you might discover lost money belonging to a deceased relative such as an unclaimed life insurance policy.

But there’s a problem. It’s hard to know where to start your search for free unclaimed money. There isn’t a central source that lists all the unclaimed funds you might be able to claim. But the good news is that, when you know where to look, you might be just a few clicks away from getting quick and easy cash.

In this article, you’ll learn how to find unclaimed money for free. You don’t have to pay anyone to get your money back. And, you certainly don’t have to hire a shady service to get what’s rightfully yours. You can find the cash on your own for free.

What is Unclaimed Money?

Simply put, unclaimed money is funds in your name that you haven’t collected for some reason. 

The U.S. government’s website says that a common reason for federal funds going unclaimed is undelivered tax refund checks. Also, if you’ve not filed a tax return with the IRS, any refund you were entitled to goes unclaimed. 

Other reasons for your dollars going dormant can include:

  • unpaid back wages if your employer broke labor laws
  • moving to a new job and some funds are left behind in your previous retirement plan
  • unclaimed insurance funds from a Veterans Affairs (VA) life insurance policy
  • refunds from an FHA-insured mortgage
  • unclaimed funds from failed financial institutions or credit unions.

So, just how much money is out there gathering dust? Some estimates say there is nearly $60 million that is waiting for their rightful owners to turn up. Just in the state of New York, there is $16 billion in lost money, and the state returns $1.5 million every day. 

Where to Find Unclaimed Money for Free

How can you hunt for free missing unclaimed funds? Well, after checking underneath the couch cushions, going through all the pockets of your old pants, and rummaging the back of crammed drawers, it’s now time to go online to see how to claim the free money.

Here are some ways to find free cash that has your name written on it. 

1. Search in your state

The first place to search for free unclaimed money is in your local state. Each state has an unclaimed property office. This can have records from old bank accounts, dormant insurance policies, the IRS, and other companies. 

To see if you’re entitled to free bucks, visit the website of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. Their website is Remember to also look in all the states you have lived in before. Don’t forget to search for your maiden name or common misspellings of your name.

Another excellent resource to pursue cash that’s rightfully yours is All you have to do is punch in your name, city, and state. The database results show any unclaimed funds in your name. With a few clicks, you could soon be receiving a nice check in the mail. 

If you had an FHA-insured mortgage, then there might be free money waiting for you. Head over to the refunds page to start digging for your long-lost treasure. 

2. Former pension plans

You might not realize it, but there could be a load of unclaimed money in an old pension plan. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) protects retirement plans. If a company goes out of business or closes their plans, your funds, or at least part of them, are still insured. 

To claim free money from a failed pension plan, visit the PBGC website to start hunting down lost money. There you can also see if you can get back missing cash from a terminated 401(k) plan. 

3. Employer retirement plans

Changing jobs is another reason why your hard-earned money in your pension pot goes missing. 

Sometimes, money isn’t transferred over from your previous employer’s retirement plan. To find unclaimed money for free, visit the website of the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits.

4. Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

If you’re one of those people who never file a tax return, you may be missing out on free money. 

Visit the IRS Where’s My Refund website. This site has all the resources you need to see if you’re entitled to a refund. If you can claim a refund, you have just found free money!

Remember, you have three years to file a late tax return. But the good news is that in just a few easy clicks, you could soon get the money you never thought you had. And, you don’t even get penalized for filing late.

Just think of the excitement of getting a check from the IRS rather than seeing a chunk of your hard-earned cash going on taxes.

5. Life insurance policies

In your quest to find quick, easy money, don’t forget about life insurance benefits. For example, if the company changed ownership, you could be entitled to a cash payout or stocks. 

Or, a deceased relative may have owned life insurance that was never claimed. To start your online search for unclaimed free money, visit the website at

6. Lost savings bonds

Did you hate getting a savings bond as a birthday present? If you’ve forgotten about it, you might be in for a nice treat. Not only will you get the value of savings bond back, but it has also probably earned a whack of interest. Mmm, that was a nice birthday present, after all!

So, just how much is out there in unclaimed savings bonds? According to the U.S. Treasury, there are $26 billion on the table with no one claiming it. 

To see if some of that free cash is yours, start your search online at

Find Unclaimed Money for Free: A Takeaway

Finding unclaimed money is free and easy when you know where to look. Many government websites make hunting down missing cash very easy. With a few clicks and the right information, you soon could have the thrill of getting your hands on lost money for free.