Learn more about unclaimed money

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Learn more about unclaimed money

What is unclaimed money? Believe it or not, there are billions of dollars waiting to be claimed from state governments. Find out more and see if you could put some money back in your pocket.


Let's be honest. If someone told you that you might have some money lying around that you didn't know about, you might be a little curious, but you'd probably also be skeptical. And who's to blame you? In a world full of scams, it can seem too good to be true.

But in reality, there's more than $40 billion in unclaimed money sitting with state governments. If some of it has your name on it, it may be easy to claim.

So what exactly is unclaimed money? Read on to learn more and find out how you can claim money that belongs to you.

What is unclaimed money?

Unclaimed money, often called unclaimed property, is money that eventually goes to the state after the rightful owner fails to collect it.

Let's say you decided to switch bank accounts during a move, and you closed out your old account. The bank tried to send you your last check, but you didn't set up a forwarding address and didn't update your contact information.

After one year or more, those assets are unclaimed and go to the state. That money is lawfully protected and kept by the state to be returned to the owner — rather than reverting back to the party who initially distributed the money.

In most states, the money is generally held until the owner is found.

Ready to search? See if you're owed unclaimed money.

Where does unclaimed money come from?

Unclaimed money can come from more places than you think. Some common forms of missing money include:

  • Checking accounts.
  • Savings accounts.
  • Payroll checks.
  • Investment accounts.
  • Trust distributions.
  • Customer overpayments.
  • Utility security deposits.
  • Life insurance payouts.

After hearing about unclaimed money on the internet, Dan Franks, co-founder of the Podcast Movement conference, decided to look into it.

Surprisingly enough, there was a record of missing money for him. The unclaimed money was from Stubhub, which he believes was from tickets he sold on the site but never received the check for.

Franks filled out the required information and signed a one-page affidavit vouching that he was the rightful owner of the money. To prove his identity, he sent in a bill as well as a copy of his driver's license.

"I sent it in, and a few weeks later I got a check back," he says. The check was for a cool $800 — not exactly chump change, but money he'd forgotten about nonetheless.

Where can you find unclaimed money?

If you want to find your unclaimed money, Credit Karma is making the process easy for you with Unclaimed Money.

This is a new feature that helps users discover if they have unclaimed property. You can search for missing money for yourself, a friend or relative. The best part? It's absolutely free, just the way we like it.

How does Credit Karma Unclaimed Money work?

To search for unclaimed property, simply go to the Unclaimed Money page, then enter your full name and state. You may also choose to narrow it down by city.

If there's a match, we'll let you know and offer instructions on how to file your claim.

Currently, we're supporting California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.

Don't live in one of those states? Don't worry. We'll refer you to the appropriate state-specific site where you can check for any missing money.

If we don't find any matches for unclaimed money, there's still good news. If you have a Credit Karma account, then we'll notify you in the future if there are any matches for you in certain states.

What you need to do to process a claim

You've found money using Unclaimed Money — now what? We'll refer you to the state-specific site to claim your money. The steps to process a claim will vary by state, but you will need documentation to verify your identity. Some states will accept copies of documentation, while other states will require originals.

For example, you may need the following:

  • A copy of your driver's license or other state issued I.D.
  • Proof of your Social Security number, such as a copy of your Social Security card or IRS Form W-2.
  • Proof of your current and/or previous addresses, such as a paystub.

While some states may allow you to apply online, other states may require you to mail in your documents. The turnaround time can vary — you may receive your money within a few weeks to a few months.

How to make the most of Credit Karma Unclaimed Money

In order to maximize your chances of finding any unclaimed money, be sure to do an extensive search. Of course, you'll want to search your full name in the state you live in, but don't stop there. Search for any other states you have lived in before as well.

Check family members and deceased relatives that may have left you an inheritance. You can check your maiden name, middle name or any common misspelling of your name.

You can also check your friends' names while you're at it, and easily let them know if you find something by using our easy email tool.

Bottom line

Billions of dollars go unclaimed each year, and some of that money could be yours. Using Unclaimed Money, you can easily check if there is unclaimed property available for you, your friends or your family.

The service is completely free (and always will be), unlike some companies that try to take a cut or finder's fee. What's there to lose? Check it out and let us know what you think. Who couldn't use a little more money?

About the Author: Melanie Lockert is a freelance writer and event planner currently living in Los Angeles. She is the author of Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up With Debt. She has been featured on Oprah, Huffington Post, Business Insider, The Globe and Mail and more.

Editorial Note: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. While compensation may affect which companies we write about and products we review, our marketing partners don't review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Our content is accurate (to the best of our knowledge) when we initially post it, but we don't guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. You can visit the company's website to get complete details about a product. See an error in an article? Use this form to report it to our editorial team. For questions about your Credit Karma account, please submit a help request to our support team.

Advertiser Disclosure: We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

All Comments

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1 Contribution
3 People Helped

Helpful to 3 out of 3 people

How to find it period?  You are not giving specific instructions..

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

My Husband has been looking for free money for years , I told him I does not exsist. Do you remember the gu y who dressed up in the Money sign suit?

Well just like Credit Karma, this is free.

Put in your name look for and address or city that matches your name. Keep in mind it could be a place where you used to live.

In my husbands case it was a place that he rented a room at.

Its coming from the STATE CONTROLLERS Office. think about it

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

I did this several years ago And yes, they sent a check. Go to your state .gov and search unclaimed money. Very easy.

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I see we have money in VA, but your system does not allow me to look up and make a claim for VA, we used to live there.

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Please give  specific instructions on what forms to fill out.

3 Contributions
22 People Helped

I did this on a whim, started first with my current state (found some) then did all the states I've lived in and found more, then searched my Mothers name of whom I am an heir, and found more! You'll need to fill out forms either online or print and mial, and provide some ID as well. For the printed claims you will need to get them notarized. Easy and pretty fun :)

Take an hour and go for it, why not..it's free and you can't make money 'liking' things on facebook !

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I did not find money for myself but, I did find 7 different items for my late father.
As his heir, can I claim those found funds?

1 Contribution
2 People Helped

Helpful to 2 out of 5 people

When I search for my name in Massachusett. It has a Proxy error. Page won't load at all. Maybe a quick fix??

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

Helpful to 0 out of 1 people


1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 4 people

At certain places, 'Cheque' is mentioned as 'check'. Please correct it.

Reply by

3 Contributions
22 People Helped

I'm in America and from what I recalled we kicked the Brits out a while ago, so I'll say 'Check' :)

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