Decades ago, one of the most popular things you could buy a kid for their birthday, before they knew any better, were savings bonds. As someone who turned thirty just a few years, folks my age and younger probably have a few savings bonds floating out there just waiting to be redeemed. Back then, savings bonds were seen as a good gift because it started children on the road to saving, even if they didn’t know about it. Plus, savings bonds look cool (I think so anyway!).
But as is anything on paper, they’re easy to lose. This is especially true if you’ve moved several times or, in the case of gifts to children, they’re sitting in a folder at your parent’s house. Fortunately, they may be easy to find as long as they are Series E bonds and were issued after 1974 (a small subset, I know, but better than nothing!). The Treasury Department built a Treasury Hunt tool  that you can use to look for bonds that have fully matured. Sadly, if they haven’t fully matured or aren’t Series E, the system won’t have it. It’s archaic but it’s the only thing we have and the Treasury has billions in unredeemed fully matured Series E bonds it’s looking to return to owners.
What if you don’t have a Series E bond issued after 1974? You can have the Treasury look for you. This is is the same process you’d take if you found a bond through Treasury Hunt and wanted to claim, replace, or redeem it. Fill out a Form PD F 1048 E  and make a claim on it. It asks for issue date, face amount, and bond number but you can file a claim if you are missing some of the information (either way, the Treasury searches for you). At minimum, you need to enter your name and Social Security Number. You’ll need to have the document certified, usually at a bank, and the Treasury will try to find the bonds for you.
Finally, if you have the bond in your possession and you just aren’t sure if it’s still earning interest, check out this list . It will tell you whether or not you should be redeeming it. For example, all Series E and H bonds have stopped earning interest by now and you should redeem them as soon as possible.
(Photo: The.Comedian