(ARA) - Too much clutter in your life? As you clean and organize your home, don't forget to tidy up your financial affairs as well. Within those old files and shelves you may even find a hidden treasure - unredeemed savings bonds.
"Americans are currently sitting on $15.7 billion in matured U.S. Savings Bonds," says Jerry Kelly, national director of the U.S. Treasury's Ready.Save.Grow. campaign. "Some people may not be aware that bonds stop earning interest after a certain number of years, so we've made it easy for them to go online and find out the status of their bonds and whether it's time to redeem them."
Search for unredeemed savings bond "treasures"
The Ready.Save.Grow. campaign provides information and access to Treasury savings products and programs, including information about Treasury Hunt, a service that allows you to search for Series E and Series EE savings bonds you bought in 1974 or later that no longer earn interest. You can redeem these bonds and use the proceeds to buy savings bonds in TreasuryDirect to continue building your nest egg for the future.
Go green by converting paper savings bonds to digital bonds
If your paper bonds have not matured, consider going paperless and avoiding the hassle of misplacing them in the future by converting them to digital bonds. You can save yourself the burden of keeping track of paper bonds by using TreasuryDirect's free SmartExchange program to convert your Series EE or Series I bonds from paper to digital. Your converted bonds are available online, 24 hours a day.
Set up a TreasuryDirect account
With a free TreasuryDirect account you can convert your paper savings bond to a digital bond, buy a new savings bond for as little as $25, or buy a Treasury marketable security for just $100. It only takes 10 minutes and a few simple steps to set up your account:
1. Have your Social Security number, bank account information and email address handy.
2. Go to www.treasurydirect.gov.
3. Click on the TreasuryDirect link under "Open an Account," fill out the online form, and submit.
4. Receive an email with your TreasuryDirect account number.
Start a savings plan
As you are doing some financial "spring cleaning" it's also a good time to get a fresh start on your long-term savings goals. If you're thinking about funding your child's college education, preparing for retirement or buying a new home, a helpful online resource to get you started is www.treasurydirect.gov/readysavegrow. You'll find information about affordable, safe and convenient Treasury savings options, savings tips and other resources.
The preceding information was provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt.
TreasuryDirect, SmartExchange and Treasury Hunt are registered marks of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Ready.Save.Grow. is a service mark of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.