unclaimed money

Unclaimed money – did you forget your share of $1.1 billion?

You know the great feeling of finding $10 in your pocket – but what if it was more than a million dollars?

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released its unclaimed money records, and there is more than $1.1 billion available to be claimed. “There are vastly different amounts of forgotten money waiting to be claimed ranging from a few dollars to over a million,” ASIC’s media release reads.

But what exactly is this money, and how do you claim it?

What is unclaimed money?

Generally speaking, unclaimed money is funds that have been lying dormant for more than 7 years in any number of investments or financial products but us just waiting to be picked up and put back in your bank account. This can include:

  • Old bank accounts
  • Life insurance
  • Shares, stocks or other types of investment
  • Deceased estates
  • Lending products where you moved house without telling the bank

ASIC reports that there is, by state and territory;

  • $380 million in New South Wales
  • $197 million in Victoria
  • $112 million in Queensland
  • $75 million in Western Australia
  • $35 million in South Australia
  • $15 million in the Australian Capital Territory
  • $9 million in Tasmania
  • $8 million in the Northern Territory

As you can see, there’s plenty for the taking. So how can you check for your unclaimed money?

Tracking down what’s yours

To begin your search, use ASIC’s MoneySmart unclaimed money tracker. This allows you to search by name for each set of funds, and print out a record of what is owed. From there, you contact the relevant company (be it a bank, investment firm or insurance company) to prove it is you and claim the money.

Banks will usually take 28 days to return the money, at which point it’s yours. However, there is a time limit on unclaimed monies – ASIC notes that after seven years without contact, the funds will be given to the Commonwealth Government.

Don’t delay – look your name up now!

What to do with your windfall

Whether it’s $10 or $10,000, it’s always a good idea to put that spare money to good use. Paying down credit card debt helps you stay on top of repayments, while putting it on your car loan will reduce the amount of interest you pay in the long term.

You can even put it away in a savings account to build up interest over time if you’re still striving for your goals – the choice is yours!

When you want a hand with any financial strategies, give the team at Beyond Bank a call.