Thousands of Illinoisans could unknowingly hold matured savings bonds. Here's how to check

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The U.S. Treasury is encouraging Illinois residents to check any savings bonds they hold, with more than $700 million in matured bonds currently held by nearly 300,000 residents.

According to the latest numbers issued by the Treasury, $709 million in bonds are held by Illinois residents. Approximately 292,000 residents are currently in possession of bonds that have fully matured, meaning they are no longer accruing interest.

“Many of these bondholders are unaware that they have matured unredeemed bonds, or are not fully informed of the redemption process,” a spokesperson for the Treasury said.

To help inform those residents, the U.S. Treasury operates a website that allows bondholders to see how much their holdings are worth.

Bonds worth up to $500 can be cashed at most banks, according to officials, with higher amounts potentially requiring deposit into a bank account.

There are various types of bonds available from the Treasury, with HH bonds fully maturing after 20 years, according to officials. Those bonds haven’t been issued since 2004, meaning that the last of the bonds are hitting full maturity this year.

Other types of bonds are also issued, including electronic-only EE bonds, which are guaranteed to double in value after 20 years. I-Bonds have a variable interest rate based on inflation, and can continue accruing interest for decades.

Bonds can also be purchased via the U.S. Treasury for as little as $25, serving as a loan to the U.S. Government that will be repaid at a later date, with interest included.

Bondholders can redeem them one year from the purchase date, but could receive reduced interest for cashing them in early, according to officials.

More details are available via the Treasury’s website.

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