Health & LivingNews

Treasurer Fitzgerald on Protecting Your Finances

State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald is encouraging north Iowans to review their financial information. “I want Iowans to achieve a lifetime of financial wellbeing,” Fitzgerald said. “Checking your financial information, such as credit history and credit scores, will help you understand your current credit position. Plus, it can help you detect any inaccurate or incomplete information.”

Monitoring your accounts and assets can also prevent them from becoming unclaimed property. Every year, the Treasurer’s Office receives millions of dollars in unclaimed property for a variety of reasons, including names being misspelled or outdated addresses. “By reviewing your financial information regularly throughout the year and making sure it is accurate, you can ensure your accounts are not considered inactive,” Fitzgerald said.

Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property’s owner for a specific period of time. In Iowa, the assets are safeguarded in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include forgotten savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, unpaid life insurance benefits, utility security deposits and safe deposit box contents.

Currently, the program is holding over $428 million in unclaimed property and has returned over $297 million to more than 563,000 individuals since Fitzgerald started it in 1983. See if you have any unclaimed property by visiting GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov.

Iowans can regularly review their credit reports for unfamiliar activity. Any disputes or inaccurate items should be reported directly to the credit reporting agency and place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit reports. Free credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are available at AnnualCreditReport.com.

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