FAQ

Last Updated: February 26, 2019 | by Jackie Brahney | reviewed by Jack Quinn

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What do I do if I never received a bond that I purchased?

This situation is different than a lost or stolen bond and requires a form called “Claims for Relief on Account of Loss, Theft or Destruction of United States Savings Bonds After Valid Issue But Prior to Receipt by Owner, Co-Owner or Beneficiary”, or form PDF 3062. The issuing bank (where you purchased the bond) is expected to keep the issue information on file for six months. You should go to the bank and request that they provide you with a claim form, fill out the required information, and then it must be signed by all those named on the missing bond. Minors must also sign the form if they are named on the bond.

Other Helpful Hints: If the bond was issued by your payroll savings plan, contact the payroll department. If six months have passed since issuance, contact the bank where the bond was issued/purchased. The bank should be able to help you locate the bond record. The Bond Consultant suggests that you bring a copy of the receipt of payment (or a canceled check) as proof of payment and the date of purchase.

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How long will it take for a bond to reach its face value?

It depends

When is the best time to cash in (redeem) a bond?

Did you ever hear the stock market expression, “Buy Low, Sell High”? If you own savings bonds you need to remember The Bond Consultant’s phrase, “Buy Late …Sell Early” (As in early and late dates in a month). The reasons? Bonds earn interest from the first day of the month. So if you are planning on selling your bond, you probably would want to sell it on the first day that interest has been posted (or in which interest accrues), since you will not collect any more interest on that bond for the rest of the month. If you are planning on buying a bond, buy it late since you will earn the same amount of interest on a bond that was purchased on the first day of the month.

How You Can Lose Up To Six Months Worth of Interest

If you own bonds that were issued up to April 30, 1997, interest is only posted every six months. If you cash in one day premature, you could forfeit up to six months worth of interest. For example, if your bond was due to post interest on September 1, and you cashed it in on August 31, you would have lost the last six months worth of interest.

$150 Million Worth of Interest Is Lost on Savings Bonds Every Year! – How do I earn every dollar on my investment? That is one the most overlooked issues by bond owners – who lose millions of dollars worth of interest every year because they cash in their bonds at the wrong time. Don’t be a victim. All of The Bond Consultant’s Products and Services indicate the date of the next interest posting for every bond in your portfolio. Whether you have one or one thousand bonds, by knowing the right dates, you will maximize your bond investments!

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What interest rate is used to calculate what bonds are worth?

The answer depends on when you purchased the bond. For clarification purposes, we have broken down the rules which apply based on the date issued (which appears on the front of the bond):

PRIOR to NOVEMBER 1982:

Bonds issued up to November 30, 1965, earn interest for up to 40 years. Any bonds issued in December 1965, or later, will earn interest for up to 30 years. If the bond (as well as savings notes) are still earning interest, it is based on the guaranteed minimum investment yields or market-based investment yields. The rates are both being calculated by the Treasury, then the best overall return is used.

NOVEMBER 1982 through APRIL 1995:

Bonds issued prior to March 1993 are earning guaranteed rates which have increased gradually during the initial five year period of issuance. Bonds issued from March 1993, through April 1995 earn a 4% guaranteed interest rate for the first five years. When this bond goes beyond five years old, it earns interest based on market-based investment yields or guaranteed minimum interest yields. The Treasury will calculate the value of the bond based on these two elements, and give you the best overall return.

MAY 1995 through APRIL 1997:

Bonds will earn interest based on market yields for Treasury Securities, through the original maturity period, or 17 years. Interest is posted to your bonds every six months based on the rates indicated below. You will earn interest based on short term rates for the first five years of the average of six month Treasury yields, which is determined by the three months prior to May 1 and November 1 of each year. From the fifth to the seventeenth year, the bond will earn the long term interest rate which is 85% of the average five year Treasury Security yields over the six months prior to May 1 and November 1.

MAY 1997 and AFTER:

EE bonds issued on May 1, 1997, and after, will earn interest based on 90% of the average yields on 5 year Treasury Securities for the preceding six months. The bonds will increase in value every month. The interest is compounded semi-annually and the rate will be posted to the bond for the 6-month earning period. Click here for information on the new Series I Bonds.

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How do I make my bonds tax free for education?

Please visit Tax-Free Bonds for Education

How do you exchange E, EE bonds for HH bonds?

August 31, 2004, was the last issue date for HH/H bonds. Afterward, the government discontinued their exchange. Current holders of H/HH bonds will not need to do anything different than they normally would have.

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What is Military Safekeeping?

In 1935, the U.S. Treasury initiated a safekeeping program which allowed individual investors to store bonds in vaults at Federal Reserve banks. At the end of 1972, over 700,000 matured bonds with a face value of $50 million were held. Almost half belonged to World War II and other veterans.

Because the U.S. Treasury has phased out paper savings bonds, bonds in DFAS safekeeping were mandated to be mailed to service members by September 2014. For additional information visit the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) website – or by phone at (888) 332-7411.

Created on: February 21, 2019

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Jackie Brahney

Marketing & Editorial Director at SavingsBonds.com
Jackie Brahney is the Marketing and Editorial Director and most notably, an U.S. Savings Bond Expert for SavingsBonds.com. Since 1991, she has done extensive research on savings bonds and state of the art savings bond valuation systems, and heads the company's public relations and marketing initiatives.
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