The Federal government uses Treasury bonds, along with Treasury bills and notes, to finance its debt. When you purchase a Treasury bond, it pays a fixed interest rate for a set number of years and accumulates interest every month or six months, depending on when it was issued. When a bond no longer earns interest, it is considered fully "mature." You can redeem or cash a Treasury bond before it matures, but you may lose out on some of the interest that has yet to accrue. The Department of the Treasury maintains TreasuryDirect.gov, a website you can use in a few different ways to determine if your bond has matured.
Use Treasury Hunt
1. Open your Internet browser and go to TreasuryDirect.gov. Select the "Individuals" section.
2. Click the "Tools" tab near the top of the page. Select "Treasury Hunt" from the left column. Hit the "Start Search" button.
3. Type the Social Security Number of the individual to whom the bond is registered. Click "Search." Any savings bonds Treasury Hunt reveals have matured and stopped earning interest.
Use Savings Bond Calculator
1. Go to the TreasuryDirect.gov website. Click on the "Individuals" section and then the "Tools" tab.
2. Select the "Savings Bond Calculator" option from the list of options in the "Tools" section. Scroll down and click "Get Started."
3. Select the series (e.g., EE/E, I bonds) and denomination (e.g., $75, $1,000, etc.) of the bond for which you're determining the maturity. Enter the bond's issue date and serial number in their respective boxes.
4. Click the "Calculate" button and review the results. Look for the "Final Maturity Date" field to determine if the bond has already matured or the date it will mature and stop earning interest.
Use Issue Date
1. Go to the TreasuryDirect.gov website and click on the "Individuals" section. Select the "Research Center" tab near the top of the page.
2. Click the "Treasury Securities that have Stopped Earning Interest" option from the research center options.
3. Look at the chart with the "savings bonds that no longer earn interest" heading. Check the series and issue date of your bond and match it to the series and issue dates listed in the chart to determine if your bond has matured. For example, the chart notes that "All issues" of Series E and Series H bonds no longer earn interest and have matured.
4. Look at the "how long bonds earn interest" chart to determine if your bond has matured based on its issue date. Match your bond's series and issue date to the correct columns listed in the chart. Add the number of years the bond earns interest to the issue date. For example, the chart shows that all issues of Series EE bonds mature after 30 years. If you have a Series EE bond issued in October 1986, for example, the bond won't mature until October 2016.
- You must hold onto bonds for at least one year before redeeming them.
- Interest is added every six months for most bonds issued prior to May 1, 1997.
- Interest is added every month to bonds issued in May 1997 or after.
- A bond's issue date can be found in the upper right corner of the bond.
- The bond's serial number can be found in the lower right corner of the bond.
- You lose the bond's most recent three months of interest if you redeem it before its fifth anniversary date.
- Treasury Direct's Treasury Hunt contains information only on Series E bonds issued in 1974 or after.
- TreasuryDirect; When Interest Is Added to Your Bonds; October 2010
- TreasuryDirect; Savings Bond Calculator -- Detailed Instructions; May 2011
- TreasuryDirect; What Does a Bond look Like?; September 2007
- TreasuryDirect; Treasury Securities That Have Stopped Earning Interest; August 2011
- Savings Bond Advisor; Interest Penalty for Cashing Savings Bonds Before Five Years; Tom Adams; August 2004
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images