FAFSA and Savings Bonds.
November 21, 2006 8:54 PM   Subscribe

FAFSA-Filter: Help me deal with 150 savings bonds.

I'm a 26-year-old unmarried man. Every week for the past few years, my fiancée and I have purchased a EE savings bond. We always split the cost 50/50, and every bond lists both our names as "co-owners." We have collected approximately 150 bonds. My name appears (as co-owner) on every bond, but half the money belongs to my fiancée.

Now I'm applying for financial aid to attend graduate school, and I need advice on how to treat these bonds when listing my assets. Aside from ripping open three years' worth of envelopes and plugging 150 different serial numbers into the Treasury website, how can I estimate their total value? Can I use the Savings Bond Earnings Report? And once I've calculated a total value, will I encounter trouble if I only report half that amount?

Thanks for any advice. It's difficult to find FAFSA help online that isn't geared toward kids. Selling the bonds isn't an option, nor is removing my name. I want to minimize my assets, obviously, but I don't want to be dishonest and risk being rejected.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would just estimate the total value. How much vaariation can there be among bonds purchased so close together?

In my FAFSA experience, anything that isn't reflected on your tax return is not going to be looked into by them. Which meant in my case that I vacillated, but ultimately didn't count my boyfriend's household contributions as income. Thought of him as a strangely generous roomate.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:22 PM on November 21, 2006

oh, sorry, how to estimate their value? Take what you paid for them and raise it by around 6%. They're guaranteed to double in 8 years, so in three year they would increase maybe 37% if the growth is steady. Cut that in half since some are brand new and some are about three years old, and call it 18% over their purchase value. My previous answer still applies, imo, for reporting half that. They won't "bust" you, they may ask for documentation, which you have.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:28 PM on November 21, 2006

Go to the Treasury website and download the Savings Bond Wizard. All you do in plug in the serial number, bond type, and the purchase date and the wizard will tell you exactly the worth along with a lot of other details. It will also allow you to print out the list of bonds with the serial number in case the bonds were ever lost (hint, you're nearly SOL on replacing lost bonds without the serial numbers).
posted by KneeDeep at 11:46 AM on November 22, 2006

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