How to Find a Bond CUSIP

A bond's CUSIP number is simply another way to locate or describe the security.

A bond's CUSIP number is simply another way to locate or describe the security.

Every American security, from stocks to bonds to mutual funds and other investments, carries its own unique CUSIP number. CUSIP stands for Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures. A CUSIP number is a way of identifying a particular security, like a stock symbol. Whereas stock symbols can change, a security's CUSIP number is attached to it for life. Bonds can be easier to identify via CUSIP numbers because they don't generally carry trading symbols, like stocks. A bond's CUSIP is also a shorter way to identify a bond, rather than using descriptors such as name, rate and maturity date.

Search QuantumOnline.com. If you know a company's stock symbol, you can search Quantum Online for bonds issued by that company. When you find your bond in the list of issued securities, click on it to pull up complete information about that bond. The bond's CUSIP number will be included in that information.

Order a CUSIP look-up from CUSIP Global Services. Send an email to cusip_corp@cusip.com with CUSIP NUMBER LOOK-UP in the subject line. You'll need the issuer's name and description in the body of the email, along with the maturity date, dated date, interest rate and any other additional information you may have. Follow instructions in your reply email to get your CUSIP. This service can take up to a couple weeks, and there is a small fee.

Look in financial publications, such as the Mergent Bond Record. The more identifying information you have about a bond, the more likely you are able to find the CUSIP number. Since there are so many CUSIP numbers, many publications only list bonds from common or popular issuers.

Ask a financial adviser. Financial services firms have access to securities databases that can make a CUSIP search more fruitful, particularly for lesser-known issuers. Be precise in the information you provide to your adviser to help secure the best results. Many issuers have tens or even hundreds of similar bond issues, and the slightest difference in detail could lead to an incorrect CUSIP number.

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