Treasury Bills Defined

Treasury bills are short-term securities (issued with maturities of one year or less) sold by the United States Treasury. Sales of these securities are frequent, usually weekly. From time to time, the Treasury also offers longer duration securities called Treasury notes and Treasury bonds.

A Treasury bill is a discount security. The holder of the Treasury bill does not receive periodic interest payments. Instead, at the time of sale, a percentage discount is applied to the face value. At maturity, the holder redeems the bill for full face value.

The basis for Treasury bill interest calculation is actual/360. Under this system, interest accrues on the actual number of elapsed days between purchase and maturity, and each year contains 360 days.

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