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FAQs Concerning the Minimum for Marketable Issues

What changes were made in 2008 to the way marketable Treasury securities are issued?

Beginning with the auction of 13- and 26-week bills on April 7, 2008, all Treasury marketable securities - bills, notes, bonds and TIPS - are sold and transferred in increments of $100, replacing the $1,000 minimum purchase and transfer amount that had been in effect since August 10, 1998. The minimum and multiples also apply to outstanding securities.

Why was that change made?

The change was made to make Treasury securities more accessible to a broader range of investors.

How can Treasury securities be obtained?

Treasury securities can be purchased on original issue directly from the Treasury, using TreasuryDirect.

Securities can also be purchased at original issue or in the secondary market through many government security brokers and dealers.

In what maturities are Treasuries available?

We currently offer bills with maturities of 4, 13, 26, and 52 weeks; notes with maturities of 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 years; TIPs with maturities of 5, 10, and 30 years; and bonds with a maturity of 30 years.

How can marketable securities be converted to cash prior to maturity?

Marketable securities can be sold in the secondary market, at current market prices, at any time prior to maturity. Sellers of marketable securities can sustain a gain or loss depending on market conditions at the time of the sale. To sell a security before maturity, a customer of TreasuryDirect* or Legacy Treasury Direct must transfer the security to a bank or broker.  For a fee, the bank or broker will sell the security.  If the security is held until maturity, the purchaser will receive his or her principal value at maturity.

* Note: 4-week bills held in TreasuryDirect cannot be sold prior to maturity due to the 45-day minimum holding period for securities held in this system.