How to Purchase a U.S Treasury Bond

by Herb Kirchhoff

    You can buy 30-year U.S. Treasury Bonds direct from the Treasury without going through a bank or broker, via the TreasuryDirect.gov web site without paying any commissions or fees. The interest rate on 30-year Treasury Bonds is set through a competitive auction held each business day. Individuals buying these bonds through TreasuryDirect can’t participate in the auctions. They place a “noncompetitive bid” in which they accept whatever interest rate was set in the most recent auction.

    Step 1

    Open a TreasuryDirect account. Navigate to the TreasuryDirect home page and click on the “TreasuryDirect” link under the section titled “Open an Account” on the right-hand side of the page. When the introduction page appears, read the information and then click on the blue “Apply Now” button in the lower left corner.

    Step 2

    Select “Individual” as your account type when the Account Type page appears. Click on the blue Submit button in the lower left corner. You will be taken to the Individual Account Application. Enter your name and give a name to your account. Enter your Social Security number, date of birth, driver license number and state, license expiration date, street address, phone number and email address.

    Step 3

    Scroll down after entering your personal information and enter your bank name, routing number, account number and account type. Check the box at the bottom of the page to certify that your information is correct, that you are not subject to backup withholding and that you are a legal U.S. resident. Click on the blue Submit button in the lower left corner. The next page lets you review the information you entered. If it is correct, click on the blue Submit button in the lower left corner.

    Step 4

    Select a personal image and enter a caption on the next page. These will appear each time you log into your account to verify you are on the real TreasuryDirect website and not some fraudulent spoof site. Click on the blue Submit button in the lower left corner. It will take you to the Choose a Password page.

    Step 5

    Choose and enter your password, enter the password again, enter a password reminder and answer three security questions from a list on the page. Click on the blue Submit button in the lower left corner. You will be taken to a Thank You page that tells you your account number will be sent to you by email. You will need that number to log in to your account. Leave TreasuryDirect and go to your email account to retrieve the account number from your mailbox.

    Step 6

    Go to the TreasuryDirect.gov home page. Look to the right side of the page for the Log In Now section and click on the TreasuryDirect link. You will be taken to a page that asks whether your account number begins with a letter or number. Click on the appropriate answer. You will be taken to another page where you enter your account number.

    Step 7

    Click on the blue Submit button in the lower left corner of the page after you enter your account number. Because this is your first login, you will be taken to a page that asks for a one-time passcode. This will have been sent to your e-mail address. Open a window to your email account and retrieve the passcode from your mailbox.

    Step 8

    Return to the window with the TreasuryDirect passcode page. Enter the passcode and check the box below the code to register your computer. This eliminates the need for entering a one-time passcode each time you log in. Click on the blue Submit button in the lower left corner. This will take you to a page where you enter your password using the virtual keyboard on the page. Do not use your computer’s keyboard. After entering your password, you will be taken to the Account Summary page where you can make your bond purchase.

    Step 9

    Look for the light blue Purchase Express box to the right of the account summary page. At the Product Type pull-down menu, select “30-Year Bond.” In the box labeled Amount, enter the amount you want to purchase. You must enter at least $100. If you want to buy more, enter a multiple of $100. Check the box agreeing to the Treasury’s terms and conditions. Click on the dark blue Buy Now box. That’s it. The Treasury will take the money for your purchase from your bank account. Your bond purchase will be credited to your TreasuryDirect account once your payment clears. Your account summary page will show the type of security you bought, amount you purchased and the purchase date.

    Tip

    • Don’t use your browser buttons to navigate through TreasuryDirect. Doing so will immediately end your session. Use only the virtual buttons that appear on each TreasuryDirect page to navigate to your account page.
    • Interest on a 30-year Treasury Bond is paid to you every six months until the bond matures. Interest is taxable. At maturity, your purchase price is paid back to you. Treasury Bonds are transferable so you can sell them prior to maturity.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Herbert Kirchhoff has over 35 years experience as a newspaper and newsletter reporter, writer and editor, with 27 of those years spent on telecommunications industry policy issues. Kirchhoff has a B.A. in journalism from Rider University in New Jersey and has been published in the "Trenton (N.J.) Times" and in "Communications Daily" and State Telephone Regulation Report, Washington, D.C.

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