What Is a Treasury Note?

What Is a Treasury Note?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

A Treasury Note is a type of government bond issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It’s an interest-bearing security with maturity periods ranging between 1 to 10 years. Treasury Notes, also known as T-Notes, are popular investment choices because the U.S. government backs them, meaning they have virtually zero-risk of default. When someone buys a T-Note, they are essentially lending money to the government. In return, the government promises to pay periodic interest payments until the note matures, at which point the original investment, also known as the “face value”, is returned to the investor.

Related Questions

1. What’s the difference between a Treasury Note and a Treasury Bond?

Treasury Notes and Treasury Bonds are both types of U.S. government securities, with the primary difference being their respective terms to maturity. Treasury Notes have a maturity term between 1 and 10 years, while Treasury Bonds have longer maturity terms exceeding 10 years up to 30 years.

2. How do I buy a Treasury Note?

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You can buy Treasury Notes directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury through a program called TreasuryDirect. Alternatively, you can also purchase them through a bank, broker, or dealer.

3. Do Treasury Notes pay interest?

Yes, Treasury Notes pay interest. The U.S. Treasury pays the interest every six months until the note matures. At maturity, the face value of the note is also paid to the investor.

4. Are Treasury Notes taxable?

The interest earned from Treasury Notes is subject to federal tax, but it’s exempt from state and local taxes. However, the sale or redemption of Treasury Notes may result in capital gains or losses, which can impact the taxes owed.

5. What are the risks of investing in Treasury Notes?

While Treasury Notes are considered a safe investment because they are backed by the U.S. government, they carry some level of risk. The primary risks include interest rate risk (the risk that rising interest rates will reduce the value of the notes) and inflation risk (the risk that inflation will erode the purchasing power of the notes’ returns over time).