treasury bill

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Treasury bills are one of three main securities issued by the U.S. federal government. A person can buy a treasury bill for a couple months to as little as four weeks. Treasury bills, along with other treasury securities, are regarded as one of the safest investments in the world. Given their high demand, safety, and short lending period, treasury bills produce low interest rates only averaging between .03% to .075% in 2021 depending on maturity length. The owner receives the interest payments and the face value upon maturity. A person can buy bills by bidding at a government auction, using a third-party like a bank, or buying already issued bills at a resale market. 

Treasury notes are to be contrasted with treasury notes and treasury bonds which last for different times and have different interest rates. 

[Last updated in September of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]