Treasury bills (T-bills) are short-term debt securities issued by the U.S. government through the Treasury Department to help finance the national debt. These debt instruments mature within a year and are issued at a discount to par value. The maturity term for T-bills are: 1 month (or 4 weeks), 3 months (or 13 weeks), 6 months (or 26 weeks), and 1 year (or 52 weeks). The minimum amount you can buy a bill for is $100, although the most commonly sold bills have a par between $1,000 and $10,000. The bills are considered risk-free securities since they are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government and, hence, the yield on these securities is used as the benchmark for short-term interest rates. Treasury bills are issued in electronic form through an auction bidding process which is conducted every week.
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