TreasuryDirect is crashing as savers try to buy 9.62 percent I bonds


It’s Friday As the deadline approaches, savers trying to buy inflation-protected bonds — which pay a guaranteed 9.62% — are crashing the Treasury Department’s website.

You can invest up to $10,000 per calendar year in a Series I Savings Bond, designed as a hedge against inflation. To purchase and own an electronic bond I, you must set up an account on the TreasuryDirect website.

To ensure that people receive the confirmation email, the Department of Finance has been informing buyers that they have until 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time on Friday to buy and close the deal.

But those who were able to access the website late Wednesday were greeted with this message: “We are currently experiencing unprecedented requests for new accounts and purchases of I Bonds. Due to these volumes, we cannot guarantee that customers will be able to purchase by October 28 at the current price. Our agents are working hard to help customers who need help as quickly as possible.”

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Get an inflation-guaranteed bond and pay 9.62 percent while it’s still available

Many people are struggling to create a website by the deadline, at treasurydirect.govit fails to improve, leaving consumers frustrated.

“After 3 hours, I was able to create an account and log in,” one commenter wrote on the IsItDownRightNow? website. “I got my emails right away (1:04 and 1:09 PT). Now I’m having a hard time getting the shopping page to open.”

This is not the first time that the website has gone down. This happened in May when about 10 percent was announced. The Treasury Department has also had trouble keeping up with the volume of calls from people having trouble buying bonds.

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6 things to know about inflation-inflation bonds paying 9.62 percent

“Due to high traffic, the TreasuryDirect website is down slightly today,” a Treasury Department spokesperson said in an email Wednesday. “We are in the process of increasing operational capacity and taking action in the hope of resolving the issues as soon as possible.”

There are two components to the return on an I bond: the fixed rate and the rate of inflation. The fixed rate of return and the annual average rate of interest are announced each year by the Treasury Department in early May and November. While the fixed rate remains the same for a 30-year life (and is currently zero), the inflation rate changes every six months.

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US inflation-linked bonds hit TreasuryDirect’s website

While inflation remains at a record high, the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a slight slowdown. So the inflation-adjusted portion of the I bond could see a rate cut in November.

But investors who buy I bonds before Nov. 1 will still receive a rate of 9.62 percent for the first six months that they hold the bonds.

“We encourage customers to continue using the website, and we believe that these problems will be resolved soon,” said the Treasury spokesman.


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