How Do I…

The Bureau of Public Debt (now the Bureau of the Fiscal Service) manages the TreasuryDirect.gov website. A section of this website is called “How Do I…” which was created as an FAQ page to help users figure out how to complete common activities involved with Treasury investing. The problem was that the original content was written by finance wonks and wasn’t easily understood by the layman. The following is Plain Language copy written to replace the existing “How Do I…” content.

How Do I…

Buy savings bonds in TreasuryDirect?
Redeem (cash in) savings bonds held in my TreasuryDirect account?
Buy a gift savings bond in TreasuryDirect?
Deliver a gift savings bond?
Open an account for a minor?
Buy marketable (resalable on the open market) securities in TreasuryDirect?

How do I buy savings bonds in TreasuryDirect?

NOTE:  All Savings Bonds are issued in electronic form; no paper bonds are issued.
You may purchase savings bonds by using the Payroll Savings Plan, BuyDirect® or Purchase Express.

The Payroll Savings Plan:
The new Payroll Savings Plan feature allows individual primary account-holders to make recurring purchases of electronic Series EE and Series I Savings Bonds, funded by a payroll allotment/direct deposit from their employer.
Note: You must first set up a Payroll Savings Plan in your TreasuryDirect account. After you set up your plan, start your payroll allotment/direct deposit with your employer.

Here’s how to set up your Payroll Savings Plan:

o   Go to your  “My Account” page
o   Under “My Payroll Savings Bonds”, click on “Establish My Payroll Savings Plan”
o   On the “Establish My Payroll Savings Plan” page, select the desired registration from the drop-down list or click “Add Registration”
o   If you create a new registration, you will be brought back to the “Establish My Payroll Savings Plan” page upon completion, where you will need to select the registration you wish to use
o   Select the Product Type you want to buy from the drop-down box. Choose either Series EE or Series I.
o   Enter your purchase amount. ($25 to $5,000)
o   (Note: This is not your allotment/direct deposit amount; your allotment/direct deposit amount is the amount you authorize your employer to withhold from each pay.)
o   Review the Terms and Conditions information
o   Click “Submit”
o   Print the confirmation page for your records
o   Contact your payroll office to complete the necessary authorization for a payroll allotment/direct deposit. To begin receiving these credits, give your payroll office the following information for scheduling electronic direct deposits into your TreasuryDirect account:
o   TreasuryDirect’s Routing Number 051736158;
o   Your ten-digit TreasuryDirect account number, without hyphens, followed by the letter “P” (Example: A123456789P);
o   The amount of your allotment/direct deposit; and
o   Your TreasuryDirect account can be marked as a type 22 (checking) or 32 (savings). We will accept either type.

The incoming credits from your payroll office will result in the purchase of a Payroll Zero-Percent Certificate of Indebtedness (Payroll C of I) within your TreasuryDirect account. Each time your Payroll C of I balance reaches your designated Purchase Amount, a savings bond will be issued.

Making changes to an established Payroll Savings Plan. If you have already established your Payroll Savings Plan and wish to edit your registration, product type, or purchase amount, click “Edit My Payroll Savings Plan” in your “My Account” page.

BuyDirect:

o   Go to “BuyDirect” (or Purchase Securities)
o   Click on the button next to the series of Savings Bond you wish to buy
o   Click “Continue”
o   On the “Purchase” page, select the desired registration from the drop-down list or click “Add Registration”
o   If you create a new registration, you will be brought back to the “Purchase” page upon completion, where you will need to select the registration you wish to use. (Note: Entity accounts may only have one registration. All securities in an entity account carry a registration identical to the entity account name.)
o   Enter a Purchase Amount ($25 to $5,000)
o   Note: Electronic savings bonds are always purchased at full face value. For example, you pay $50 for a $50 savings bond.
o   Select your desired source of funds
o   If this is a single purchase and you wish to execute it now, click “Continue” at the bottom of the page
o   For a scheduled or recurring purchase, see the next section titled “Recurring Purchase”
o   Review your Purchase Details and Terms and Conditions
o   Click “Submit” if everything is correct
o   Click “Cancel” or “Previous” if you wish to cancel or modify the purchase details
o   Print confirmation page for your records
o   Click “Buy More” if you would like to make another purchase

Recurring or Future Purchase

o   Go to “BuyDirect” (or Purchase Securities)
o   Click on the button next to the series of Savings Bond you wish to buy
o   Click “Continue”
o   On the “Purchase” page, select the desired registration from the drop-down list or click “Add Registration”
o   If you create a new registration, you will be brought back to the “Purchase” page upon completion, where you will need to select the registration you wish to use. (Note: Entity accounts may only have one registration. All securities in an entity account carry a registration identical to the entity account name.)
o   Enter a Purchase Amount ($25 to $5,000)
o   Note: Electronic savings bonds are always purchased at full face value. For example, you pay $50 for a $50 savings bond.
o   Select your desired source of funds
o   If you would like to schedule a single purchase for a future date, OR make a recurring purchase, click in the box next to “Schedule Purchase”
o   Choose how often you would like to make a purchase using the drop down box. If only once, select “One Time Only”
o   Select the date you would like to begin your purchases (or the date you would like to make a single, future purchase)
o   Select the end date for your recurring purchases
o   If this is a single purchase, select the next day for the end date
o   If you would like to add another purchase, click “Add Another”
o   Click “Continue” when you are finished.
o   Review your Purchase Details and Terms and Conditions
o   Click “Submit” if everything is correct
o   Click “Cancel” or “Previous” if you wish to cancel or modify the purchase details
o   Print confirmation page for your records
o   Click “Buy More” if you would like to make another purchase

Purchase Express

Purchase Express allows you to use your preferred registration and banking information to quickly purchase securities. Here’s how:

o   Go to “My Account”
o   Look for “PurchaseExpress” near the top right corner of the page
o   Choose a security type from the drop down box
o   Enter the purchase amount you wish to make
o   Click the “Terms and Conditions” link to view
o   Close the “Terms and Conditions” window, once you have read them
o   Click the box next to “I agree to the terms and conditions”
o   Click “Buy Now”
o   Next you’ll see the PurchaseExpress Confirmation page. To view or delete your pending purchase, click on the link at the top of the page.

Savings bond purchases are generally issued to your TreasuryDirect account within one business day of the purchase date. If you select a non-business day as your purchase date, we will change it to the next available business day.

How do I redeem (cash in) savings bonds in my TreasuryDirect account?

Note: United States Savings Bonds issued in February 2003 and later must be held for a minimum of one year before they are eligible to be redeemed.

o   Go to your “My Account” page
o   Under “My Securities” click on “Redeem Securities”
o   Click on the button next to the security type you wish to redeem
o   Click “Select”
o   On the “summary” page, click the box next to the specific security you want to redeem. You may select up to 50 securities to redeem at one time.
o   If you are redeeming more than one security, the full amount must be redeemed to the same financial institution.
o   Note: In a partial redemption, you must redeem at least $25 and leave a value of $25 in the security.
o   From the drop-down box, select the destination (bank account or C of I) you would like to credit with the proceeds.
o   Click “Select”
o   The first “Review” page will show up to 3 of your selected securities. Click “More” to see the next three.
o   When you reach the last page of your securities, to be redeemed, click “Submit”
o   On the “Redemption Review” page, click “Continue” if everything is correct
o   Print the confirmation page for your records

How do I buy a gift savings bond in TreasuryDirect?

It is important to note some things about gift savings bonds in TreasuryDirect:
1.                Gift savings bonds are issued only in electronic form.
2.                The recipient of a gift savings bond must have a TreasuryDirect account before you can deliver the bond to him or her. In the interim, you can hold the bond in the Gift Box area of your TreasuryDirect account.
3.                Gift savings bonds are not available in entity accounts and marketable securities are not available for purchase as gifts.
4.                When purchasing gift savings bonds using the Payroll Savings Plan, be sure to choose or create the correct gift registration when you establish or edit your Payroll Savings Plan.

To buy gift savings bonds, follow these instructions:

o   Go to “BuyDirect” (or Purchase Securities)
o   Click on the button next to the series of Savings Bond you wish to buy
o   Click “Continue”
o   On the “Purchase” page, select the desired registration from the drop-down list or click “Add Registration”
o   If you create a new registration, you will be brought back to the “Purchase” page upon completion, where you will need to select the registration you wish to use. Be sure to click on the box for “This is a gift” in the registration page you choose.
o   Enter a Purchase Amount ($25 to $5,000)
o   Note: Electronic savings bonds are always purchased at full face value. For example, you pay $50 for a $50 savings bond.
o   Select your desired source of funds
o   If this is a single purchase and you wish to execute it now, click “Continue” at the bottom of the page
o   For a scheduled or recurring purchase, see the next section titled “Recurring Purchase”
o   Review your Purchase Details and Terms and Conditions
o   Click “Submit” if everything is correct
o   Click “Cancel” or “Previous” if you wish to cancel or modify the purchase details
o   Print confirmation page for your records
o   Click “Buy More” if you would like to make another purchase

Gift savings bond purchases are generally issued to the Gift Box in your TreasuryDirect account within one business day of the purchase date. If you select a non-business day as your purchase date, we will change it to the next available business day.

How do I deliver a gift savings bond?

Note: The recipient of a gift bond must have his or her own TreasuryDirect account. Gift bonds may not be delivered to an entity account.

o   Go to your “Gift Box”
o   On the Gift Box page, select the button next to the confirmation number of the bond you wish to deliver and click”Submit”
o   The “Detail” page will appear. Click “Deliver”
o   The “Delivery Request” page will then appear
o   To deliver the full value of the bond, enter the recipient’s TreasuryDirect Account number in the field and click “Submit”
o   To deliver less than the full amount of the bond, click the button beside “Deliver Partial Amount” and enter the desired dollar amount. Enter the recipient’s TreasuryDirect Account number in the field, and click “Submit”. (Note: If you are delivering a partial amount, you must deliver at least $25 and leave a value of $25 for the bond.)The “Delivery Review” page will then appear.
o   If you wish to change any of the data you entered, click “Edit” to go back to the previous page where you can make any desired changes
o   If everything is correct, click “Submit”
o   Print the “Confirmation” page for your records

How do I open an account for a minor?
A Minor account is a custodial account you may establish for a child under the age of 18 if you are a parent or person providing chief support of the child. You may purchase, redeem, receive gifts, and perform other transactions within an individual account on behalf of the child. You can even create a customized name, such as “Ben’s College Fund,” for the account. When the child reaches age 18 and establishes a Primary TreasuryDirect account, you may de-link the securities from the Minor account to move them to the new Primary account.  Note:  Minor accounts are not available in entity accounts.  To open an account for a minor within an individual account:

o   Go to your “My Account” page
o   Under the “My Linked Accounts”, click “Establish a Minor Linked Account”
o   In the “Establish an Account for a Minor” page, complete the “Personalized Account Name” field
o   Complete all of the information for the child (the child’s Middle Name or Initial field is optional)
o   Select “Use my Primary Account Information” if you want to use your account address and contact information or you may select “Enter New Account Information”
o   Select “Use my Primary Bank Information” to use the primary bank information in your Primary account or you may select “Enter New Bank Information” to use a different bank
o   Read the statements in the “Taxpayer Identification Number Certification” box, check the box indicating you agree with the statements, and click “Submit”
o   On the “Review” page, review the “Account Information”
o   Click “Edit” to go back to the previous page to make corrections
o   If the “Account Information” is correct, read the Certification statements and click “Submit”
o   A personalized account name for the Minor account, followed by its TreasuryDirect account number, appears in the top right corner of the “My Account”. “Currently In:” indicates that you’re presently viewing the minor’s account. To go back to your primary account, click the drop down to select the account you wish to view

How do I purchase marketable (resalable on the open market) securities in TreasuryDirect?

You may purchase marketable securities by using either BuyDirect or Purchase Express:

BuyDirect:

o   Go to “BuyDirect” (or Purchase Securities)
o   Choose the type of security you wish to purchase and click “Submit”
o   Select the desired registration from the drop-down box. If the registration you want is not listed, you can create it by clicking “Add Registration”
o   Once you’ve created the desired registration, you’ll be brought back to the “BuyDirect” page where you can choose the registration you just created from the drop-down box.
o   Note: Entity accounts may only have one registration. All securities in an entity account carry a registration identical to the entity account name.
o   Under “Purchase Information”, choose the security you wish to purchase from the list of planned auctions
o   Enter the desired Purchase Amount (from $100 to $5,000,000 in $100 increments)
o   Select a funding source from the drop-down box. You may choose to use your bank account or your Zero-Percent Certificate of Interest
o   If you wish to schedule a reinvestment, click “Yes”, under “Schedule Reinvestment”.  For a Treasury Bill, also indicate the number of times you wish to reinvest. See Learn more about Reinvesting Maturing Proceeds
o   Under “ Payment Destination”, choose a destination for the last maturity payment from the drop-down box
o   If the security is a Treasury Note, Treasury Bond or TIPS, you must also choose a destination for the interest payments
o   Click “Continue” to proceed
o   Review your purchase on the “Purchase Review” page
o   (If you wish to change any of the data you entered, click “Previous” to go back to the previous page where you can make any desired changes.) If the data on the “Purchase Review” page is accurate, click “Submit”