TreasuryDirect crashes as savers buy 9.6% I bonds

The Treasury Department's website may not be able to handle all the orders for I Bonds, which pay 9.62% interest if acquired by Oct. 28.

TreasuryDirect, the only place where investors can buy I Bonds and Treasury bills directly, has become one of the most used government websites this week.

I Bonds will drop to 6.47 percent on November 1. The Treasury sold more I Bonds in October than in 2021.

Safe and inflation-adjusted Series I savings bonds are rarely invested in. In 2022, when inflation touched its highest level in four decades and markets fell, they were popular.   

About 3.7 million new accounts were made on the site in just one year. This is more than the 2.4 million that were made in the 10 years before.

Every six months, the interest rate on I Bonds is changed. The consumer-price index is used to figure out how much the interest rate on an I Bond will be.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the CPI as a whole went up 8.2% in September compared to the same month last year.

I Bonds can only be worth up to $10,000 per person per year, but there are ways to go over that limit.

The TreasuryDirect website says that investors must buy bonds and get a confirmation email by Oct. 28 to make sure they get the 9.62% rate.

A Treasury Department spokesman said that the number of servers was doubled to try to fix the problems. The system had some times when it worked slowly and was down for a short time, a spokesman said.