To ensure people get a confirmation email, the Treasury Department has informed buyers that they have until 11:59:59 p.m. ET on Friday to make their purchase and set the price.
But those who managed to get the site to load late Wednesday were greeted with this message: “We are currently experiencing unprecedented requests for new accounts and I-Bonds purchases. Due to these volumes, we cannot guarantee that customers will be able to complete a purchase at the current rate by the October 28th deadline. Our agents are working to help customers who need help as quickly as possible.”
So many people are struggling to meet the website deadline treasurydirect.govwon’t load, leaving buyers frustrated.
“After 3 hours I was able to create an account and log in,” wrote one commenter on the IsItDownRightNow? Website. “Got my emails right away (1:04 and 1:09 PT). Now having a hard time getting the checkout page to load.”
This isn’t the first time the site has crashed. It happened in May when the nearly 10 percent rate was announced. The Treasury Department has also struggled to keep up with the volume of calls from people having trouble buying I-Bonds.
“Due to exceptionally high traffic levels, the TreasuryDirect website has experienced periods of slowdown today,” a Treasury Department spokesman said in an email on Wednesday. “We are in the process of expanding the service capacity of the system and taking other steps, hoping to solve the problems quickly.”
The yield on an I-Bond has two components: a fixed interest rate and an inflation-adjusted interest rate. The fixed interest rate and semi-annual inflation rate are released annually by the Treasury Department in early May and early November. While the fixed interest rate remains the same for the life of the 30-year bond (and is currently zero), the inflation rate adjusts every six months.
Although inflation is still at historically high levels, the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a slight slowdown. So the inflation index part of the I-Bond could see a fall in interest rates in November.
But investors who bought I-Bonds before 11/1 still get the 9.62 percent interest rate for the first six months they hold the bonds.
“We encourage customers to continue using the site and hope that the issues will be resolved shortly,” the Treasury Department spokesman said.