What is a 'Discount Note'

A short-term debt obligation issued at a discount to par. Discount notes are similar to zero-coupon bonds and Treasury bills and are typically issued by government-sponsored agencies or highly rated corporate borrowers. Discount notes do not make interest payments; instead the bond is matured at a par value above the purchase price, and the price appreciation is used to calculate the investment's yield.

Discount notes will have maturity dates of up to one year in length.

BREAKING DOWN 'Discount Note'

The biggest issuers of discount notes are Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks. Most institutional fixed-income buyers will compare the yield-to-maturity (YTM) of various zero-coupon debt offerings with standard coupon bonds, looking for yield pickup in discount bonds.

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