The indebted entity (issuer) issues a bond that states the interest rate (coupon) that will be paid and when the loaned funds (bond principal) are to be returned (maturity date). Interest on bonds is usually paid every six months (semi-annually). The main categories of bonds are corporate bonds, municipal bonds, and U.S. Treasury bonds, notes and bills, which are collectively referred to as simply "Treasuries."
Two features of a bond - credit quality and duration - are the principal determinants of a bond's interest rate. Bond maturities range from a 90-day Treasury bill to a 30-year government bond. Corporate and municipals are typically in the 3-10-year range.
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