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This classification system is used widely in the finance industry. A bond with a longer term to maturity, or remaining time until its maturity date, tends to offer a higher coupon rate than a bond of similar quality but with a shorter term to maturity. First, the default risk of a corporation or government increases the further into the future you project.
A short-term bond matures in one to three years, a medium-term bond matures in four to 10 years and a long-term bond matures in over 10 years. Second, the expected inflation rate is also higher the further you go out into the future, which must be incorporated into the rate of return that an investor receives.
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Maturity date is the date on which the principal amount of a note, draft, acceptance bond or another debt instrument becomes due and is repaid to the investor and interest payments stop.