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Definitions

ACH

This stands for automatic clearing house, which is mainly a method used to transfer funds to and from bank accounts.

APR or Annual Percentage Rate

This is the cost of credit which is expressed in a yearly rate. This is not the same as contract interest rate.

Balance

This refers to the outstanding in your bank account.

Bankruptcy

This is a legal proceeding in America's Federal Court which in entered into by a borrower. This is often someone who is not able to pay back his debts which allows for them to negotiate some form of partial payment or the selling of a borrower's assets. Bankruptcy information will stay on the credit history of a person for up to a decade.

Budget

A plan or method used for spending management and for saving money.

Caps

The established limit of an amount's interest rate which can be increased to an adjustable rate mortgage loan.

Cash advance

This refers to a source of cash which can be taken in the case of emergencies. This is for people who are employed but may not have access to other sources of credit. This is meant to bridge the financial gap in between now and the next pay day. The interest is charged from the date it is advanced.

Charge off

This is a credit card debt or loan which is written off as being uncollectible from a borrower. This at times is the case when the loan has been sold or given the debt to some collection agency. This debt remains collectable.

Checking account

The money which is kept in savings or a bank for safekeeping. This money can be withdrawn easily by simply writing out a check or using an ATM machine.

Security or Collateral

Often an asset which is pledged in order to assure repayment of debt.

Compound interest

Interest which is computed on the loan's balance, the balance will include all interest which is unpaid.

Co-signer

An individual who willfully signs a loan agreement with the borrower and partly assumes responsibility of repayment of a loan.

Credit

The promise to pay the amount at a later date for services or goods availed presently.

Credit request

A request for credit given in writing. At times an request fee will be charged in order to cover the cost of processing the loan.

Credit bureau

An organization that works to compile the credit histories of would be borrowers and also provides these reports to lenders. These reports are used by lenders for making decisions. Experian, TransUnion and Equifax are the largest credit reporting agencies in America.

Credit card

This is a card issued by the bank in order to make payments for purchases. The outstanding balance is subject to interest.

Credit counseling

A type of counseling which is provided by organizations aimed at helping consumers with ways to repair their credit so as to get their financial affairs back on track.

Credit limit

The most amount of money which is allowed to be charged on a line of credit or credit card.

Credit line

This is also often referred to personal line of credit and is the maximum amount a person can get against his or her account. Once the credit line has been repaid the person can then re-borrow against this account.

Credit report

This is a report which is actually the history of a person's debt repayment, outstanding debts, bankruptcies and late payments. It will also have his or her bankruptcies.

Creditor

A business or person from who you are borrowing or someone you owe money to.

Debit card

This is a card issued by a bank or some other financial institution and often used for purchases. The purchase is deducted directly from a checking account.

Debt

The amount which is owed to a lender.

Debt Consolidation

This refers to a strategy which is at times used by people to improve their debt management issues. Instead of opting to pay several bills every month a consumer will just pay his debt with one bill to one financial institution.

Default

The failure to pay back a loan or meet the terms the loan agreement.

Delinquency

This is an electronic funds transfer directly to a bank account, so paper check is not needed.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act This is a federal law which prohibits lenders from any sort of applicant discrimination.

E-Signature Often referred to as an electronic signature this requires a software which binds your signature or some other mark to a document. The E-sign bill was passed by the government in June 2000 which legalizes this signature.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act This is a federal law which gives borrowers the right to lean exactly what info credit reporting agencies currently have on them, it also enables them to dispute incorrect data.

FDIC or Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Usually a federal agency which insures a consumer's deposit in their savings and for a loan of up to $100,000 for every account. These deposits will include savings and checking accounts and also deposit certificates.

Finance chargeCredit costs expressed in a dollar amount.

A fixed interest rateA rate of interest which will not change through the term of the loan.

ForeclosureThis is a legal process in which collateral that has been pledged for a loan can be sold in order to repay the loan if the borrower defaults.

Installment loan This is a loan that has a predetermined number of payments and loan amount.

Interest A fee that the lender charges for borrowing a sum of money.

Interest rateA rate that a lender will charge borrowers in order to borrow money from them. It is expressed in percentage % per annum.

JudgmentThis is a court order which is made by the court and which is related to a lawsuit. It actually decides who wins the case.

LeaseThis is a legal contract which allows a consumer to use some asset like a car for payment. The asset needs to be returned once the lease term ends.

Lender A business or a person who lends or even offers loans to people.

Liable to have legal responsibility.

LienWhen a creditor lays claim to a piece of property to ensure his debt is paid off.

Loan Any amount which is borrowed so that it can be repaid later with added interest.

Loan AgreementThis is a legal contract which details the conditions and the terms of the loan

Mortgage loan This is used to purchase a piece of real estate. Here the property is actually the security for this loan.

Public RecordThis is information which is gotten from federal, state or other sources which details a person's history of financial obligations which includes child support and alimony.

Refinance To pay off an existing loan with whatever proceeds have been had from the new loan in order to enjoy a lower interest rate.

RepossessThe voluntary or forced surrender of items in the case of a consumer's failure to pay back a loan.

Savings accountThe money which his kept in a savings account and for safekeeping. Big reason here is that savings accounts will earn interest on money kept in this account.

Secured loan This is a loan where the borrower will pledge his asset like a car or home which will be sold if he is not able to pay back the loan.

Securitycheck collateral.

Simple interestThe interest is computed on the basis of outstanding as long as some portions remain still unpaid.

TitleA document which proves ownership of property.

Truth in Lending Act This is a federal law which mostly requires lenders to be able to disclose to their borrowers the actual cost of the loan. This will include the actual interest rate as well as the terms and conditions of this loan in an easy to understand fashion.

Unsecured loan This is a loan given on the bases of a borrower's word to pay back.

Variable interest rateThis is an interest rate which will change based on the current index, like a prime rate.

YieldOften used for an effective rate of return which is paid on money market accounts, bonds or savings.