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Loan Glossary

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
The total finance charge (including interest, points, and other finance charges) expressed as a percentage of the amount financed.

Automatic Payment
This means a set payment amount is automatically taken out of your account every month on the day specified.

Collateral (or security)
Personal property pledged as a guarantee that you will repay your loan. Property such as houses, cars, savings accounts, bonds, or certificates of deposit are commonly used as collateral.

Credit Agencies/Credit Bureaus
Organizations that collect individual consumer credit information and provide credit reports to potential lenders, employers, landlords, etc., for purposes of aiding in their decision-making process.

Finance Charges
The total cost of interest and other charges, direct or indirect, the borrower must pay to obtain credit.

Fixed Interest Rate
An interest rate the borrower locks into at the origination of the loan and does not change during the term of the loan.

The indicator of current economic conditions used to determine changes in adjustable loan interest rate.

A charge for money borrowed generally stated as a percentage of the amount borrowed.

A written promise to pay a stipulated sum of money to a party under mutually agreed upon conditions. Also called a promissory note.

Overdraft Protection
When an overdraft occurs on an account, meaning the balance of the account becomes negative, funds are automatically transferred from a line of credit linked to the account to cover the negative balance. Overdraft protection prevents the consumer from having to pay overdraft charges.

Payment Protection Insurance
Credit insurance that provides life insurance which pays a lump sum toward a personal loan or line of credit upon the death of the borrower or co-borrower. Also, disability insurance for the primary borrower that pays monthly benefits toward the loan or line payment when life insurance is also purchased.

Pre-payment Penalty
A penalty fee charged to a borrower who pays off a personal loan before the term of the loan is complete.

Prime Rate
The most favorable interest rate charged by lenders on a short-term personal loan to qualified customers. There is also a prime rate average listed in the Wall Street Journal that is an average of what the largest commercial banks charge. Rates (APRs) are established as the prime rate plus an additional amount.

The loan amount not including interest.

Secured Personal Loan
A fixed interest rate personal loan that requires collateral or security of a savings account, stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, etc.

The time limit within which a loan must be repaid.

Rights of ownership of property.

Title Insurance (including Owners and Mortgage policy)
Insurance which protects the lender and the homeowner against loss resulting from any defects in the title or claims against a property that were not uncovered in the title search.

The process of determining risk inherent in a particular loan and establishing suitable loan terms and conditions.

Unsecured Personal Loans
A fixed interest rate personal loan that requires no collateral or security.

Variable Interest Rate
An interest rate which is tied to an index, such as the Wall Street Journal Prime, and fluctuates during the life of the line of credit.


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