Types of Credit

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Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

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Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

A mortgage in which the initial interest rate is normally fixed for a specified period of time after which it is reset periodically, often every month

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401(k) Loan

A type of loan where you borrow money from your retirement savings account. You must pay that borrowed money back, plus interest, within 5 years of taking your loan, in most cases.

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Amortization

The paying off of debt over time in equal installments; part of each payment goes toward the loan principal while the other part goes toward interest

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Annual Fee

A yearly fee that may be charged for having a specific credit card, independent of how you use the card

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Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The cost you pay each year to borrow money, including fees, expressed as a percentage

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Authorized User

A person who has permission to use and/or carry another person's credit card, but isn't legally responsible for paying the bill

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Balance Transfer

The act of transferring debt from one credit card account to another, usually for a fee

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Cash Advance

A credit card service that allows cardholders to withdraw a certain amount of cash, either through an ATM or directly from a bank, typically at a high interest rate or for a fee

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Cash Back

A credit card benefit that pays the cardholder a small percentage of their net expenditures, often as cash, payment toward their balance, reward points, travel miles, or gift cards

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Charge Card

A special type of credit card with no interest because you must pay the balance in full each month

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Collateral

Something valuable that the lender can take as payment if you can't or don't repay your secured loan

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Consolidation Loan

A loan that combines two or more education loans into a single loan, allowing the borrower to make a single monthly payment

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Cosigner

Someone who legally agrees to take responsibility for a person's debt if they cannot repay it

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Credit Card

A plastic card that allows you to make purchases now with borrowed money, which then you must repay to the lender in one lump sum or in monthly payments with interest

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Credit Card Agreement

A legal document that outlines the terms and conditions for using your credit card

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Credit Limit

The maximum amount that may be borrowed on a credit card

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Credit Union

A nonprofit financial institution that is owned by its members and organized for their benefit

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Crowdfunding

The practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet

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Default

Long-term failure to repay a loan according to the terms agreed to, which has a substantial negative impact on the borrower's credit score

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Direct Plus Loans

A federal loan available to graduate or professional students and eligible parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for the cost of the student's education at participating schools

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Direct Subsidized Loan

A federal student loan available to undergraduate students; the federal government pays interest on the loan as long as the student is in school at least part-time

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Direct Unsubsidized Loan

A federal student loan available to undergraduate and graduate students; the student is responsible for paying the interest during the time they are in school, which means they must pay that interest while studying or have it rolled into the principal amount of their loan

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Down Payment

A partial payment made in cash at the beginning of the purchase of a good or service, while the remaining balance is due later or is financed as part of a loan

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Fixed-Rate Loan

A loan with an interest rate that does not change over the life of the loan

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Fixed-Rate Mortgage

A mortgage that has a fixed interest rate for the entire term of the loan as long as ontime payments are being made

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Grace Period

The number of days between a borrower's statement date and when payment is due, often without accruing interest

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Home Equity

The value of ownership built up in a home or property that represents the current market value of the house minus any remaining mortgage payments

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Home-Equity Loan

A consumer loan extended to a homeowner that uses the borrower's home as collateral

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Installment Loan

Loan used to finance a specific purchase for a specific amount of time, during which regular payments pay the accrued interest and a portion of the principal

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Interest

The amount you owe as the cost of borrowing money

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Interest Rate

The rate charged for borrowing money usually expressed as a percent of the amount borrowed

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Introductory APR

The typically low rate charged during the introductory period after a credit account is opened, after which the regular, typically higher, APR will apply

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Joint Account

A bank or credit account that is shared between two or more people which allows everyone named on the account to access the funds

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Late Payment Fee

A fee charged if your payment is received after the due date

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Lease

A contract (often used for cars or property) by which one party gives property to another for a specified time, usually in return for a periodic payment

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Loan

An agreement where you are credited with a fixed amount of money for a fixed period of time, usually with interest

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Minimum Payment

The smallest amount of a credit card bill that a credit card holder must pay during a billing cycle to remain in good standing with the lender

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Micro Credit

A method of lending very small sums to individuals, typically in developing countries, to start or expand a small business

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Mortgage

A loan taken by individuals and businesses to make real estate purchases without paying the entire value of the purchase up front

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Net Price

The actual cost a student pays to attend a school, calculated as the sticker price minus grants and scholarships

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Overdraft Protection

A loan banks offer to their customers when they try to withdraw more funds than they have in their account, usually for a fee and with interest

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Payday Loan

A small loan, offered through a business, lent at a high interest rate, and meant to be paid as soon as you receive your next paycheck

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Peer-To-Peer Lending

A method of debt financing that enables individuals to borrow and lend money without the use of a financial institution as an intermediary

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Penalty APR

A higher interest rate triggered by being late with or missing a credit card payment

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Principal

Original amount of money borrowed, separate from interest or fees

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Personal Loan

A type of loan issued by a bank, credit union or online lender that you pay back in fixed monthly payments, typically over two to seven years

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Revolving Credit

An open line of credit that can be used for any purchases as long as you are under the limit; its payments vary monthly based on size of the debt

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Schumer Box

A standard table that legally must appear in a credit card agreement showing basic information about the card's rates and fees

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Secured Credit Card

A type of credit card that requires the borrower to pay the company a fixed, up-front amount of money as collateral, which becomes the credit limit of the card, thereby making it low-risk to the credit card company

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Secured Debt

Debt tied to a specific tangible asset that can be used as collateral and repossessed if payments are not made

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Small Business Loan

A loan used to fund expenses connected with operating a small business

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Statement

A monthly record of your account transactions provided by your credit card company electronically or on paper

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Term

The amount of time you have to repay your entire loan

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Unsecured Debt

Debt not tied to a specific asset, making it difficult or impossible for the lender to repossess items if payments are not made

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Variable-Rate Loan

A loan in which the interest rate can change, based on prime rate or index rate, over the course of the loan

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