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Glossary of Terms

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Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The yearly cost of a loan, including interest, expressed as a percentage. APR is often stated with reference to mortgages, credit cards and financing.



Balance Transfers

The transfer of debit or the balance from one credit card to another. This is usually done to minimise the interest being paid.


A budget is a financial plan. This is a list of estimated expenditures and incomings during a particular future time period.




CIFAS are the UK's fraud prevention service. This is a non-profitable organisation dedicated to the prevention of financial crime.


A legally binding agreement between two or more parties.

County Court Judgements (CCJ's)

An order made in England and Wales by a County Court for debt to be repaid.

Credit History

A record of an individual's or company's past borrowing and repaying behaviour, that may reflect his or her future ability to pay back credit.

Credit Card

A credit facility accessible using a card issued by the granter of credit that allows a person to purchase goods or services from a merchant on credit

Credit Report

A detailed report of an individual's credit, employment and residence history prepared by a Credit Reference Agency. A credit report may be used by lenders to determine credit worthiness.

Credit Reference Agency

Credit reference agencies provide lenders with information about potential borrowers, which they then use to make lending decisions. The information shared may include information about your previous credit history. They hold certain information about most adults in the UK. This information is called your credit reference file or credit report.

Credit Rating/ Score

A calculation to evaluate credit worthiness using a standardised formula. Factors that may reduce a credit score include late payments, absence of credit references, and unfavourable credit card use. The score or rating can be displayed as a number range and a star rating depending on the scale of measurement the credit reference agency uses.



Debit Card

A card which allows customers to access their funds immediately, electronically.



Electoral Roll

In England and Wales the electoral roll is kept at your local county council office. By registering with the Electoral Roll you enable yourself the right to vote.

In the UK, the following people are eligible to vote:

  • A UK citizen
  • A qualifying Commonwealth citizen
  • A citizen of any EU country resident in the UK
  • Certain UK citizens that live or work abroad


Financial Activity

A person's or organisations monetary activity in terms of banking, credit applications, financial contracts (such as a mobile phone contract) and accounting.

Financial Management

The allocation of financial resources, for example income and expenditure, and assets and liabilities.

Financial Planning

In general usage, a financial plan can be a budget, a plan for spending and saving future income. This plan may allocate future income to various types of expenses, such as rent or utilities, and also may reserve some income for short-term and long-term savings.


Deceit, trickery or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.



Identity Fraud

The use of a misappropriated identity in criminal activity, to obtain goods or services by deception. This usually involves the use of stolen or forged identity documents such as a passport or driving licence.

Identity Theft

The misappropriation of the identity (such as the name, date of birth, current address or previous addresses) of another person, without their knowledge or consent.

Interest Rates

The interest rate is the yearly price charged by a lender to a borrower in order for the borrower to obtain a loan. This is usually expressed as a percentage of the total amount loaned



Lender (of money)

A person who lends to a borrower, a requested sum of money, with the expectation of repayment. Lenders will usually ascertain, prior to lending, the borrower's credit worthiness.

Loan (of money)

The temporary borrowing of a sum of money which needs to be paid back under agreed terms and usually with interest.




A loan secured against an asset (such as a property or piece of land) which is often used to purchase the asset.



Phishing (scam)

The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.

Pre-pay card

A payment card (usually MasterCard, Maestro, Visa Electron or Amex), pre-loaded with your own money, which you can then use wherever the payment card is accepted, including on the internet and abroad.

A prepaid card is much like the gift cards available from most high street chains in the UK, however, prepaid cards have a much wider acceptance, and can be used internationally. They are the same as credit cards, but without the credit. The majority of UK prepaid card providers offer cards embossed with your own name, and some are even CHIP & PIN cards.




Giving a score or an opinion about the worth of information given.




A fraudulent scheme which victimises, deprives or deceives another person.

Store Card

Much like a credit card, a retail store embossed card can be used to purchase items in that store only on credit, (usually with interest).


Spyware is any technology that aids in gathering information about a person or organisation without their knowledge. On the Internet (where it is sometimes called a spybot or tracking software), spyware is programming that is put in someone's computer to secretly gather information about that person and relay it to advertisers or other interested parties. Spyware can get in a computer as a software virus or as the result of installing a new program.




A person who is unfortunate enough to suffer from adverse circumstances.


Last updated April 2016
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