Glossary

A
Annual Fee

A bank charge for use of a credit card levied each year. It is billed directly to the customer's monthly statement. Many credit cards come without an annual fee.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Also called Annual Interest Rate, it is the annual rate that is charged for borrowing (or made by investing), expressed as a single percentage number that represents the actual yearly cost of funds over the term of a loan. This includes any fees or additional costs associated with the transaction.

Arrears

The state of being behind in payments.

ATM

An acronym for Automated Teller Machine. It enables you to carry out most bank transactions including deposits and withdrawals, with the help of an ATM/Debit card or Credit card. Please note that most banks usually charge transaction fees for using another bank's ATM.

B
Budgeting

The process of managing your expenditure, so that it doesn't exceed your income.

C
Cash Advance

A loan taken out against a line of credit or credit card, typically imposing higher-than-normal interest charges. The issuing bank or financial institution treats cash advances like loans, not like purchases or merchandise. When you take a cash advance, interest begins to accrue differently – sometimes without a grace period and at a higher rate of interest.

Credit Card

A plastic card having a magnetic strip, issued by a bank or business which enables you to buy goods or services on credit.

Credit Line/ Line of Credit

The maximum amount you can borrow using your credit card. It is also called your credit limit.

Creditor

Someone to whom you owe money.

D
Debit Card

Debit cards look like credit cards or ATM (automated teller machine) cards, but operate like cash or personal cheques. A debit card directly accesses the money deposited in your bank account.

Debtor

Someone who owes money.

F
Finance Charges

All charges that the borrower pays for the use of funds including interest, fees and other charges paid directly for the use of credit, or indirectly as a condition for the extension of credit. Finance charges must be included on truth-in-lending disclosure statements as the total amount paid for the use of borrowed money.

Fixed Rate

An interest rate that remains the same for the term of the loan.

G
Grace Period

These are the number of days the bank allows you to borrow their money interest-free.Grace periods vary, depending on the bank that issues the credit card. This period is usually applied to new purchases, but only if there is no old balance being carried forward.

I
Introductory Period

The period during which the Introductory Rate applies to balances outstanding on your account.

Introductory Rate

A kind of APR which is applicable for only a short period of time.

M
Minimum Amount Due

The amount quoted in your credit card statement, to prevent fines or penalties later on. Interest will be charged on the unpaid amount.

O
Online Banking

Access by personal computer or terminal to bank information, accounts and certain transactions via the financial institution’s web site on the Internet. Also known as Internet Banking.

P
PIN

An acronym for Personal Identification Number. A confidential personal identification code, usually consisting of four to six digits, used by bank customers to access their account balances when using an ATM.

T
Total Amount Due

The total amount transacted, payable to the bank by a credit card holder.