This brochure contains some common terms and definitions, which are intended to help you better understand your credit transaction. Credit costs money, so it is important that you fully understand the terms of your credit transaction. If you come across terms you do not understand, look up the terms, or ask our personnel to explain the terms to you. Ask questions. Make certain the questions that you ask are answered. Make certain you understand the terms and costs of your loan.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) - A federal regulation which requires lenders to promote the availability of credit to all creditworthy applicants without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to contract); to whether all or part of the applicant’s income derives from a public assistance program; or to whether the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The regulation prohibits creditor practices that discriminate on the basis of any of these factors.
Contract - A written binding document, describing terms of agreement between two or more persons. (Keep all paperwork. Later, if there are any questions, you will have your agreement in writing.)
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) - The cost of your credit as a yearly rate. This measures the cost of credit expressed as a yearly interest rate. It is intended to provide a single value for a consumer to compare the cost of credit between one lender and another.
Finance Charge - The dollar amount the credit will cost you. Finance charges include interest, and may also include transaction fees and service fees.
Balance - The amount of money owed on a debt, on which interest is calculated.
Principal Balance - The amount of the loan remaining unpaid, not including interest and other charges.
Interest - The cost of borrowing money, generally a percentage of the amount owed.
Accrued Interest - The interest that accumulates and is payable on the unpaid principal balance of a loan.
Default - Failure to pay a debt as agreed to on a contract. When a loan is in default, the lender may demand full payment of the remaining debt.
Deferment - An authorized temporary suspension of repayment, granted under certain circumstances.
Delinquency - The failure to make scheduled monthly loan payments when they are due.
Collateral - Security pledged by a borrower to protect the interests of the lender; in case of default, the lender may take ownership of the security, if any, pledged by the borrower.
Credit Bureau - A private company that keeps a record of your credit history for distribution upon request by authorized parties. When you apply for credit, a lender may request a credit report to review when considering your application.
Credit History - A record containing information about you, including your payment history on previous debts.
Credit Report - A report of the credit history and other information about you that is kept by credit bureaus, which may include: your name, address, social security number, payment history (good and bad), current and previous debts, employers, income, etc. Accurate information on a credit report may not be legally removed. Incorrect information may be removed by disputing the information to the credit bureau involved.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PROCEDURES FOR OPENING A NEW ACCOUNT — To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.