Your Finances; Your Future

Financial Glossary

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Car Insurance

Car insurance covers theft of and damage to your car or damage that your car causes, plus liability protection in case you are sued as a result of an accident.

Cash Advance

Using your credit card and PIN to get cash from a bank or ATM, or by writing a convenience check.  Typically, the card issuer charges a cash advance fee for the transaction and begins charging interest from the date you take the cash advance.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

An account in which you deposit funds for a set term, with a financial institution, with the promise of a set interest rate. For most CDs you cannot make deposits or withdrawals to the account during this term.

Checking Account

An account held at a bank or credit union in which account owners deposit funds. Account owners have the privilege of writing checks on their accounts and are able to use ATM cards and debit cards to access funds.

Child and Dependent Care Credit

The child and dependent care credit is a nonrefundable tax credit to benefit tax payers who pay for child care or dependent care services.


Property required by a lender and offered by a borrower as a guarantee of payment on a loan. Also, a borrower's savings, investments or the value of the asset purchased that can be seized if the borrower fails to repay a debt.

Collection Agency

A business organization that accepts from schools and lenders those loan accounts that have become delinquent or are in default and attempts to collect on these accounts.


The action or process of combining a number of financial accounts or funds into a single overall account or set of accounts.


The granting of money or something else of value in exchange for a promise of future repayment.

Credit Card

Cards that represent an agreement between a lender—the institution issuing the card—and the cardholder. Credit cards may be used repeatedly to buy products or services or to borrow money on credit. Credit cards are issued by banks, savings and loan associations, retail stores, and other businesses.

Credit History

A person's payment activity over a period of time.

Credit Limit

Also known as a credit line, a credit limit is the total amount of money that can be charged to a credit card. You can call your bank at any time to discuss your credit line, request for it to be lowered or request for it to be increased based on your spending habits/needs.

Credit Rating

A credit rating is an independent evaluation of the credit risk, or likelihood of default, posed by an issuer of debt or by a specific debt issue.

Credit Report

A report compiled by one or more credit bureaus. A credit report details purchase history, all on-time or late payments, credit inquiries and information on any accounts ever opened with credit card companies. Your credit history shows how well you pay your bills on time and how much you may owe to other parties. Credit card issuers use this information to decide whether to provide their customers with credit cards.

Credit Score

A number based on information in a credit report, which indicates a person's credit risk and is formulated by weighing various factors such as employment, income, debt to income ratio and past payment behavior.


A person, financial institution, or other business that lends money.