Glossary


Financial Glossary

Amortization – the repayment time period of a loan or debt / the number of years over which you’ll repay the loan or debt

APRAnnual Percentage Rate – a standard calculation by lenders to show what the interest rate and fees are on a credit product (e.g. loan, credit card, etc.); allows borrowers to compare different loan products.

Arrears – the past due amount owing

Assets – things you own, even if you still owe money against them

Bankruptcy – a legal process performed under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. This process relieves consumers of most debts and legal proceedings by creditors will stop.

Beacon / FICO Score – This is the credit score that creditors look at when determining your credit worthiness. It ranges from 300 – 900 points and incorporates a variety of factors about your financial behaviour. This helps lenders assess the likelihood that you will pay them back the money you are borrowing from them.

Borrower – a person who incurs a loan or debt Budget – a spending plan that accounts for your sources of income, all of your monthly and annual expenses as well as your future needs and possibilities

Co-borrower – the secondary person on a loan / debt – this person is still 100% responsible for repaying the debt at any time

Collateral – an asset pledged as security on a debt so that if the debt isn’t repaid as agreed, a lender can collect the collateral and sell it to recover any money owing on the debt

Collection Agency – a company that recovers funds owed on a debt that is past due

Compound Interest – interest earned on previously accumulated interest as well as the principal Co-signer – someone who signs on a loan as a guarantor for the primary borrower to the application

Consolidation Loan – a loan obtained for the purpose of paying out other debts

Consumer Proposal – Under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act you may make a legal proposal to your creditors to reduce the amount of your debts, extend the time you have to pay off the debt, or provide some combination of both.

Cost of Borrowing – the cost to you to borrow money – includes interest, fees and any other costs associated with the loan

Credit – the purchase of goods or services in the present with a promise to pay in the future, with money you still plan to earn

Credit Bureau – A company that is licensed to collect and compile information about your financial behaviour. The information comes from a variety of credit granting sources as well as public records information. In turn, they sell the information, in the form of a credit report, to those authorized to obtain it.

Credit Counselling – professional counselling provided by organizations that help consumers find ways to repay their debt – through careful budgeting and management of money

Credit Rating – an evaluation of the likelihood of a borrower to default on a loan. Credit reporting companies provide information about your financial behaviour to lenders to help them decide whether or not to lend you money. The information may include your payment history, a list of current and past credit accounts and their balances, employment and personal information and a history of past credit problems.

Credit Report – a summary that provides information to potential lenders of the risk involved in extending credit and the probability of repayment. It is created when you start to apply for credit. Contains personal information, to whom and how often you apply for credit, how regularly you make payments and public records (court judgements). Each lender gives you a rating depending on your “performance” with them. Equifax and TransUnion are the two largest credit reporting agencies in Canada.

Creditor – someone you owe money to

Debt Management Program – a repayment program that helps you get out of debt within a reasonable amount of time. After working out a budget, your creditors would be asked to reduce your monthly payment to match the repayment plan. Creditors will often eliminate or reduce further interest charges.

Debtor – the person who owes money to someone

Demand for Payment – a letter from a creditor or collection agency outlining an amount of time in which to pay a debt. The letter may also outline what further action will be taken if payment is not made, e.g. legal action.

Equity – the difference between the price for which a property could be sold and the total debts registered against it

Foreclosure – the forced sale of property pledged as security for a debt that is in default

Garnishment – a legal order to withhold money from your pay cheque and remit it to another party, such as a creditor Gross Income – how much your pay cheque is before taxes are deducted

Guarantor – a person who pledges collateral for the contract of another or who guarantees to pay a certain debt if the original borrower defaults

Interest Rate – the cost of borrowing money, expressed as a percentage, usually over a period of one year

Joint Debt – a debt that is agreed to by two individuals. Each debtor is fully responsible for 100% of any amount owing.

Judgement – the formal decision made by a court following legal proceedings

Layaway – a method of paying for merchandise through several installments; the merchandise is set aside for the client until it is paid for in full Lease – a contract granting the use of property for a specified length of time in exchange for a specified rental price

Liabilities – the debts and other financial obligations of a person or company; the opposite of assets

Lien – a claim against an item by another party which utilizes that item as security for repayment of a loan or other claim. A lien affects the ability to transfer ownership.

Line of Credit – also known as a demand loan or operating line. An agreement by a lender to extend credit up to a certain limit whenever the borrower needs to use it.

Liquid Assets – assets which can be turned into cash easily, e.g. term deposits Loan – a sum of money lent at a specified interest rate

Net Income – how much your pay cheque is after taxes have been deducted

Notice of Claim – the notice that you receive if you are being sued in Small Claims Court

Orderly Payment of Debts – a legal proceeding that will consolidate your debts into one payment which must be paid to the court on a periodic basis. Upon receiving payments the court will disburse payments to creditors on a debtor’s behalf.

Overdraft – the extension of credit by a lending institution which allows withdrawals to exceed deposits in a bank account

Payment Hearing – a hearing held before a judge or justice of the peace to assess a debtor’s ability to pay and / or to determine how the debtor will pay the judgement against them Principal – the amount you’ve borrowed

Repossession / Seizure – to take back possession of collateral for failure to pay as agreed. A repossession can be involuntary, or it can be voluntary, meaning that the debtor chooses to return the collateral to the lender.

Right of Offset – a financial institution’s legal right to seize deposited funds to cover a debt that is in default with them

RRSPRegister Retirement Savings Plan – a savings product that allows individuals to save for their retirement while gaining some income tax benefits

Security – property which is pledged as collateral for a loan, which can be taken back by the lender if the borrower defaults on the loan

Settlement – when a creditor agrees to accept a reduced payment on a debt, giving up their right to the remainder that is outstanding

Statute of Limitations – the maximum period of time after certain events that legal proceedings, based on those events, may be initiated. e.g. the length of time that a creditor has the right to legal action for a debt that has become due

Term – the number of months for the current period of the loan

Trustee – a person licensed by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy to administer consumer proposals and bankruptcies

Writ of Summons – that notice that you receive if you are being sued in Supreme Court

Frequently Asked Questions

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Will creditors stop harrassing me? Answers to this and other important questions


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