MoneyU Glossary of Terms

MoneyU Glossary of Terms

Browse the glossary using this index

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Collection Agency

If you fail to pay a credit or charge card bill, the card issuer may send your overdue bill to a collection agency, a company that attempts to obtain payment from you. If this happens, your account may be listed as a "collection account" on your credit report. If you do not pay your bill and your card issuer has to go to a collection agency to attempt to obtain payment from you, you may be liable for the cost of the collection agency's services. Check your cardholder agreement to see if your card includes this potential fee.


The amount charged by brokerage firms to purchase or sell securities.

Common Stock

An equity share in the ownership of a company. There is no guarantee that the money paid for the stock will be returned or that there will be any dividends paid. Common stockholders are last in line if the company is unable to pay its obligations.

Community Property

Some states treat property in a marriage as owned equally by both spouses, even if titled in only one spouse's name. Therefore property distribution rules are different concerning the percentage the surviving spouse and others will receive. If you have ever resided in a community property state, you should consult the local rules; however, couples can agree ahead of time as to the distribution of property and need to file appropriate legal documents in support of the agreement. Also, property acquired in a community property state may maintain its community property status even if the couple moves to a noncommunity property state.

Comparison Shopping

Comparing the price of an item at various places, allowing you to get the item for the least amount of money. Comparison shopping is especially easy to do online, using the Internet.

Compound Interest

Interest earned on interest. When interest is earned on an investment and that interest is reinvested, it becomes part of the principal of that investment. The next interest calculation is based on this increased principal. Compound interest results in a higher future value than simple interest. See also Rule of 72.

Consolidation Loan

A loan obtained in order to combine multiple debts into one, typically at a lower interest rate. (Also called Debt Consolidation.)


Buyers or users of goods and services for personal use.

Consumer Protection Act

A revision of bankruptcy law intended to make the system fairer for creditors and debtors and make affordable credit available to more people.


Legally enforceable written or oral agreement between two or more parties to do or not do something.

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