MoneyU Glossary of Terms

MoneyU Glossary of Terms

Browse the glossary using this index

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Transaction Fee

An extra charge for various credit activities, such as using an ATM or receiving a cash advance.

Transaction, Settlement, Or Closing Costs

Fees associated with taking ownership of property. They may include application fees; title examination, abstract of title, title insurance, and property survey fees; fees for preparing deeds, mortgages, and settlement documents; attorneys' fees; recording fees; and notary, appraisal, and credit report fees. Under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the borrower receives a good faith estimate of closing costs at the time of application or within three days of application. The good faith estimate lists each expected cost either as an amount or a range.

Transfer On Death

See payable on death.

True Cost

The actual cost of something, as compared to what you think it will cost. For example, the ÔÇ£true costÔÇØ of a car does not just include the price you paid for the car, but also for things like gasoline, maintenance, repairs, auto insurance, etc. ItÔÇÖs important to determine the true cost of an item before you actually purchase it.


The person who receives legal title to the assets in the trust but is legally obligated to hold, manage, and invest the trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The trustee's duties are set by the trust agreement and by law. Trustees who fail in their fiduciary duties can be sued and may be held liable for their actions and damages.

Truth in Lending Act

The Truth in Lending Act seeks to tell U.S. consumers important information about credit terms that can help them make informed credit choices and should protect them against inaccurate and unfair billing practices. The Truth in Lending Act was amended by, and includes, the Fair Credit Billing Act (see Dispute).


Unsecured Debt

This is debt that is not guaranteed by collateral, therefore, no assets are committed in the event of default. If the issuer is unable to collect on the loan, its value is lost. Most credit cards are unsecured. As the Cardmember's promise is the only guarantee, credit card issuers require more information regarding income and credit history than with a secured loan.

Unsecured Loan

A loan based on a consumer's promise to pay, without savings or other collateral as a guarantee. Sometimes called a signature loan.


Variable Expenses

Expenses that can change from month to month. Variable expenses include necessities that can be reduced (such as food and utilities) and non-essentials that could be eliminated (e.g., long distance charges, cable, magazine subscriptions, etc). Reducing these expenses is the simplest step in getting control of your finances.

Variable Interest Rate

A variable interest rate is based on fluctuating rates in the banking system, such as the prime rate. For example, if on January 1, the prime rate was 6 percent and your credit card's variable rate formula was the prime rate plus 9.9 percent, your interest rate would be 15.9 percent (see prime rate).

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