MoneyU Glossary of Terms

MoneyU Glossary of Terms

Browse the glossary using this index

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Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act

A Federal law that permits you to receive a free report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year.

Fair Credit and Charge Disclosure Act

A federal law that ensures you get the facts you need to make wise credit choices.

Fair Credit Billing Act

A federal law that ensures you can find and fix billing mistakes.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act seeks to achieve fair, timely and accurate reporting of credit information by regulating the activities of credit bureaus, limiting access to credit bureau information, and requiring that creditors disclose certain information regarding their use of credit bureau or third-party information. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to see the credit history maintained by a credit bureau about you (see Credit Report).

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

A federal law that ensures you are protected from harassment and unfair treatment by debt collectors.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

(Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) A federal government agency that insures deposits in banks and savings banks up to $250,000.

Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA)

The FICA tax is what you're giving to Social Security, the national program that provides money for retired workers, disabled individuals the unemployed, and others who collect government benefits.

Federal Reserve

The central bank in the United States that monitors and influences the total supply of money and credit through its 12 regional offices. The Federal Reserve Board sets interest rates, maintains the flow of cash to local and regional banks, clears checks, and helps guarantee the stability and security of the U.S. banking system.

Finance Charge

The cost of consumer credit expressed as a dollar amount. A finance charge would include the following types of charges imposed by card issuers: interest, transaction fees, and service fees.

Finance Company

A finance company is a business that makes consumer loans, often to consumers who cannot qualify for credit at a credit union or bank. Typically the interest rates charged by a finance company are higher than those charged by other creditors.

Financial Health

This is a description of your overall financial situation. To take a closer look at your financial health, you consider the amount of money you make each month, if you own a home or other valuables, any investments you may have, and the amount of debt you carry. For example, if you own a home, have a small mortgage, and have very little credit card debt, you are in good financial health.

Financial institutions

Organizations that provide financial services for its clients or members.

Financial literacy

The ability to use knowledge and skills to manage oneÔÇÖs financial resources effectively for lifetime of financial well-being.

Financial obligation.

In the financial world, obligation refers to an outstanding debt that a party must still repay - and if they do not pay, they default on the debt.

Financial planning

Personal financial planning is the process of (a) setting goals, (b) developing a plan to achieve them, and (c) putting the plan into action. Ongoing thinking process to develop an orderly program or blueprint for handling all aspects of oneÔÇÖs money, including spending, credit, saving, and investing.

Fixed Expenses

Expenses that you must pay every month. These are expenses that you really can't change, like your mortgage, rent payment, car payment and child care.

Fixed Income Investment

An investment that promises to pay a set rate of interest. These include deposit accounts-such as certificates of deposit-as well as bonds and notes.

Fixed Interest Rate

A loan or mortgage with an interest rate that will remain at a predetermined rate for the entire term of the loan.

Fixed-Rate Loan

A loan with a set or fixed rate of interest. Both the interest rate and the monthly payments (for principal and interest) stay the same during the life of the loan. Fixed-rate loans generally have repayment terms of 15, 20, or 30 years.


This is a method of postponing payments, for six months to one year, due to economic hardship. A forbearance period can be renewed annually for up to three years. Interest accrues regardless of whether the loan is subsidized or unsubsidized and is added to the loan balance at the end of the forbearance period, if not paid during this period.

Front-End Load

A commission paid on the purchase of a mutual fund.

Future Value

The amount that a sum of money will grow to in the future as a result of interest.

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