Starting a Family
Starting a Family Glossaries
APR (Annual Percentage Rate): Total annual cost for a loan, credit card, or other type or credit. Expressed as an interest rate.
Amortization: The process of reducing a debt by making regular payments of principal and interest until the loan is eventually repaid. Home mortgages are amortized, for example.
Annual Fee: Yearly amount charged to a credit card owner by a creditor. Annual fees are charged regardless of whether or not the credit card is actually used.
Annuity: A contract, typically with an insurance company, where the company agrees to make regular payments to a person for a fixed period, or for life, in exchange for lump sum or monthly payments.
Asset: An item of value that increases net worth. A house is an asset.
Balance: The amount of money held in an account, or the outstanding amount on a loan or credit card.
Bankruptcy: The process of petitioning a court to discharge a person's debts. Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings liquidate assets; Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings set up a debt repayment plan.
Beneficiary: Person or persons identified to inherit specific property. The beneficiary of a life insurance policy receives the proceeds when the owner of the policy passes away.
Budget: A plan for spending and saving money, balancing income with expenses.
Capital Gain: The increase in the value of an investment.
Cash Flow: Money flowing into and out of a household. A negative cash flow means more money is spent than is earned; a positive cash flow means more money is earned than is spent.
Cash Value: The savings piece of a whole life, variable life, or universal life insurance policy; the amount for which the policy can be "cashed in".
CD: Certificate of Deposit; a sum deposited with a financial institution for a specified amount of time.
Collateral: An item or assets of value, used to secure a loan. For example, a car may serve as collateral for an auto loan. If payments are not made the item can be seized by the lender in order to recover the debt.
Compound Interest: Interest earned on principal and previously credited interest.
Consumer Price Index (CPI): A measure of inflation used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to track changes in prices of goods and services.
Co-signer: A person who agrees to make payments on a loan if the primary borrower fails to do so. Co-signors can make qualifying for a loan easier.
Credit Counseling Agency: An organization (profit or non-profit) that creates and administers debt repayment plans for people having difficulty repaying creditors.
Credit Report: A report issued by a reporting agency showing how a person has used credit in the past.
Elimination Period: The number of days before benefits are paid on certain types of insurance policies, like long-term care or disability.
Fair Market Value: The amount for which an item can be sold on the open market.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): Federal agency that insures bank deposits.
Inflation: The loss of purchasing power over time due to an increase in the cost of goods and services. Often expressed as a rate; if the inflation rate is 3%, purchasing power is reduced by 3%.
Installment Loan: A loan paid back over a specific period of time, typically used to buy items rather than to receive revolving credit. An auto loan is an example of an installment loan; a credit card is not.
Intestate: Dying without a valid will in place
Liability: Money owed by an individual that decreases net worth. A loan is a liability.
Liquidity: The ability to convert an asset to cash quickly without loss of value. A mutual fund is relatively liquid; a home is not.
Long-Term Care Insurance: Insurance that covers the cost of support services like home health care and nursing home care when a person is unable to perform basic activities of daily living such as bathing, eating, and dressing.
Maturity: The date when the principal amount of a bond or CD must be paid to the owner.
Mutual fund: An investment company that pools deposits from shareholders and invests in stocks, bonds, or cash assets.
Net Worth: A person's financial situation, calculated by subtracting debts from assets.
Pension: A retirement savings plan offered by an employer that pays benefits to workers when they retire.
Premium: Fees paid to an insurance company in exchange for protection against risk. Payments made on an insurance policy are considered premiums.
Principal: The original amount of money invested or borrowed.
Probate: Legal process of validating a Will, paying debts, and distributing proceeds to heirs and beneficiaries when someone dies.
Return: Investment gain or loss.
Rollover: Transfer of funds from one retirement savings plan to another while avoiding taxes or penalties.
Secured Debt: Debt backed by collateral. The collateral secures the debt. A car secures the car loan, for example.
Social Security: Government program that provides retirement and disability benefits to workers and dependents.
Taxable Income: Amount of income used to determine tax owed.
Tax-Deferred: Investments not taxed in the current year but taxed at a later date, typically upon withdrawal.
Term Life Insurance: Life insurance policy that pays benefits only if the holder of the policy dies within the period of time covered by that policy.
Trust: A legal instrument granting control of assets to a person or financial institution. Trusts can be revocable or irrevocable and can manage property while the creator is alive (living trust) or following the creator's death (testamentary trust).
Trustee: Person who manages a Trust.
Umbrella Coverage: Additional liability insurance that supplements the coverage of a homeowner or renter policy, or a car insurance policy. Designed to provide additional liability protection.
Unsecured Debt: Debt not secured by collateral. A credit card is an example of unsecured debt.
Vesting: The date when a person is entitled to receive money or benefits from an employer.
Whole Life Insurance: Life insurance policy that combines protection for the life of an insured person and a savings component; the savings component is considered the cash value of the policy.
Will: Legal document specifying what will happen after a person dies.
Withholding: Deduction of federal and state income taxes, Social Security taxes, and other items, from an individual's pay.