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Glossary

D

Daily Periodic Rate

The interest rate factor used to calculate the interest charges on a daily basis. The factor is computed by dividing the yearly rate by 365 days.

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Debit Card

When you make a purchase with a debit card, money is deducted directly from your bank deposit account. You can spend only the amount of money you have in your bank deposit account when you use your debit card.

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Debt

An amount of money you owe to banks or credit issuers. More specifically, it is the amount of money that you have borrowed and not paid back.

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Debt Ratio/Debt Burden

It is the percentage of your income that goes to paying your debts every month. Debt ratio usually gives a clear picture of your overall financial well-being. To calculate your debt ratio, first add up all your monthly income including take-home pay (after taxes), Social Security or disability benefits and alimony. Then add up all your monthly payments for interest bearing loans and accounts, such as mortgages, student loans, credit cards and car loans. If you rent your home, include that amount, but do not include utilities and telephone charges because they can vary on a monthly basis. Finally, divide your monthly payments by your income. Multiply the result by 100 and that number is your debt ratio percentage.

  • A low ratio is under 20%, which means that you are in good financial health and are doing a good job of managing your money.
  • A moderate ratio is between 21% and 40%. This means that you should look carefully at your monthly payments and start decreasing your overall level of debt, including credit cards.
  • A high debt burden is over 40%. You should immediately stop accumulating debt and start looking for ways to decrease your debt or increase your income.

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Default

Failure to repay a loan according to the agreed upon terms.

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Deferred Payment

Payments put off to a future date or extended over a period of time. Interest will usually still accumulate during deferment.

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Delinquency Assessment/Late Fee

A fee that is charged for a late payment.

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Delinquency

When loan payments are not paid according to the terms of the agreement/promissory note. Late fees are often assessed on delinquent accounts, and delinquency results in default.

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Disclosure Statement

A disclosure statement details the actual cost of a loan, including all estimated interest costs and loan fees. For credit card accounts, this information may be found in the Cardmember Agreement.

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Dispute

If you think your bill is wrong, write to your credit card issuer at the address listed on your statement. You must write no later than 60 days after you received the first statement where the error appeared. The credit card issuer must acknowledge your letter within 30 days, and correct the error or explain why they think the statement was correct within two billing cycles, but no later than 90 days after its receipt of your letter. You do not have to pay the amount in question while it is investigated, but you must pay the rest of your bill.

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Due Date

The day a payment is due to a creditor. After that date, a late fee can be charged, the payment can be recorded as late, and the account can be considered delinquent.

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