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Glossary

F

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.

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Fair Credit and Charge Disclosure Act

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

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Fair Credit Billing Act

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

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Fair Credit Reporting Act

A federal law that ensures you can see and correct mistakes on your credit report and be sure that the information is not being misused.

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Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

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

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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.

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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 offered by other creditors.

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Financial Health (also referred to as financial well being)

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.

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Fixed Expenses

Fixed expenses are those that you have to pay every month. These are expenses that you really can't change like your mortgage, rent payment, car payment or child care.

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Forbearance

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.

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