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Past Due

The status of an account when the minimum payment has not been received by the due date.

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Periodic Rate

The interest rate described in relation to a specific amount of time. For example, the monthly periodic rate is the cost of credit per month; the daily periodic rate is the cost of credit per day.

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Abbreviation for Personal Identification Number, the number used as an access code to ATMs or debit machines.

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Posting Date

The date that a purchase, cash advance, fee, service charge or payment is recorded on your charge or credit account.

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Pre-Approved Credit

Credit card or line of credit that is approved based upon available data without further information supplied by the potential Cardmember.

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When a portion or the entire amount of the principal of a loan is paid before it is due. This will usually reduce the total amount of interest that must be paid.

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Previous Balance

The total balance due at the end of the last billing cycle.

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Prime Rate

The Prime Rate is the interest rate that major banks charge to many of their best corporate borrowers. Each bank sets its own Prime Rate, though because the rate is so competitive, most of the time the rate is the same at all banks. The Prime Rate is reported daily in many publications, including The Wall Street Journal.

For consumer loans, including credit cards, banks and other lenders often use the Prime Rate as a base for calculating variable interest rates. For example, a credit card might carry an annual percentage rate (APR) of Prime + 7.4%. If the Prime Rate today is 9.5%, the rate on the loan will be 16.9% (9.5% + 7.4% = 16.9%). If the Prime Rate drops to 8.5% when the price on the loan is next evaluated, the rate on the loan will go down to 15.9% (8.5% + 7.4% = 15.9%).

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Principal is the portion of a loan that represents the actual amount of money borrowed. Principal is separate from interest. In terms of credit cards, principal represents the price of purchased items or the amount of a cash advance.

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Promissory Note

A promissory note is a binding legal document that a borrower signs to obtain a loan. It lists your rights and responsibilities under the loan agreement; including how and when the loan must be repaid. Rights and responsibilities for credit card accounts are listed in the Cardmember Agreement.

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