CREDIT CARD DEBT
A Credit Card Jargon Buster
All articles on
this site are Published & Distributed
by Dunway Enterprises
Credit cards, as part of the
financial industry, use a massive array of jargon.
A Credit Card
You can’t be expected to recognise all these
technical terms, and some of them are quite important - so here’s a
quick guide, in alphabetical order.
Card. This is a credit card that gives a certain
amount to a charity of your choice, depending on how much you spend.
It is generally best to avoid any charity that wants you to sign up
for such a card - don’t let guilt lead you to a high interest rate.
Annual Percentage Rate. This is your overall interest
rate, calculated yearly, and given as a percentage of your balance.
Automated Teller Machine. A cash machine. It will give
you money when you put your credit card in, but will probably charge
an extra fee.
Transfer. This is when you transfer your debt (‘balance’)
from one credit card to another. The usual reason for this is to try
and keep as much debt as possible on a lower-interest card.
Limit. Your credit limit is the maximum amount you can
spend or withdraw from your card. Going over your credit limit will
result in your card no longer being accepted, and you being charged an
Rate. A fixed rate card is one where you are given a
rate when you sign up for the card and that rate, at least in theory,
stays the same for the whole time you have the card. In practice,
though, interest rates can be changed for almost any reason.
This is a phrase used in the industry to describe customers who are a
bad credit risk, but are seen as worth lending to anyway. If you are
identified as sub-prime, you’ll start getting offers for loans
secured on your property - they know that if you can’t pay, they’ll
get their money anyway.
Rate. A ‘Special Offer’ low rate, usually written
in enormous letters. You will see many offers with “LOW 4.9% APR”
in inch-high letters, followed by “for first six months, 21.9%
thereafter” in microscopic ones. Teaser offers can sometimes be
worth taking, but not if they tie you in for longer than the period of
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