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Financial Glossary
Understanding Financial, Credit, & Real Estate Terms


 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ  

Day trade  —  Also known as a "daylight trade". The purchase and sale or the short sale and cover of the same security in a margin account on the same day.

Debit  —  Charges to an account.

Debit card  —  A card that resembles a credit card but which debits a transaction account (checking account) with the transfers occurring contemporaneously with the customer's purchases. A debit card may be machine readable, allowing for the activation of an automated teller machine or other automated payments equipment.

Debt  —  Money owed; also known as liability.

Debt service   —  Periodic payment of the principal and interest on a loan.

Decentralize  —  To distribute the administrative functions or powers of a central authority among several local authorities.

Default   —  Failure to meet the terms of a credit agreement.

Deficit  —  The amount each year by which government spending is greater than government income.

Delinquency  —  The failure to make timely payments under a loan or other credit agreement.

Demand  —  The amount of a commodity that people are ready and able to buy at a given time for a given price.

Demand deposit  —  A deposit that may be withdrawn at any time without prior written notice to the depository institution. A checking account is the most common form of demand deposit.

Denomination  —  A class of units having specified values, such as a system of currency.

Deposit  —  Any money in a savings or a checking account or in a certificate of deposit (CD).

Depository institution   —  A financial institution that obtains its funds mainly through deposits from the public. This includes commercial banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks and credit unions. Although historically they have specialized in certain types of credit, nonbank depository institutions have broadened their powers in recent years. For example, NOW accounts, credit union share drafts and other services similar to checking accounts may be offered by thrift institutions.

Depreciation  —  See currency depreciation.

Depression  —  A period marked by slackening activity or outright failure of businesses or banks, widespread unemployment, falling prices and wages, and general economic collapse.

Deregulation  —  The act or process of removing restrictions and regulations including government regulation of tariffs, market entry and exit and / or facilities in public services.

Direct deposit  —  A method of payment which electronically credits your checking or savings account.

Director  —  A member of a board of person who control or govern the affairs of an institution or corporation.

Dirty float   —  A type of floating exchange rate that is not completely freely floating because central banks intervene from time to time to alter the rate from its free-market level. It is still a floating rate because it has not been pegged at a predetermined par value.

Discount payment  —  The difference between the face value and the price paid for a security.

Discount rate   —  The interest rate at which eligible depository institutions may borrow funds, usually for short periods, directly from a Federal Reserve Bank. The law requires the board of directors of each Reserve Bank to establish the discount rate every 14 days subject to the approval of the Board of Governors.

Discount window   —  Figurative expression for Federal Reserve facility for extending credit directly to eligible depository institutions (those with transaction accounts or non-personal time deposits).

Diversification  —  The distribution of investments among several companies to lessen the risk of loss.

Dividend  —  A share of profits paid to a stockholder.

Doubtful  —  A loan that has all the weaknesses of a substandard loan plus it is difficult to collect in full.

Durable Goods Orders  —  Reflect the new orders placed with domestic manufacturers for immediate and future delivery of factory hard goods.

Durable merchandise  —  Goods that have a relatively lengthy life (television sets, radios, etc.).