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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  

Index of industrial production   —  A measure of the physical output of the nation's factories, mines and utilities.

Indicator  —  Any of various statistical values that collectively provide an indication of the stability of an economic system.

Individual Development Account (IDA)   —  A type of savings account, offered in some communities, for people whose income is below a certain level.

Individual Retirement Account (IRA)   —  A retirement plan, offered by banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies, to which individuals can contribute each year on a tax-deferred basis.

Industrial bond  —  A financial instrument issued by businesses primarily to fund expansion or acquisitions.

Inflation   —  A sustained increase in the general price level or a decline in the value or purchasing power of money.

Inflation tax  —  The transfer of resources to the government from businesses and consumers that occurs when government spending is financed by printing government-issued money rather than being financed by government taxes or borrowing from the public. When the government obtains goods and services by printing new money and inflation occurs, consumers and businesses holding money pay an inflation tax because inflation erodes the purchasing power of their money holdings.

Installment credit  —  A loan, extended by financial institution or retail firms, to be repaid along with interest charge in fixed periodic payments or, if variable rate of interest is charged, to be repaid in amounts that vary with the interest charged.

Installment plan   —  A plan requiring a borrower to make payments at specified intervals over the life of a loan.

Interest  —  A fee for the use of money over time. It is an expense to the borrower and revenue to the lender. Also money earned on a savings account.

Interest payments  —  The return expressed in percentage earned on an investment each year. These payments are issued every six months based on an annual rate.

Interest rate  —  The rate charged to borrow funds, usually from banks or other lending institutions.

Intermediate targets  —  An intermediate target is a variable (such as the money supply) that is not directly under the control of the central bank, but that does respond fairly quickly to policy actions, is observable frequently and bears a predictable relationship to the ultimate goals of policy.

International Banking Facility (IBF)   —  Facilities which, in general, can accept time deposits from foreign customers free of reserve requirements and interest rate limitations, and can lend to foreigners if the funds are for the conduct of foreign business outside of the United States Net borrowing from these facilities by domestic banking offices is subject to reserve requirements.

International Monetary Fund (IMF)   —  An international organization with 146 members, including the United States. The main functions of the IMF are to lend funds to member nations to finance temporary balance of payments problems, to facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade and to promote international monetary cooperation among nations. The IMF also creates special drawing rights (SDRs), which provide member nations with a source of additional reserves. Member nations are required to subscribe to a Fund quota, paid mainly in their own currency. The IMF grew out of the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944.

Internet banking   —  Usually conducted through a personal computer (PC) that connects to a banking Web site via the Internet. Internet banking can also be conducted via wireless technology through both personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cellular phones.

Investing   —  The act of using money to make more money.

Investor   —  An organization, corporation, individual or other entity that acquires an ownership position in an investment, assuming risk of loss in exchange for anticipated returns.