Taking the mystery out of loans
Our guide to loans jargon
Here’s a list of terms and phrases you might come across and an explanation of what they mean. If you're looking for answers to common loans questions please visit our frequently asked questions section.
Icon expand Adverse credit
This term refers to your credit history. Also known as a poor credit history or bad credit record, it can be affected by CCJs, house repossession orders or repayment arrears.
Icon expand APR (Annual Percentage Rate)
The purpose of an APR is to show the total cost of borrowing over the period of an average year so, as well as interest, the figure includes upfront fees and charges (if applicable). This makes it easier to compare deals like for like.
Icon expand CCJ (County Court Judgement)
A CCJ is issued by a County Court for failing to repay a loan or outstanding debt. It will have a negative impact on your credit rating and may affect your ability to get a loan or mortgage.
Icon expand Credit rating or credit score
This is the score given to you depending on your personal credit history. So, if you've always kept up repayments on any form of credit you've had, you'll have a good credit rating, whereas if you've failed to meet payments (or, have a CCJ against your name) your credit rating is likely to be poor.
Icon expand Credit reference agency
This is a company that compiles credit records of consumers and releases the information to companies offering any form of credit - examples of such companies include Equifax or Experian. Most lenders will use such an agency during a loan or mortgage application.
Icon expand Debt consolidation
Debt consolidation means to take out a loan to pay off a number of other loans or debts.
Icon expand ERC (Early Repayment Charge)
A one-off charge applied by the lender if you decide to pay off your loan early, before the term set when applying for the loan.
Icon expand Fixed interest rate
A set rate of interest that cannot go up or down during the period of the loan.
Icon expand Interest
When you borrow money, the lender will apply a charge – known as interest. For example, if you borrow £100 at an interest rate of 10% for one year, you would have to repay a total amount of £110.
Icon expand Quote
The estimated cost of a loan, usually showing monthly repayments and the total amount that will need to be repaid.
The actual cost of your loan could be different from the quote - we work out the actual cost based on your specific circumstances. We’ll give you the actual cost during your application.
Icon expand Representative APR
A Representative APR is the interest rate applied to over half of loans issued for a particular size of loan. All lenders advertise rates in this way to make it easier for you to compare products before applying.
Most lenders (including us) use personalised pricing and this means your actual rate will be based on your personal circumstances.
Icon expand Representative Example
A Representative Example is what all providers must display in adverts for loans and credit cards. It is designed to give you a better idea of exactly what interest rate you can expect and help you see at a glance what your monthly repayment and total repayment amount will be over the term of a loan.
Icon expand Total amount payable
This includes the capital amount borrowed plus the interest charged.