APR
Annual percentage rate of charge – this shows the overall cost of a loan, taking into account the term, interest rate and other associated costs.

Basic bank account
Allows you to receive money and pay bills. Opening one can be a first step towards opening a regular account later on. You don’t get a cheque book, but you can pay in cheques for free, take money out at cash machines, and pay bills by direct debit.

BACS
Banks Automated Clearing System is an automated payment system that banks use to transfer money electronically from one account to another.

Common bond
Credit Unions require their members to have a common bond. Each member needs to have something in common, such as living in the same area or working for the same employer.

Dividend
An annual reward paid out to members from Credit union profits, decided each year at the Credit Union’s AGM.

Interest
Interest refers to the amount earned on your savings (in the case of banks, as Credit Unions give out dividends) and the charges made on money borrowed from the Credit Union.

Loan
A sum of money that is borrowed and paid back with interest.

Unsecured loan
A loan that is not linked to your home or any of your belongings – however you are still responsible for repaying it.

Secured loan
A loan that is linked to your shares. Any amount less than or equal to your shares can be borrowed.