Administration Order

An Administration Order is a formal, legal debt solution which means it’s approved by the court and your creditors have to stick to it.

To get an Administration Order you must have:

  • two or more debts.
  • debts that are no more than £5000 in total
  • an unpaid county court judgment (CCJ). This includes a traffic penalty registered for enforcement in the Traffic Enforcement Centre at Northampton County Court.If you don’t have a county court judgment and you want an administration order you will need to wait for one of your creditors to take court action against you. As soon as judgment is entered you can apply for an administration order.


Another term for “contract”, an agreement is a legal document that makes a loan official. The agreement confirms the terms of the loan between you and the lender. When you sign a loan or credit agreement, you are accepting that you are legally responsible for paying back the money borrowed, and any interest and fees applicable.


APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate, and represents the cost of borrowing per year as a percentage of the amount borrowed. APR is a complicated calculation that takes into account interest payable on the amount borrowed, other fees that are applied, and a number of other factors. APR isn’t always the most accurate way of representing the cost of borrowing, but can be useful when comparing loans or credit cards with similar terms.


Arrears is a term that means money that is owed, that should have been paid earlier. If you’ve missed or only partially paid a repayment on a bill or loan, then your account will be in arrears until you get back up to date. Having accounts in arrears too often or for too long can make it more difficult to get credit in the future. Late and missed payments are recorded on your credit report, which lenders often check and use to help them make a decision about whether to lend money to you, or not.


BACS stands for Bankers Automated Clearing Services, which is the scheme for electronic processing of financial transactions. The BACS scheme guarantees that transactions made through it will clear into the recipient’s account no later than the next working day.


A balance can be the amount of money in your bank or savings account. It can also refer to the amount you owe a lender in order to pay off your loan in full.


Bankruptcy is a court order that you can apply for if you are in debt.
Someone you owe money to can also apply to make you bankrupt even if you don’t want this. You might want to think about bankruptcy if you have no money to pay your debts, or have so little that it will take you years to repay them.

Once you have been made bankrupt, you don’t have to deal with the people you owe money to (your creditors). An official called the Official Receiver takes control of your money and property, and deals with your creditors.

When the bankruptcy order is over, you can make a fresh start and the money you owe is usually written off. In many cases, this can be after only one year. Creditors have to stop most types of court action to get their money back following a bankruptcy order.


A budget is a document that you can build yourself, or have help to build, that tracks your income against your outgoings,so you can see how much you’re pending and how much you have left. It can also highlight areas where you could make savings, which you may not have been aware of.

Budgeting Loan

If you get certain benefits, you may be entitled to help from the budgeting loan fund for one-off expenses. You have to pay back what you borrow but you don’t have to pay any interest.

The help you can apply for includes:
· Budgeting loans to help with certain costs, for example, furniture, clothing, advance rent or removal expenses for a new home, travelling expenses, maternity and funeral expenses, getting and starting a job
· Funeral Payments to help pay for a funeral you’re arranging. You might have to repay some or all of it from the estate of the person who died.

Catalogue (Mail Order)

Mail order offers a way of buying goods by post, with payments being spread over a number of weekly instalments. You can either get your own catalogue or buy through an agent, often a friend, neighbour or relative. The agent usually earns commission on what they sell. If you have your own catalogue you can earn the commission yourself.


In finance, charges and fees are usually the same thing, and are applied to your account by your bank or lender in line with the type of account or loan you have. Banks and lenders provide a number of services to their customers, and some come with charges attached. These can include interest, transmission fees, service charges, and for some credit cards, annual card fees. If a service is misused or the terms of an agreement are broken, then that’s where things like overdraft charges and late payment charges come in.


A cheque is a paper voucher linked to a current account. When you open a bank account you may be given a cheque book which contains a number of cheques. Each cheque will already be printed with your bank sort code and account number, your bank’s name and address and a unique cheque number.

Continuous Payment Authorities (CPA)

A CPA can also be referred to as a ‘recurring payment’, it is setup when you give permission to a 3rd party to regularly take payments from your debit/credit card. CPA’s can be taken infrequently and can often lead to unforeseen charges from your bank account. You can cancel CPA’s by contacting the company or your bank.

County Court Judgement

If your creditor has taken you to court for a debt, they may have a county court judgment (CCJ) or other court order against you. This is where the court orders you to pay back the money you owe.

A court order means you have to either make regular payments to your creditor or pay the whole debt off by a certain date.

If you don’t keep to the terms of the court order, your creditor has a number of other options to try and make you pay. One of these is to get a further court order called a charging order.

A charging order secures the debt against your home or other property you own. This makes the debt very serious. It means that you could lose your home if you don’t pay back what you owe. Once a charging order has been made, your creditor can apply to the court for another order to force you to sell your home. This is called an order for sale.


Credit is money borrowed from a bank or credit provider on the condition that it’s paid back in accordance with the agreement. Types of credit include loans, both secured and unsecured, credit cards and pawnbroking.

Credit Card

A credit card is usually issued by banks, finance companies and larger supermarket and store chains. You can spend up to your credit limit. If you pay off the total amount by the due date, you will not be charged interest. If you don’t pay it off, you may be charged interest on the amount outstanding. The amount of interest varies between providers so shop around for the best deal.

Credit Limit

A credit limit is the maximum amount of money that you can borrow on a credit card, or from a particular lender, and will be determined by the lender based on a number of factors.

Credit Reference Agency

A Credit Reference Agency, or CRA, is an agency that collects data from various sources and provides information on individual consumers to form their credit report. The three main CRAs in the UK are Equifax, Call Credit and Experian.

Credit Report

This document, compiled and held by Credit Reference Agencies, gives a summary of your credit history and financial behaviour. It includes your personal details such as your address and date of birth, information on your borrowing and payment histories, the length of your credit history, information on the total credit you have available to you and how much of that you’ve used. Some of the things that are not included in your credit report are your salary and details of savings accounts you hold. Under the Consumer Credit Act, you have the right to see the file held on you by credit reference agencies for £2.

Credit Sale

Under a credit sale agreement you buy the goods at the cash price. You usually have to pay interest but some suppliers offer interest free credit. Repayment is made by instalments until you have paid the whole amount.

You’re the legal owner of the goods as soon as the contract is made and the goods can’t be returned if you change your mind. The supplier can’t repossess the goods if you fall behind with repayments but they can take court action to recover the money owed if you’re in arrears.

Credit Score

Your credit score is a number between 300 and 1000, calculated from the information held in your credit report, which indicates the probability of a borrower being able to pay back the loan. The higher the number, the higher the probability that the borrower will repay. In the UK, the average credit score is 700. 800 is thought to be a good score, while a score over 850 is considered excellent.

Credit Union

A credit union is a self-help co-operative whose members pool their savings to provide each other with credit at a low interest rate. To be part of a credit union you have to share a common bond with other members. This is something you all have in common such as:

  • living or working in the same area
  • working for the same employer
  • belonging to the same church, trade union or other association.

Debit Card

A debit card is linked to your current account and is used to pay for goods and services everywhere in the UK, online and abroad. The amount of the purchase is debited from your available balance on the same day.
However it can take several days for the funds to be debited from your account. Debit cards also allow you to withdraw money at cash machines or get cashback in shops that offer that service. More than 90% of all debit cards in the UK are Visa branded, but there are also maestro cards.


Debt is money that you owe to a person or company.

Debt Collection Agency

If you owe money to a company they may pass on your debt to a Debt Collection Agency who will be responsible for collecting the past due debt.
Debt collection agencies use several different methods to get you to pay your unpaid debt including: calling you at home, sending letters to your home, listing the debt on your credit report, and sometimes taking the matter to litigation.

Debt Relief Order (DRO)

A debt relief order is an order you can apply for if you can’t afford to pay off your debts. It’s granted by the Insolvency Service and is a cheaper option than going bankrupt. You must have debts of less than £15,000 and a low income, from October 2015 this limit increases to £20,000

A debt relief order usually lasts for a year and during that time, none of the people you owe money to (your creditors) will be able to take action against you to get their money back. At the end of the year, you’ll be free of all the debts listed in the order.


A deduction is any money that is taken from your gross income before you receive your wages or salary, and will be displayed on your payslip. Common deductions you may come across include income tax, National Insurance, student loan repayments and pension contributions.

Direct Debit

A Direct Debit is a regular payment debited from your account that you have authorised. The transaction is ‘pulled’ from your account by the company who’s provided you with a service, but only because you know in advance the amount you will be debited and the date the payment will happen. Direct Debits are typically used to make regular payments, amounts can vary but you will always know in advance what the amount will be. For your protection Direct Debits are guaranteed by all banks and building societies under the Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme.

Early Repayment

An early repayment means paying back a loan before the balance is due. Some lenders may charge a fee for doing this.

Faster Payment

A Faster Payment is used for processing the vast majority of internet and phone payments. The payment is received within minutues of the transaction being processed, each bank or building society has a limit on the amount of money that can be sent using this service and not all banks and buliding societies are signed up for the service.

Fixed Rate Interest

Fixed rate interest means the interest payable or receivable, on the account will be fixed for the time period specified.

Gross Income

Gross income is the total amount you earn from your employment, before any tax or other deductions are made.

Hire Purchase

Hire purchase (HP) is a type of borrowing. It is different from other types of borrowing because you don’t own the goods until you have paid in full. Under an HP agreement, you hire the goods and then pay an agreed amount by instalments.

While you are still making payments, you aren’t allowed to sell or dispose of the goods without the lender’s permission, if you do you may be committing a offence.

You can end (terminate) a hire purchase or conditional sale agreement in writing and return the goods at any time. This can be useful if you can no longer afford the payments or you don’t need the goods any more.

Home Credit

Home credit, or doorstep loans, is where you borrow money and the lender calls at your home to collect the repayments. The loans are usually for smaller amounts and you will be charged a high rate of interest for borrowing in this way.

Doorstep lenders may also offer trading cheques and vouchers. These can be exchanged for goods, usually clothing and soft furnishings and usually at specific shops. You repay the amount to a company agent who normally calls at your home. Interest rates are often high for this type of credit.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An IVA is an agreement that is made with your creditors to pay off your debts over a set period of time and is one option you can use to pay off your debts. It is a formal, legal debt solution. This means it is approved by the court and your creditors have to stick to it.

An IVA is a form of insolvency but it is different to bankruptcy, an IVA must be set up by a qualified person, called an insolvency practitioner, the insolvency practitioner will charge a fee for the IVA.


Interest can be used in two ways. One use of it is the amount you earn from savings and investments. Interest can also be money you pay to borrow money, and is usually expressed as a percentage of the amount borrowed. Interest is normally included in the total cost of borrowing.

Interest Rate

Rate refers to the level of interest charged by a lender, and is usually expressed as an Annual Percentage Rate (APR).

Loan Term

The loan period, or loan term, is the length of time you’ve agreed to borrow money for. It can last from a few days to a number of years depending on the terms of your agreement and the type of loan you are taking. In most cases, interest will accrue throughout the term of the loan.

Minimum Payment

The least you can pay towards a loan or bill without incurring penalties.


A mortgage is a loan taken out with a bank or building society to buy a house or other property. The mortgage is usually for a long period, typically up to 25 years, and you pay it back by monthly instalments. When you sign the mortgage agreement you agree to give the property as security. This means if you don’t keep up with the repayments, the lender has the right to take back and sell the property. But they can’t do this without first going to court.

Net Income

Net income is the amount you earn from your employment, after all applicable deductions like tax, national insurance, pension contributions and student loan repayments, also known as your “take-home pay”

Outstanding Balance

The outstanding balance is the amount remaining on a debt that has not yet been repaid in full.


A overdraft is a credit facility granted by your Bank or Building society, The overdraft may be for a fixed amount over a set period, for example £500 to be repaid within six months. Or you may be given a limit on an ongoing basis to use whenever you like. There is unusually a charge for the service and interest is payable on any amount taken.


Pawnbrokers lend money according to the value of goods left with them (pledged). When you leave your goods with the pawnbroker they must give you a receipt known
as a ticket. The pawnbroker must keep the goods for a fixed period but you can get them back at any time by paying off the loan plus interest. The period can be extended by paying the interest only and re-pledging the goods.

If you don’t repay the loan or extend the credit, the pawnbroker can sell your goods and use the money to pay off your debt.

Payday Loan

A payday loan is a type of short-term, unsecured loan, which is usually repayable on the borrower’s next payday. Payday loans are usually for relatively small amounts of money, and are intended to be used only for unexpected expenses to cover a borrower’s expenses until their next payday.

Penalty Charges

Penalty charges are charges applied to your account with a bank or lender if the service is misused or the terms of your agreement with them are broken. Common penalty charges include late payment fees, over-limit fees and overdraft fees.

Repayment Date

This is the date that you agree to repay either the full balance, or an instalment towards, your loan.

Social Enterprise

Social enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. They make their money from selling goods and services in the open market, but they reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community.

Store Card

Many shops have their own types of credit accounts known as store cards. There are two main
types of account:

  • monthly account where interest will be charged if the amount is not paid off in full at the end of the month (like a credit card)
  • budget account where you pay a regular amount each month to cover the cost of goods bought throughout the year (like a loan).

Store cards can usually only be used to buy goods in the store that issued the card or its partner stores. Many store cards offer discounts on goods in the shop. But the interest charge


Transaction means any occasion where money is exchanged, whether it is being given to you, or taken away. In the context of credit, common transactions include borrowed money being deposited into your bank account, making purchases on a credit card, or repaying, or making payments towards, money borrowed.

Typical APR

Typical APR is a term lenders use to describe the APR offered to at least two thirds of their customers when they use risk-based pricing, and is intended as a guideline rather than a promise. The APR you are offered is based on a number of factors that help the lender decide how high-risk a borrower they think you will be, so it could be higher or lower than the Typical APR.