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Auto Loan Glossary

APR
The "Annual Percentage Rate" is a yearly rate of interest which includes fees and costs paid to acquire the loan. Lenders are required by law to disclose the APR, and the rate is used to compare various loans available, making even simple interest and compound interest loans comparable.

Advertising Fee
An amount charged the buyer to cover the cost of national and local advertising. Many suggest that this fee should be no more than 1-1.5% of the MSRP.

Amortization
Payment of an obligation in a series of installments or transfers.

Application
An initial statement of personal and financial information which is required to approve your loan.

Appraisal
An opinion of the market value of an asset as of a specific date.

Bankruptcy
A debtor that, upon voluntary petition or one invoked by the debtor's creditors, is judged legally insolvent. The debtor's remaining property is then administered for the creditors or is distributed among them.

Base Price
The cost of a car without options, but including standard equipment, factory warranty, and freight. This price is printed on the Monroney sticker.

Borrowing
To obtain or receive (something) on loan with the promise or understanding of returning it or its equivalent.

Capitalized Cost
The total amount of value for the car upon which a lease is based, similar to the selling price of an automobile you purchase.

Capitalized Cost Reduction
The amount paid in cash or trade-in at the inception of a lease, similar to a down payment.

Credit
Reputation for solvency and integrity entitling a person to be trusted in buying or borrowing.

Down Payment
The difference between the loan amount and the purchase price, usually paid immediately upon purchase in the form of cash or trade-in value.

Equity
The residual value of a business or property beyond any mortgage thereon and liability therein.

Escrow
The residual value of a business or property beyond any mortgage thereon and liability therein.

Financing
The management of money, banking, investments, and credit.

Foreclosure
The act of foreclosing, especially a legal proceeding by which a mortgage is foreclosed.

Gap Protection
A type of insurance covering the amount owed due to early termination of a lease agreement which is not covered by auto insurance. Involuntary early termination of a lease may occur when a car is stolen or significantly damaged in an accident. The actual cash value of the car paid by auto insurance may not be adequate to pay the lease payoff balance and early-termination penalties.

Gross Income
For qualifying purposes, the income of the borrower before taxes or expenses are deducted.

Insurance
Coverage by a contract binding a party to indemnify another against specified loss in return for premiums paid. Interest: A charge for a loan, usually a percentage of the amount loaned.

Interest Rate
The percentage of a sum of money charged for its use.

Lending
To provide (money) temporarily on condition that the amount borrowed be returned, usually with an interest fee.

Loan
That which one lends or borrows, esp. a sum of money lent at interest; as, he repaid the loan.

Lock or Lock In
A commitment you obtain from a lender assuring you a particular interest rate or feature for a definite time period. Provides protection should interest rates rise between the time you apply for a loan, acquire loan approval, and, subsequently, close the loan and receive the funds you have borrowed.

Manufacturer's Rebate
A program offered directly to the buyer by manufacturers to increase the sales of slow-selling models or to reduce excess inventories.

Money Factor
A percentage representing the cost of the money required to lease a vehicle, similar to the interest rate paid on a loan.

Monroney Sticker Price
Required by federal law, the price which appears on a label affixed to the car window showing the base price, the manufacturer's installed options with the manufacturer's suggested retail price, the manufacturer's freight or transportation charge, and the fuel economy (mileage). The label may not be removed by anyone other than the purchaser.

Mortgage
A temporary, conditional pledge of property to a creditor as security for performance of an obligation or repayment of a debt.

Mortgagee
One that holds a mortgage.

Mortgagor
One that mortgages property.

Refinance
To provide new financing or new financing for, as by discharging a mortgage with the proceeds from a new mortgage obtained at a lower interest rate.

Repossession
To reclaim possession of for failure to pay installments due.

Residual Value
The amount agreed upon to represent the value of the car at the termination of a lease, usually determined by the amount of depreciation in the car's value predicted during the term of the lease.

Savings Rate
Your savings rate is used to decide between two options that cost you money at different times. (See Cost Analysis) Please input a pre-tax average that you think you can earn.

Tax Rates
In some auto financing calculator.htms, you are asked to make a comparison between two financing options. If one of the options costs more than another, the difference is invested into a savings account because you've saved money with that option. To make a fair comparison, the calculator.htm tracks the balance and interest earnings on this account. As earnings in this account grow, they are taxed at the rate you indicated.

To estimate your tax rate, divide the amount you paid in taxes last year by your income. If prompted, please include federal and state taxes.

Term
The length of time that you will make payments on your loan. Typical car loans have terms of 24, 36 or 48 months.

Title
The aggregate evidence that gives rise to a legal right of possession or control.

Trade-in Value
The amount that the dealership will credit you for the vehicle you provide as partial or full payment for another vehicle. Amount credited is frequently about 5% below the wholesale value of the vehicle.

Underwriting
The process of verifying data and approving a loan.

Upfront Costs
Upfront costs are any fees and charges collected at the time of the loan, as opposed to over the life of the loan. Upfront fees can reduce the interest rate paid over the life of the loan.

Upside-down
A situation which occurs when the value of your vehicle is lower than the outstanding balance of the loan secured by the vehicle.

Vendor
One that sells or vends.

Waive
To give up (a claim or right) voluntarily; relinquish.

Yield
The annual rate of return on an investment, expressed as a percentage.

 


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