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Read our car finance glossary 

We’ve created our car finance glossary to help you understand some of the most common car finance terms. Use our car finance glossary and get ahead of the game, don’t get bogged down by car finance jargon and pushy salespeople.

Acceptance Rate / Approval Rate – This is how many applications have been approved and paid out by the broker.

APR / Annual percentage rate – This is the rate of interest and charges you’ll pay over a year, on top of your actual loan amount. The lower the APR percentage the better it is.

Base Rate – This is the rate of interest set by the Bank of England and determines the lowest rate the lenders will charge interest at.

Conditional Loan – This is where you agree to buy a car at the beginning of the car finance agreement, once you have paid your monthly repayments ownership of the vehicle automatically passes to you. Find out more about conditional loans.

Credit Rating / Credit Score – This is a rating/score that assesses the factors that affect your ability to manage your debts. Generally, the better you have been at paying back borrowed credit in the past the better deal you will get.  Here at Refused Car Finance, we are a bad credit finance specialist, therefore we can approve applications even if you have a really poor rating.

Credit History / Credit Report – This is a historical record of the credit you have taken out and your repayment of the debts. It typically includes credit from banks, credit card companies, governments etc.

Customer fees – Some companies pass on additional charges to their customers.

Deposit / No Deposit – When taking out car finance you sometimes have the option to put down a lump sum at the start of a contract, deposits are often not refundable. For more information on which car finance options require a deposit and which don’t, you can find out more on our car finance page.

Fixed Interest Rate – This is where the interest rate on your loan doesn’t fluctuate. This makes predicting your repayments more accurate.

Guarantor –  A guarantor is a person or thing that acts as a guarantee of payment, for example, a relative may guarantee they will pay your loan should you not be able to.

Hard Inquiry – Type of credit report check carried out by a lender which could result in lowering your credit score.

Hire Purchase (HP) – This is a type of car finance, to find out more please visit our hire purchase car finance page.

Inflation – This is an increase in prices and a fall in the purchasing value of money.

Interest Rate – This is the price added on top of the money you borrow. Interest rates often rely on your credit history. Learn more about credit ratings.

Lending Criteria – financial characteristics the lenders look at when determining whether to lend to you. This often includes income, assets, expenses, and credit history.

Loan Agreement – a contract between you and your lender that states what you both agreed to when the loan was set up.

Loan Term / Loan Period – the length of time you need to pay back your loan.

Monthly Repayments – the amount of money you are required to pay back every month.

Over-payments – paying more than the amount due.

Personal Contract Purchase – a type of car finance, find out more about personal contract purchase finance.

Personal Loan – also a type of car finance, find out more about getting a personal loan. Not sure which finance is best for you? Check out car finance vs personal loan.

Refinanced / Refinancing – When you already have a finance contract but you renew it to get a better deal.

Secured Loan – this is where a lender will take an asset should the loan not be paid, for example, if your loan is secured against your car, the lender has the right to repress the car should you default on payments.

Soft Loan / Soft Pull – This is where you, your potential employer, a financial institution you already do business with, or a credit card company that is conducting a pre-approved check, look at your credit report.

Unsecured Loan – the opposite to a secured loan, this loan is rewarded to a prospective borrower due to their creditworthiness. This is a higher risk for the lender but lowers for you. However, if you have extremely poor credit this may not be an option for you. Learn more about bad credit car finance.