Financial Glossary – General


ABCDEFGHI – J – KL MNOP – Q – RSTU – V – W– X – Y – Z


Annual Percentage Rate (APR) 年利率

The total annual cost you pay (including the interest rate, points and fees) as the borrower on your loan. The APR is a good tool for comparing rates on different loans.

Actual Cash Value 實際現金價值

An amount equal to the replacement value of damaged property minus depreciation.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) 浮動利率貸款

Also known as a variable-rate loan, an ARM usually offers a lower initial rate than a fixed-rate loan. The interest rate can change at a specified time, known as an adjustment period, based on a published index that tracks changes in the current finance market. Indexes used for ARMs include the LIBOR index and the Treasury index. ARMs also have caps, a maximum and minimum that the interest rate can change at each adjustment period.

Adjustment Period 調整階段

The time between interest rate adjustments for an ARM. There is usually an initial adjustment period, beginning from the start date of the loan and varying from 1 to 10 years. After the first adjustment period, adjustment periods are usually 12 months, which means that the interest rate can change every year.

Amortization 分期償還

Paying off a loan over the period of time and at the interest rate specified in a loan document. The amortization of a loan includes in each mortgage payment the payment of interest and a part of the amount borrowed.

Amortization Schedule 分期償還表

Provided by mortgage lenders, the schedule shows how, over the term of your mortgage, the principal portion of the mortgage payment increases and the interest portion of the mortgage payment decreases.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) 年利率

How much a loan costs annually. The APR includes the interest rate, points, broker fees and certain other credit charges a borrower is required to pay.

Application Fee 申請費

The fee to cover processing costs that a mortgage lender charges the borrower to apply for a mortgage.

Appraisal 估價

A professional analysis used to estimate the value of the property. This includes examples of sales of similar properties.

Appraiser 估價師

A professional who conduct an analysis of the property, including examples of sales of similar properties, to develop an estimated value of the property. The analysis is called an appraisal.

Appreciation 增值

An increase in the market value of a home due to changing market conditions and/or home improvements.

Arbitration 仲裁

A process where disputes are settled by referring them to a fair and neutral third party (arbitrator). The disputing parties agree in advance to agree with the decision of the arbitrator. There is a hearing where both parties have an opportunity to be heard, after which the arbitrator makes a decision.

Asbestos 石棉

A toxic material that was once used in housing insulation and fireproofing. Because some forms of asbestos have been linked to certain lung diseases, it is no longer used in new homes. However, some older homes may still have asbestos in these materials.

Asset 資產

Something of value an individual owns.

Assumption 貨款轉讓

A homebuyer’s agreement to take the primary responsibility for paying an existing mortgage from a home seller.


Balloon Mortgage 氣球式貨款

A mortgage with monthly payments based on a 30-year amortization schedule, with the unpaid balance due in a lump sum payment at the end of a specific period of time (usually five or seven years). The mortgage contains an option to “reset” the interest rate to the current market rate and extend the due date if certain conditions are met.

Bankruptcy 破產

A legal declaration that you are unable to pay your debts. Bankruptcy can severely affect your credit record and your ability to borrow money.


Cap 限度

A limit to how much an adjustable rate mortgage’s monthly payment or interest rate can increase. A cap protects the borrower from large increases and may be a payment cap, an interest cap, a life-of-loan cap or an annual cap. A payment cap is a limit on the monthly payment. An interest cap is a limit on the amount of the interest rate. A life-of-loan cap restricts the amount the interest rate can increase over the entire term of the loan. An annual cap limits the amount the interest rate can increase during a 12-month period.

Capacity 付款能力

Your ability to make your mortgage payments on time. This depends on your income and income stability (job history and security), your assets, your savings and the amount of your income that remains each month after you have paid your housing costs, debts and other obligations.

Closing (Closing Date) 成交(成交日期)

The completion of the real estate transaction between buyer and seller. The buyer signs the mortgage documents, and the closing costs are paid. It is also known as the settlement date.

Closing Agent 成交代理

A person who coordinates closing-related activities, such as recording the closing documents and disbursing funds.

Closing Costs 成交費

The costs to complete the real estate transaction. These costs are in addition to the price of the home and are paid at closing. They include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs, items that must be prepaid or escrowed and other costs. Ask your lender for a complete list of closing cost items.

Credit 信用

Credit is the ability to borrow tomorrow’s money to pay for something you get today, such as a home, furniture or car. It is a promise to repay a debt, and it reflects on your reputation. Credit may be extended through credit cards, personal loans, car loans and home mortgages.

Credit Score 信用分數

A computer-generated number that summarizes your credit profile and predicts the likelihood that you will repay future debts.

How to Check Your Credit Scores? 如何查詢我的信用報告和分數?

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumers can ask for a free credit report every 12 months. For more details, go to Annual Credit Report or call (877) 322-8228.
根據”公平信用報告法”規定,消費者每12個月可免費索取一份信用報告。詳情請瀏覽網頁 Annual Credit Report 或致電 (877)322-8228

Closing Agent 成交代理

A person who coordinates closing-related activities, such as recording the closing documents and disbursing funds.

Closing Costs 成交費

The costs to complete the real estate transaction. These costs are in addition to the price of the home and are paid at closing. They include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs, items that must be prepaid or escrowed and other costs. Ask your lender for a complete list of closing cost items.

Collateral 抵押品

Property that is used as security for a debt. In the case of a mortgage, the collateral is the house and property.

Commitment Letter 貸款同意書

A letter from your lender stating the amount of the mortgage, the number of years to repay the mortgage (the term), the interest rate, the loan origination fee, the annual percentage rate and the monthly charges.

Concession 讓步

Something given up or agreed to when negotiating the sale of the house. For example, the sell-ers may agree to help pay for closing costs.

Condominium 共有公寓

A unit in a multi-unit building. The owner of a condominium unit owns the unit itself and has the right, along with other owners, to use the common areas. The owner does not own the common elements, such as the exterior walls, floors, ceilings or structural systems outside of the unit; the condominium association owns these. There are usually condominium association fees for building maintenance, property upkeep, taxes and insurance on the common areas, and there are reserves for improvements.

Contingency 或有條款

A plan for something that may occur but is not likely. For example, your offer may be contingent on the home passing a home inspection. If the home does not pass inspection, you are protected.

Counter-offer 還價

An offer made in response to a previous offer. For example, after the buyer presents his or her first offer, the seller may make a counter-offer with a slightly higher sale price.

Credit 信用

Credit is the ability to borrow tomorrow’s money to pay for some-thing you get today. Credit is extended based on a lender’s good opinion of a person’s financial situation and reliability.

Credit Bureau 信用局

A company that gathers information on consumers who use credit. The company sells that information to credit lenders in the form of a credit report.

Credit History 信用歷史

A record of credit consisting of a list of individual consumer debts and a record of whether these debts were paid on time or as agreed. Credit institutions have created a detailed document of your credit history called a credit report.

Credit Report 信用報吿

A document used by the credit industry to examine your use of credit. It provides information on money that you have borrowed from credit institutions and your payment history.

Credit Score 信用分數

A computer-generated number that summarizes your credit profile and predicts the likelihood that you will repay future debts.

Creditworthy 信譽

Your ability to qualify for credit and repay debts.


Debt 債務

Money owed from one person or institution to another person or institution.

Debt-to-Income Ratio 債務收入比例

The percentage of gross monthly income that goes toward paying your monthly housing expense, alimony, child support, car payments and other installment debts, and payments on revolving or open-ended accounts such as credit cards.
您的每月支出與您每月毛收入的比例。這些支出包括每月房屋開支、贍養費、子女扶養費、汽車付款、其它分期付款 以及信用卡付款。

Deed 地契

A legal document transferring ownership or title to a property.

Deed of Trust 信託契約

A legal document in which the borrower transfers the title to a third party (trustee) to hold as security for the lender. When the loan is paid in full, the trustee transfers title back to the borrower. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the trustee will sell the property and pay the lender the mortgage debt.
貸款者將產權轉給第三方(託管人)保管作為貸款擔保的法律文件。當貸款者全額支付貸 款後,託管人將產權轉還給貸款者。如果貸款者違約,託管人將出售房產,用於償還其貸款。

Default 違約

Failure to fulfill a legal obligation. A default includes failure to pay a financial obligation, but it also may be a failure to perform some action or service that is non-monetary. For example, when leasing a car, the lessee usually is required to properly maintain the car.
不履行法律責任的行為。違約包括不承擔支付債務的責任,但亦可能是未能履行某些非金錢方面的職責或服務。例如,在租車時,租車公司通常要求承租人對汽車進 行適當的保養。

Depreciation 貶值

A decline in the value of a home due to changing market conditions or lack of upkeep on the home.

Down Payment 首期款

A portion, usually between 3% to 20%, of the price of a home. This portion is not borrowed and is paid up front.
房屋買價的一部分,通常為買價的3%至20%。這部 份付款不是貸款,而是買方事先支付的一筆款項。


Earnest Money Deposit 誠意定金

The deposit to show that you are committed to buying the home. The deposit is not refunded to you after the seller accepts your offer unless one of the sales contract contingencies is not fulfilled.
承諾購買某房屋的保證金。除非買賣合約中的或有條款沒有履行,否則賣方一旦接受 您的出價,就不會退回您的保證金。

Equity 資產淨值

The value of your home above the total amount of liens against your home. If you owe $100,000 on your home, but it is worth $130,000, you have $30,000 of equity.
房屋價值超出該房屋債務總和的部分。如果您的房屋欠債為 100,000美元,但房屋價值為130,000美 元,您就有30,000美元的淨值。

Escrow 託管

The holding of money or documents by a neutral third party before closing. It also can be an account held by the lender (or servicer) into which a homeowner pays money for taxes and insurance.


Fixed-Rate Mortgage 固定利率貸款

A mortgage with an interest rate that does not change during the entire term of the loan.

Foreclosure 取消抵押品贖回權

A legal action that ends all ownership rights in a home when the homeowner fails to make the mortgage payments or is otherwise in default under the terms of the mortgage.
當屋主未能支付貸款付款或者違反其它貸 款條款時,所採取的終止其對房屋一切 所有權的法律措施。


Gift Letter 捐贈信函

A letter that a family member writes verifying that he or she has given you a certain amount of money as a gift, and that you do not have to repay it. For some mortgages, you can use this money toward a portion of your down payment.

Good-Faith Estimate 成交费用預算表

A written statement from the lender itemizing the approximate costs and fees for the mortgage.

Gross Monthly Income 每月毛收入

The income you earn in a month before taxes and other deductions. It also may include rental income, self-employment income, income from alimony, child support, public assistance payments, and retirement benefits.


Home Inspection 房屋檢查

A professional inspection of a home to determine the condition of the property. The inspection should include an evaluation of the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, roof, wiring, foundation, and pest infestation.
由專業人員對房屋進行檢查,以便確定房產的狀況。該項檢查應當包括管道、冷暖氣系 統、屋頂、線路、地基及蟲害的評估。

Homeowner’s Insurance 屋主保險

A policy that protects you and the lender from fire or flood, which damages the structure of the house; a liability, such as an injury to a visitor to your home; or damage to your personal property, such as your furniture, clothes or appliances.

Housing Expense Ratio 房屋開支比例

The percentage of your gross monthly income that goes toward paying for your housing expenses.
每月的房屋開支與您每月毛收 入的百分比。

HUD-1 Settlement Statement HUD-1 結算表

A final list of the costs of the mortgage transaction. It states the sales price and down payment, as well as the total settlement costs required from the buyer and seller.


Index 指數

The published index of interest rates used to calculate the interest rate for an ARM. The index is usually an average of the interest rates on a particular type of security, such as the LIBOR.

Individual Retirement Account (IRA) 個人退休帳戶

A tax-deferred plan that can help you build money for retirement.

Inflation 通貨膨服

An increase in prices.

Inquiry 信用查詢

A request for a copy of your credit report. An inquiry occurs every time you fill out a credit application or request more credit. Too many inquiries on a credit report can hurt your credit score.

Interest 利息

The cost you pay to borrow money. It is the payment you make to a lender for the money it has loaned to you. Interest is usually expressed as a percentage of the amount borrowed.


Keogh Fund 基奧計劃

A tax-deferred retirement savings plan for small business owners or self-employed individuals who have earned income from their trade or business. Contributions to the Keogh plan are tax deductible.
這是一種為小商業主或自雇者而設的延期付税的退休儲蓄計劃,存入基奧計劃的資金可以 用來抵税。


Liability 負值

A debt or other financial obligation.

Lien 債權

A claim or charge on property for payment of a debt. With a mortgage, the lender has the right to take the title to your property if you do not make the mortgage payments.

Loan Origination Fee 貸款手鑌费

A fee paid to your mortgage lender for processing the mortgage application. This fee is usually in the form of points. One point equals 1% of the mortgage amount.
向貸款機構支付的處理抵押貸款申請的 費用。該項費用通常用點數的形式表示。1點相當於貸款數額的1%。

Lock-In Rate 鎖定利率

A written agreement guaranteeing a specific mortgage interest rate for a certain amount of time.

Low–Down Payment Feature 低首期款貸款計劃

A feature of some mortgages, usually fixed-rate mortgages, that helps you buy a home with as little as a 3% down payment.


Margin 幅度

A percentage added to the index for an ARM to establish the interest rate on each adjustment date.

Market Value 市場價值

The current value of your home based on what a purchaser would pay. Sometimes an appraisal is used to determine market value.

Mortgage 抵押貸款

A loan using your home as collateral. In some states the term mortgage also describes the document you sign (to grant the lender a lien on your home). The term also may indicate the amount of money you borrow, with interest, to purchase your home. The amount of your mortgage is usually the purchase price of the home minus your down payment.

Mortgage Broker 貸款經紀

An independent finance professional who specializes in bringing together borrowers and lenders to complete real estate mortgages.

Mortgage Insurance or Private Mortgage Insurance (MI or PMI) 貸款保險或私人貸款保險(簡稱Ml或PMI)

Insurance needed for mortgages with low down payments (usually less than 20% of the price of the home).

Mortgage Lender 房屋貸款機構

The lender who provides funds for a mortgage. Lenders also manage the credit and financial information review, the property and the loan application process through closing.
提供房屋貸款的金融機構。貸款機構還負責審查貸款者的信用和財務狀況、查核用於抵押的房屋以及處理從申請到成交 的整個程序。

Mortgage Rate 貸款利率

The cost or the interest rate you pay to borrow the money to buy your house.

Mutual Fund 共同基金

A fund that pools the money of its investors to buy a variety of securities.


Net Monthly Income 每月淨收入

Your take home pay after taxes. It is the amount of money that you actually receive in your paycheck.


Offer 報價

A formal bid from the homebuyer to the home seller to purchase a home.
房屋買方向賣方正式開出 的買價。

Open House 公開展售

When the seller’s real estate agent opens the seller’s house to the public. You do not need a real estate agent to attend an open house.
賣方的地產經紀人向公眾開放參觀待售房屋。您無須由房地產經紀人陪同即可參觀公開展 售的房屋。


Point 點數

1% of the amount of the mortgage. For example, if a loan is made for $50,000, one point equals $500.
貸款額的百分之一。例 如,如果貸款額為50,000美元,一點則相當於500美元。

Pre-Approval Letter 貸款預批信

A letter from a mortgage lender indicating that you qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount. It also shows a home seller that you are a serious buyer.

Predatory Lending 掠奪性貸款

Abusive lending practices that include making mortgage loans to people who do not have the income to repay them, or repeatedly refinancing loans, charging high points and fees each time and “packing” credit insurance onto a loan.
一種不正當的貸款行為,主要表現為向無償還能力的人士貸款,或不斷重新貸款、收取很高的點數與費用,以及將貸 款保險納入貸款中。

Pre-Qualification Letter 貸款預批資格信

A letter from a mortgage lender that states that you are pre-qualified to buy a home, but it does not commit the lender to a particular mortgage amount.

Principal 本金

The amount of money borrowed to buy your house, or the amount of the loan that has not yet been repaid to the lender. This does not include the interest you will pay to borrow that money. The principal balance (sometimes called the outstanding or unpaid principal balance) is the amount owed on the loan minus the amount you have repaid.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) 私人貸款保險(簡稱PMI)

See Mortgage Insurance.

Property Appreciation 財產增值

See Appreciation.


Radon 氡

A toxic gas found in the soil beneath a house that can contribute to cancer and other illnesses.
一種存在於房屋地基土壤中 的有毒氣體,可能導致癌症及其它疾病。

Rate Cap 利率限度

The limit on the amount an interest rate for an ARM can increase or decrease during an adjustment period.

Ratified Sales Contract 認可銷售合約

A contract that shows both you and the seller of the house have agreed to your offer. This offer may include sales contingencies, such as obtaining a mortgage of a certain type and rate, getting an acceptable inspection, making repairs and closing by a certain date.
您及賣方均同意您的報價的房屋買賣合同。該協議可能包括或有(sales contingencies)條款,例如買方貸款的類型及利率、房屋檢查報告結果必須可以接受、賣方對房屋應作的修理及成交日期。

Real Estate Professional 房地產經紀

An individual who provides services for buying and selling homes. The seller pays the real estate professional a percentage of the home sale price. Unless you specifically have contracted with a buyer’s agent, the real estate professional represents the interest of the seller. Real estate professionals may be able to refer you to local lenders or mortgage brokers, but they generally are not involved in the lending process.

Refinance 重新貸款

The process of getting a new mortgage and using all or some portion of the proceeds to pay off the original mortgage.

Replacement Cost 重置費用

The cost to replace damaged personal property without a deduction for depreciation.


Securities 證券

A financial form that shows that the holder owns shares of a company (stock) or has loaned money to a company or government organization (bond).
一種顯示持有人擁有公司股份(股票)或借錢給公司或政 府機構(債券)的金融形式。


Title 產權

The right to, and the ownership of, property. A title or deed sometimes is used as proof of ownership of land.

Title Insurance 產權保險

Insurance that protects lenders and homeowners against legal problems with the title.

Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA)「誠實借貸法」(簡稱TILA)

A federal law that requires disclosure of a truth-in-lending statement for consumer loans. The statement includes a summary of the total cost of credit, such as the APR and other specifics of the loan.


Underwriting 貸款審批

The process a lender uses to determine loan approval. It involves evaluating the property and the borrower’s credit and ability to pay the mortgage.

Uniform Residential Loan Application 貸款申請表

A standard mortgage application your lender will ask you to complete. The form requests your income, assets, liabilities and a description of the property you plan to buy, among other things.


Warranty 保證書

A written guarantee of the quality of a product and the promise to repair or replace defective parts free of charge.

Sources: CreditSmart – Freddie Mac Single-Family