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Credit Card Glossary - B

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Balance Transfer
Moving an outstanding credit card balance from one issuer to another.
Balance Transfer Fees
Fee charged for transferring an outstanding balance from one credit card to another.
An institution that acts as a financial intermediary by receiving money from depositors and lenders and also lending to borrowers. A bank must be chartered and meet certain criteria. Chartering is done by the Comptroller of the Currency for national banks, by the Federal Reserve System for state member banks, by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for insured banks, and by state regulatory agencies.
Bank Holding Company
A company that owns or controls one or more banks or companies associated with banking such as leasing companies, credit companies, etc. It is usually identified by the word Bancorp or Bancshares in the name.

If you are absolutely unable to pay your debts, this is the last resort for filing for financial protection. Each plan must be filed in federal bankruptcy court. Individuals who follow the bankruptcy rules receive a discharge- a court order that says they don't have to repay certain debts.

The two types of personal bankruptcy:

  • Chapter 7 - eliminates all debts except some taxes and possibly alimony payments. This plan liquidates all assets that are not exempt such as cars, work-related tools and basic household furnishings. Some property may be sold by a court appointed official or turned over to creditors.
  • Chapter 13 - allows a borrower with a stable income and limited debt, to pay off bills under a court approved repayment plan over a 36 to 60 month period rather than surrender any property.

Both types of bankruptcy generally eliminate unsecured debts and stop foreclosures, repossessions and debt collection activities. However, you are still liable for child support, alimony, fines, taxes and some student loan obligations.

Bankruptcy is to be undertaken only with very serious consideration because it severely limits future access to credit such as a home mortgage and car loan. Bankruptcy may be reported on your credit report for up to 10 years.

Bankruptcy Trustee
A private individual or corporation appointed in all Chapter 7, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13 cases to represent the interests of the bankruptcy estate and the debtor's creditors.
Basis Point
One one-hundredth of a percentage point. The difference between 7.04 percent and 7.05 percent is one basis point.
Billing Period
The number of days between the last statement date and the current statement date.
Bill Presentment
An online system that allows customers to receive and view the bill on a computer, and then pay the bill electronically. Users can pay their bills immediately and the money is transferred from a designated account.
Billing Statement
The monthly bill you receive from the credit card company. Includes summary of all account activity including purchases, payment, credit limit, available credit and finance charges. Monitor the reverse side of the credit card statement and the small-print fliers for important information or changes to your credit card account
One who gets a loan.