The little lexicon of credit and banking

The terms used by bankers are not necessarily very clear.
Either because they prefer incomprehensible jargon ... or because French law obliges them to use certain terms ... to protect consumers who do not understand anything ...


These are the interest received by the lender (bank or credit institution) in return for overdrafts or loans used by the borrower (i.e. you).

Calculation of Agios

For a fixed rate personal loan, interest is calculated as soon as the loan is set up. Their share in the reimbursement is less and less over time. For a revolving account (formerly called a permanent or revolving account ) the interest is calculated every month on the outstanding amount borrowed.


French Association of Financial Companies (see list ...)
This association brings together companies for credit, financial services and investment services. It registers 286 member companies: finance companies, specialized credit institutions, specialized banks, investment firms, payment institutions, electronic money institutions, etc.


The surety is a person who commits to a loan in the same way as the borrower. If the latter does not pay, or more, it is the surety who must take over and pay in his place.
If it is a simple surety, the bank must first turn to the principal borrower before asking for the surety.
If it is a joint surety, the surety is immediately liable in the event of non-payment.

Bank check

For some transactions (most commonly buying a car), the seller can ask to be paid with a cashier's check. This check is drawn up by the bank for the amount and the beneficiary you designate. Its amount is debited immediately from your bank account.
According to the banks, the establishment of the check and / or its sending are chargeable.


Person who signs the credit agreement with the borrower. She enjoys the same rights and duties as the borrower.

Permanent account / revolving credit

These are the old names for a revolving credit : the only term legally authorized now.

Cost of credit

It is the amount of money you pay back on top of the borrowed capital. It includes the premiums, the cost of insurance if you have taken it out, any administrative fees ...
Compare credit costs

Consumer credit

This denomination includes all the credits granted, by a bank or a financial institution, to an individual to finance goods or services in a personal personal capacity: car, vacations, cash, works, stereo, IT, furniture, etc.
Consumer credit

Revolving credit

Line of credit granted by a bank or a credit institution. This is reconstituted as reimbursements are made and partly becomes available again.
Revolving credit offers.
How revolving credit works.

Consumer credit withdrawal period

The borrower has a period of 14 days after signing the contract to reconsider his decision. You just have to fill in the withdrawal slip which is on your copy of the contract. With the recent Chatel Law, the withdrawal period is extended to 14 days.
How to get a loan quickly?

Waiting period

This is the period when an insured person is not reimbursed after taking charge.


It's you ! You are the debtor.


File kept by the Banque de France which lists all individuals with payment incidents when repaying their monthly loan payments. Registration on this file, which can be viewed by banks and credit institutions, prevents an individual from subscribing to other loans which would only worsen the financial situation.
Learn more about the FICP
How can I no longer be registered with the FICP?

FIPEN (European Standardized Pre-contractual Information Sheet)

This document must be given to the future potential borrower before signing the prior consumer credit offer. It incorporates all the characteristics of credit and must allow consumers to compare offers.

Application fees

This is the amount requested by the lender for the constitution of the file (printed matter, stamps ...), and the study of your request. There are fixed fees and fees proportional to the amount of the loan ... In short, the more you borrow, the more it costs you! By going through the Internet, file fees are often free or offered.
Compare the administration fees

Outstanding payment

It is the non-payment of a credit maturity. Most often your bank has refused the direct debit. In this case, you must contact the lender as quickly as possible to find an arrangement.

Business day

Logically worked day in a company. For a week from Monday to Friday, there are 5 working days.

Credit laws

There are over half a dozen laws regulating consumer credit in France. Discover them
Consumer credit laws
Credit reform project 2009

Advance credit offer

Written proposal given by the lender including all the information on the credit conditions: rate, monthly payments, insurance ... This document becomes the credit contract when it is accepted by the borrower and financed. With this offer the future borrower must have the FIPEN file.


He is the banker or the credit institution ... the one who will finance your project. It is also your creditor.

Account statement

This document, generally sent monthly, lists all the operations carried out on your bank account or your revolving account over the period: salary, checks, monthly payments, bank card purchases, ATM withdrawals, agios ... Note, for a classic credit or a personal loan there is no account statement but an amortization table sent when you request it.


Possibility for a borrower to partially or fully repay his loan before the last installment. This operation is free and should allow the borrower to reduce the cost of credit or the duration. Note, early repayment is quite possible with a revolving credit.
Repay a loan

Deadline extension

Possibility granted by the lender (bank or financial institution) to postpone the payment of a due date on a classic loan (personal loan) or a revolving loan. This deferral is only very rarely free.

Revolving Credit

See revolving credit

Amortization table

For a personal loan, your lender can send you an amortization table including all the monthly payments provided for in the contract. The part of the agios and the repaid capital are detailed for each monthly payment, as well as the remaining capital due if you wish to make an early repayment. You can request to receive this document even if you are in the process of reimbursement.

Wear rate

Every 3 months, the official usury rate is published: it is the maximum rate beyond which it is forbidden to lend money. In practice, no bank exceeds the usury rate.
Consult the current wear rate .

APR (Annual Global Effective Rate)

This is the calculation of the rate that all credit institutions must use on a consumer credit offer. It includes all the mandatory costs for obtaining a loan:

  • the nominal interest rate, which is used to calculate the agios
  • application fee
  • any other mandatory costs
  • compulsory insurance contributions.

Compare credit costs

TNC (Conventional Nominal Rate)

This is the gross credit rate, without additional costs ... This concept is not used for much ... except for the calculation of the APR!

A loan commits you and must be repaid.
Check your repayment capacity before you commit.

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