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We've organized the most common financial terms and explained them in simple, friendly ways.


VA Mortgage

Administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, a VA mortgage is intended for US military members (active duty and veterans) and offers several benefits including no requirements for down payment or private mortgage insurance, and caps on closing costs.


A joint venture by the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), this model was conceived to expand access to credit scoring for a wider majority of Americans by lowering the minimum scoring requirement. Whereas FICO requires consumers to have an active account in the past six months, VantageScore only requires one active account in a person's credit report, regardless of length.

Variable Rate

An interest rate that is not fixed, and can increase or decrease based on specific benchmarks (e.g., the prime rate), typical of a credit card.