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Administration Order

A court order that allows a debtor to consolidate all debts, whether or not they are subject to court proceedings, under one payment to the court.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Interest and charges that are added to a loan.

Basic Bank Accounts

If you have a debt with the bank in which your wages are paid into, it may be necessary to open a new account with a different bank to gain control over your finances. Should you have difficulties opening a new account - eg because you have a poor credit rating, then you could ask for a Basic Account. Full details of Basic Accounts can be found on the Financial Services Authority (FSA) website www.fsa.gov.uk.


An officer of the court, or a private bailiff, who assists in the service of legal documents and the enforcement of it orders, for example by seizing goods to ensure payment of a judgment.


A person is ‘bankrupt’ if they have been officially adjudged insolvent by the court and their assets are being administered for the benefit of creditors. The company equivalent is ‘liquidation’.

Charging Order

A debt secured on assets, mainly a home.

Consumer Credit Agreements

A personal agreement between an individual (the debtor) and another person (the creditor) by which the debtor is provided with creditor up to but not exceeding £25,000.

County Court

Courts which deal with civil litigation where claims are low in amount or where the claim is very straightforward.

Credit Reference Agency

Agencies that keep records of all county court judgments, bankruptcy orders and details about credit accounts. This information is kept on file for 6 years.


If you have a spouse or other people sharing your home and are concerned that they may be affecting your credit rating, then you will need to write to the credit referencing agencies to disassociate yourself. Simply write a short letter stating that you have no financial connection and would like their information deleted from your credit file.

Hire Purchase Agreement

Credit secured on goods.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

An alternative to bankruptcy that allows you to make a formal arrangement through the county court to pay an agreed amount off your debts over a shorter period, such as five years.

Personal Budget

An essential tool to help you tackle debt problems.

Priority Debts

Essential items that need to be paid to prevent sanctions such as, disconnection, eviction imprisonment etc.

Secured Agreement

Credit secured on a property owned by the customer.

Unsecured Agreement

A credit agreement that is not secured against assets.