Jargon Buster


All industries and businesses use jargon and the world of mortgages is no different. Below we have listed the most common ones we come across with a straightforward explanation. 


Adverse credit means that you may have had some missed payments on other finance agreements.  This can cause problems getting a mortgage and may mean that you need to pay a higher interest rate. 


Abbreviation for Agreement (or Decision) in Principle. It is an initial enquiry sent to a mortgage lender to see if an application is likely to be accepted by them. 


Abbreviation for Application. 


Abbreviation for Buildings & Contents. This is insurance for your home. ‘Buildings’ cover the actual buildings while ‘Contents’ protect your belongings in the home. 


Another name for a Mortgage Advisor. 

Buy to Let (BTL)

A mortgage to buy a property as an investment to rent out. 


The date when a property purchase is finalised and you become the owner of the property. 


The guidelines that we have to ensure the work we do stays within the FCA rules.  


The legal work undertaken by a solicitor when you buy a house. 

Debt Consolidation

Borrowing money to repay other debts, such as loans or credit cards, usually to reduce monthly payments or interest rate. 


Questions raised by a buyer’s solicitors to the vendor’s solicitors about the property. 


Early Repayment Charges. These are penalties that some mortgages have included in their terms. The lender will require a fee if you repay the mortgage during an initial period.  

Exchange of Contracts (Exchange)

The date when a property purchase becomes legally binding, when the mortgage offer has been issued and all the legal work has been completed. Typically, this happens a few days before completion.

Fact Find

The initial form which gives us all the details we need about you and your circumstances to enable us to find the best option for your mortgage.


Abbreviation for Key Facts Illustration.  A document we produce to illustrate the costs and details of a particular financial product. 

Life Insurance

An insurance policy, usually designed to pay out a lump sum if you die.  Often used to repay a mortgage in the event of dying during the term of the mortgage.  Often referred to as just “life”. 


A loan, usually to buy a property, which is secured against that property. 

Mortgage Term

The length of time the mortgage is over. Can be anything up to 40 years.

Offer 1 – A mortgage offer, which is issued when you are fully accepted for a mortgage. 

Offer 2 – When you make an offer to buy a property, often lower than the asking price and then go on to negotiate a final purchase price. 

Proc Fee

Abbreviation for procuration fee, which is the commission we are paid by mortgage lenders.


The interest rate for a mortgage. 


An abbreviation of residential, which is mortgage to buy your own home. 


A mortgage application which replaces an existing mortgage, usually for a better deal or to borrow more money. 


Part of the work a solicitor does in the buying process.  They are searching databases to ensure that there is no problem with the property. 

Survey or Valuation

A surveyor will conduct a check of the property you are buying to ensure it is worth what you are paying for it and that there are no problems with the building. Often abbreviated to “val”.


The person selling a property.

About the author 

Gary Oxborough

Gary is the Founder and Director of Barlow Irvin Financial Services Ltd. He has been in the Finance industry for over 20 years and has specialised in Mortgages since 2003. As well as running the firm, he is still actively involved in advising clients.

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