Glossary: B

This section explains terms you might have seen in other parts of this site or in communication you have received from creditors.

 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z 

Definition: Bailiffs

There are no bailiffs in the Republic of Ireland. See Sheriff.

Definition: Balance

The amount of money you have in an account at any given time; or an amount of money you owe on an account (such as when you go into your overdraft). It will be shown on your bank statement.

Balance brought forward
The amount shown on your last statement that is brought forward to the next statement, which can help you see how much money you have saved or how much you owe.

Balance transfer
Swapping money you owe from an existing account, such as credit card debt, to a new one, usually to get a lower interest rate or to get more time to repay the debt. An example of an offer to new customers could be 0% on the balance you transfer for the first 6 months. It is worth checking what the rate will be after the introductory time has finished.

Balloon payment
Definition: Balloon payment

A large, final payment due at the end of a credit agreement (usually) a hire purchase agreement ) which results in return for lower regular repayments throughout the life of the loan. Ownership of a vehicle bought on purchase hire agreement does not go to the borrower until this payment is made. 

Definition: Bankruptcy

Is often described as ‘An option of last resort’. Bankruptcy is a High Court order that says you cannot pay your debts. In most cases, once you have been made bankrupt, an official (or “Official Assignee”) takes control of your money, property and any deals you have with your creditors. It can be applied for by the creditor or the debtor. Bankruptcy is not always a good option for personal debt.

Benefit in Kind
Definition: Benefit in Kind

A perk of a job, such as a company car, gym membership or health insurance, that a company gives to its employees or directors and that may be taxed. For more information on benefit in kind tax, see Revenue – Benefit in Kind Tax.

BIC (Bank Identifier Code)
Definition: BIC (Bank Identifier Code)

A unique number that identifies a specific bank or bank branch involved in a financial transaction.

Breach of Contract
Definition: Breach of Contract

A failure to perform a promise or condition that is part of a contract between a seller and buyer. See for information relating to the laws on selling goods and services.

In relation to debt, nonpayment can be considered a breach of contract and the creditor may demand full repayment (under Section 54 of the Consumer Credit Act). See our leaflet A Guide to Managing Your Money and Dealing with Debt for information on dealing with personal or family debt, or contact the MABS Helpline on 0761 07 2000 for further information.

Bridging Loan
Definition: Bridging Loan

A loan given by a lender to help the borrower get by (or “bridge”) a delay between buying a new property and selling an old one. These are usually very expensive.

Definition: Broker

A person you can hire to shop around for the best financial product available. Brokers can charge the company they link you with or charge you a set fee (or a combination of both). Brokers are regulated by the Financial Regulator and the Consumer Protection Code requires brokers to tell their clients of all commissions/fees they receive. See for further information and a list of authorised brokers. You may also want to see the Professional Insurance Brokers Association at

Definition: Budget

A plan for the money you expect to receive and how you want to spend it. A budget is important because it will show:
•    how much money you have coming in
•    how much money is going out
•    how much debt you can afford to pay off
•    how you can best plan your spending in the future
For more information, see our leaflet A Guide to Managing Your Money and Dealing with Debt.

Building Insurance
Definition: Building Insurance

See Insurance.