Glossary: F

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

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Family Home
Definition: Family Home

The property in which any kind of family lives.
Family Home Protection Acts
Acts saying that if the property is owned by only one spouse, it cannot be sold or mortgaged without the consent of the other spouse.

Definition: Fee

A sum of money that a person pays for a service, such as getting a loan or taking out an insurance policy.
Under the Consumer Protection Code, firms must not charge you a fee for an optional extra product or service unless you tell them that you want to buy it.

Firms providing a product or giving you advice must also give you all the relevant information about the product or service before you buy it. This information must include the terms and conditions and details of any fees or charges that apply. All printed information must be clear and in a font large enough to read. See target="_blank"> and search for the Consumer Protection Code for information on your rights under this code.

Final Demand
Definition: Final Demand

The last demand for payment before a company cuts off a service or begins legal action.

Finance Company
Definition: Finance Company

A company that lends to people who want to buy goods on credit.

Financial Adviser
Definition: Financial Adviser

An individual or firm that can assess your financial needs, recommend suitable products and help you buy or invest in these products. For more information, see Getting financial advice.

Financial Statement
Definition: Financial Statement

A formal account of income and spending including loans, debts, assets and savings. A financial statement can present a full financial snapshot to show how much of their debts a person can pay. It can also be used in court. See also Examination Order.

Definition: Fine

Imposed by An Garda Síochána or by a court. It can be imposed for most offences, including motor offences or failure to have a TV licence. Currently there is no way to pay fines by instalments (although a law to change this is currently being discussed by the government), but it may be possible to make an application for extra time to save in order to pay the lump sum. You can pay your fine online through the Courts Service website

Fixed Asset
Definition: Fixed Asset

An asset that a business intends to use for several years, such as buildings and equipment.

Fixed Interest Bond
Definition: Fixed Interest Bond

A type of investment that pays a set amount of money in interest, no matter how interest rates go up or down.

Fixed Interest Rate
Definition: Fixed Interest Rate

An interest rate that stays the same for a fixed time no matter how much other interest rates may go up or down. To change from a variable interest rate to a fixed interest rate is likely to come with a fee.

Fixed Rate Mortgage
Definition: Fixed Rate Mortgage

A type of mortgage where a person pays a fixed interest rate (usually a little higher than other interest rates), no matter how interest rates go up or down. To change from a fixed interest rate is likely to come with a fee.

Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 3003
Definition: Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 3003

The laws about the public having reasonable access to official information from the government. They cover:
•    government departments and offices
•    certain other government bodies
•    local authorities and health boards

For more information, see the Information Officer’s website

Frozen Interest
Definition: Frozen Interest

In certain circumstances, a creditor may agree to temporarily freeze interest to allow money being paid to go directly towards reducing the principal amount.

Definition: Fuel

A term used in a financial statement to describe something that is burned to provide power or heat, for example oil, coal, electricity and gas. Information on energy efficiency is available from Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland at

Full and Frank Disclosure
Definition: Full and Frank Disclosure

Being honest with your creditors about your financial situation and providing as much other information as they need to help them make an informed decision in relation to your debt.