Glossary: M

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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Definition: Maintenance

A regular payment (on foot of a court order or by agreement) from one spouse to another for the upkeep of that spouse and/or their children.

Maintenance Assessments – Social Welfare Payments
Maintenance counts as income when applying for means-tested social welfare payments such as jobseekers allowance, disability allowance and one-parent family allowance. For more information on Maintenance Assessments for Social Welfare Payments, see the Department of Social and Family Affairs’ information on Assessment of Maintenance or Citizens Information’s section on Maintenance Assessments for Social Welfare Payments.

Maintenance Orders / Agreements
After a means test, maintenance orders are made by the court, directing one spouse to pay a specified amount to the other.

A maintenance agreement is made between the spouses; it may be legally enforceable even though it was not ordered by the court. For more information, see Citizens Information’s section on Maintenance Orders and Agreements.

Maintenance Payments – Tax Relief
Maintenance payments are treated differently for tax purposes and the paying spouse may be eligible for tax relief on them. For more information, see the Revenue Commissioners’ information on Deduction for Maintenance Payments.

Managed Fund
Definition: Managed Fund

A fund overseen by a professional fund manager, which is made up of investments in shares, bonds or cash from which investors receive “units” according to the amount of their investment. Investment products are governed by the Consumer Protection Code.

Management Expenses
Definition: Management Expenses

Internal expenses of an insurer to obtain and manage insurance business, usually partly passed on to the policyholder.

Definition: Mandate

An instruction by a customer to a bank to operate their account in a certain way. The most common mandate is a direct debit

Market Capitalisation
Definition: Market Capitalisation

The value of a company when the number of its issued ordinary shares is multiplied by the shares’ market price.

Definition: Mastercard

A large, international credit-card company.

Definition: Maturity

When an investment (such as a term deposit) or a life insurance policy comes to an end. Under the Consumer Protection Code, regulated firms must let you know that your account will mature at least 10 days before the maturity date.

Maximising Income
Definition: Maximising Income

A process of reviewing your income sources to ensure that: 
•    you are receiving everything that you are entitled to
•    you are not paying too much for any product
•    you are receiving the correct tax treatment

For more information, see MABS’s information on Assessing Your Income.

Maximum Withdrawal
Definition: Maximum Withdrawal

The most amount of money a person can withdraw from an ATM each day, depending on the amount of money in their account.

McKenzie Friend
Definition: McKenzie Friend

Someone who may, with the Judge’s permission, attend in court as a friend of either party to the court proceedings. Irish law doesn’t formally acknowledge a McKenzie friend. A McKenzie friend can take notes and give advice to the party they are with. They can provide support and assistance but must not give legal advice, cross examine witnesses or speak to the court (unless permitted to speak by the judge).

Definition: Means

Any income or property (besides a family home) or other asset that could provide an income.

Means Test
A way of working out the value of a person’s means by examining both their income and the value of their assets.

Memorandum and Articles of Association
Definition: Memorandum and Articles of Association

A document containing details of a company’s name, purposes and share capital (or the total number of shares that can be issued by the company). Memorandum and Articles of Association are public documents and are available to download from the Companies Registration Office website

Minimise Expenses
Definition: Minimise Expenses

A process of reviewing your budget (with the aid of a spending diary) to identify areas where you could spend less. For more information on minimising your expenses, see MABS’s guide Reducing your Outgoings or call in to your nearest MABS office.

Minimum Payment
Definition: Minimum Payment

The lowest amount that a credit or store-card company will allow a person to repay each month, to go towards clearing their debt.

Definition: Money-lending

Short-term loans from one person or from small companies, usually at higher interest rates than bank and credit union loans – and often collected in person. Some shop credit can also be provided by moneylenders. For more information, read the Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) booklet on Money Lending.

Item for:Moneylender

Moneylending agreements are only legal if the lender is licensed by the Director of Consumer Affairs; debt collectors must also be authorised by the moneylender or company. The agreement must contain details of the total amounts and instalments you must pay and details of the APR. You must receive a separate repayment book containing details of the agreement and details of all the payments you make. The agreement must specify any collection charges and provide the company’s business address so that you can make payments in this way to avoid the charge.

Definition: Monitoring

The process of keeping an eye on payments being made.

Monthly Instalment
Definition: Monthly Instalment

A payment each month, usually to repay a loan.

Definition: Mortgage

A loan to buy property. If the mortgage is not repaid according to the terms and conditions of the loan, the lender can repossess the property. Mortgages are governed by the Consumer Credit Act 1995, the Consumer Protection Code, the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, the MABS / IBF Operational Protocol and the IBF Pledge. You may wish to read our advice on Mortgage Arrears.

Mortgage Agreements – Housing Loans
Housing loan agreements (including mortgages, re-mortgages and home improvement loans) must contain details of:
•    the total amounts and instalments you must pay
•    the APR 
•    the possible effect on your repayments of a 1% rise in interest rates

You must also be warned that your home will be at risk if you fail to keep up with payments; and that if you have an endowment mortgage, the proceeds of the insurance policy may not be enough to fully pay off the loan.

Mortgage Advisor/Intermediary
Definition: Mortgage Advisor/Intermediary

A person who advises others on the best type of mortgage to choose. Mortgage intermediaries that intend to provide services to Irish consumers must be authorised in accordance with Section 116 of the Consumer Credit Act 1995 (as amended).

A mortgage intermediary is someone (other than a mortgage lender or credit institution) who for commission or some other form of payment:
•    arranges (or offers to arrange) for a mortgage lender to provide a consumer with a housing loan
•    introduces a consumer to an intermediary who arranges (or offers to arrange) for a mortgage lender to provide the consumer with such a loan

It is an offence for a person to engage in the business of being a mortgage intermediary unless they are authorised by the Financial Regulator. They must also hold a letter of appointment – in writing – from each undertaking for which they are an intermediary. The Financial Regulator is responsible for the authorisation and supervision of over 2,000 mortgage intermediaries in Ireland.

For more information on investment intermediaries, see Investment Intermediaries or Insurance/Reinsurance Intermediaries.

Mortgage Arrears
Definition: Mortgage Arrears

Mortgage payments that a person has not paid by the time they are due. See also Arrears

Mortgage Interest - Tax Relief at Source
Definition: Mortgage Interest - Tax Relief at Source

A tax relief on the interest portion of your mortgage instalment for your home (not available for investment properties). It is not given through the tax system but is instead granted “at source”, which means that your repayments are reduced by the amount of the tax credit due, by your mortgage lender. Any future adjustments in your tax relief will be made automatically by your mortgage lender. It is not necessary to claim relief on your annual tax return or to contact your local Revenue office.

However, if you are making mortgage repayments and not receiving Tax Relief at Source, you should contact the TRS Section of the Collector-General’s Division on LoCall 1890 463 626, who will arrange for the relief to come into effect. For more information, see Mortgage Tax Relief at Source.

Mortgage Interest Supplement (MIS)
Definition: Mortgage Interest Supplement (MIS)

This is a short-term supplement (normally 12 months) available to certain householders  who are no longer working and cannot meet their mortgage repayments and available from the HSE to pay the interest portion of a person’s mortgage instalment for their home (it is not available for investment properties). Applications for MIS are subject to certain criteria. For more information, see Mortgage Interest Supplement.

Mortgage Repayment
Definition: Mortgage Repayment

A monthly payment to repay a loan for a property.

Mortgage Statement
Definition: Mortgage Statement

A report that details payments, charges, interest and the remaining balance of a mortgage.

Multi-trip Cover
Definition: Multi-trip Cover

A type of travel insurance that covers a number of trips abroad over a certain period, usually a year.

Multiple Debts
Definition: Multiple Debts

More than one debt, usually to more than one creditor. For tips on how to deal with multiple debts, see MABS Money Management Guide

Mutual Organisation
Definition: Mutual Organisation

A membership organisation, such as a building society, that is owned by its depositors and loan account holders.