Glossary definitions provided in part by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.
Decision Making, Systematic: A method of selecting a course of action after gathering and evaluating information and considering the costs and benefits of various alternatives and consequences.
Deductible: The dollar amount or percentage of a loss that is not insured, as specified in an insurance policy.
Default: The failure to meet a financial obligation or agreement.
Deferment: A postponement of repayment under various, specific circumstances. See Student Loan Deferment for information specifically related to student loans.
Deflation : A broad, overall drop in the price of goods and services; the opposite of the more common inflation.
Delinquent : A loan for which a payment has not been made to the lender or the guarantor for 1 to 270 days. A delinquent loan may post a "derogatory statement" on credit report and add extra fees to the loan.
Dependent: A person who relies on another individual for support.
Dependent Student: A student who does not meet the criteria for an "Independent Student" and must therefore include their parent's information when filling out the FAFSA. Dependent students meet all of the following criteria: under the age of 24, not enrolled in a masters or doctoral study program, not married, does not have children who receive more than half of their support from the student, is not an orphan or ward of the court, is not a veteran of the US armed forces.
Direct Loan: The William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program is, along with the FFEL program one of two US Department of Education lending programs. When using the Direct lending program, the federal government is lending you your student loan directly, without an intermediary lender. There are some schools that only accept Direct loans, others will accept loans from either the Direct or FFEL programs. Check with your school's financial aid office to find out which type of loans they accept.
Disbursement: Disbursement refers to the actual exchange of funds when all or a portion of your total loan amount is relinquished to your school. Some loans may be disbursed in full at one time (if student is enrolled only one term) but most will have multiple disbursements (i.e. at the start of each term).