Financial jargon overwhelms seven in ten Britons

According to a new study, the financial phrases that leave Britons the most confused are ‘personal loan rates’, ‘offshoring’ and ‘stocks’.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that 68% are overwhelmed by the amount of money and savings jargon, and a third don’t know what a credit score is .

And only half know what APR (annual percentage rate) means while only one in five are confident they could explain what an unsecured loan is.

Another in six were even surprised when using financial jargon in a social situation without having any idea what it meant.

The study, commissioned by The Post Office, also found that one in five people have been put off applying for a personal loan because of confusing and overwhelming terminology.

Despite this, 59 percent have already requested a Personal loanwith an average loan of £8,000 according to OnePoll data.

Ed Dutton, Financial Services Product Manager at Post Office, said: “We believe it is important to speak to customers using plain language so that they feel confident in their decisions when borrowing.

Personal loans can be used for a variety of reasons such as buying a car or expanding a house and offer people a different option than other products such as credit cards. It is always worth take the time to read any financial product you are considering and take the time to ask for help on the jargon if anything is unclear.

It also emerged that more than half of Britons have no idea what their credit rating is but know what it means, while 66% have no idea what the Bank of England’s interest rate is.

Four in 10 percent admit they sometimes feel confused when talking to financial experts – with one in five not questioning the meaning or jargon in such a situation.

A third of respondents are silent because they don’t want to show their ignorance, while 22% would just sign on the dotted line and hope for the best.

But it has seen almost a quarter find themselves in dire straits financially because they did not question the wording of the documents.

Ed Dutton, added: “The financial world is full of jargon and phrases that can be confusing.

“The data suggests that many adults don’t feel comfortable challenging the actual meaning of these phrases, with some willing to sign off on something they don’t necessarily understand. It’s also surprising that many don’t feel unsure of the bank rate, which can have a significant effect on loan and mortgage interest rates.

“It’s important that people feel fully informed when making big financial decisions. Doing your homework and using a loan checker to determine eligibility can help figure out if a personal loan is the right product for your needs.

The survey also looked at the main reasons Britons take out loans. Buying a car, home renovations, debt consolidation, vacations, and paying medical bills have proven to be the most popular uses.

Meal times:

18-25 year olds are most likely to use a personal loan – accounting for 40% of Britons to take them for plastic surgery, pets and student debt.

While 35 to 44 year olds had the highest likelihood of using a personal loan to pay for a wedding and debt consolidation at 27% and 25% respectively.

If you need a loan, you can check your loan eligibility and try a personal loan calculator here and learn the jargon of personal loans on


  1. AMC (Asset Management Company)
  2. VaR (Value at Risk)
  3. ISA Unsecured Loan
  4. IFA (Independent Financial Advisors)
  5. ARE (annual equivalent rate)
  6. Asset Management
  7. Relocation
  9. Consolidation loans
  10. FSA (Financial Services Authority)


  1. Car loan
  2. Home improvement loan
  3. debt consolidation loan
  4. Holiday loan
  5. Medical expense loan

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