Veterans administration

A government agency that guarantees mortgage loans given to eligible veternas to protect the lenders against loss.

V (Variable)

IF the letter V is after the APR on your interest rate that means that is it variable and subject to change.

VA loan

A mortgage that is guaranteed by the Department of Veteran's Affairs and made available to a borrower with a low down payment.

Variable interest rate

An interest rate which fluctuates up and down based on the rate index.

Variable rate mortgage

A mortgage in which the interest rate is changed periodically based on a financial index. Also referred to as an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Verification of deposit

A document signed by the borrower's financial institution verifying the balance of the applicant's financial accounts.

Verification of employment

A confirmation that the loan applicant is being truthful about where he or she works and their income.

Voluntary claim

A legal claim against property for payment of a debt and placed upon the property with the consent of the owner.

Vacation home

Vacation home is a second residence that's used by the owner only periodically.

Valuable consideration

Valuable consideration is a legal concept that refers to something of worth that underlies an agreement. For a contract to be valid, there must be valuable consideration, meaning that there must be some value associated with the obligations described in the contract. An example of an arrangement that lacks valuable consideration would be a contract obligating one party to give his house to another party for nothing in return.

Value averaging

Value averaging is an investment strategy whereby the investor makes periodic contributions according to a monthly value growth target. Say, for example, that an investor's target is to build the account value by $1,000 quarterly. After one quarter, the account has grown by $800. The investor, therefore, would contribute another $200 to the account to reach the $1,000 goal. This strategy leads the investor to purchase more when values are decreasing, and less when values are increasing.

Variable death benefit

Variable death benefit is a type of payment made to an insured's beneficiary following the insured's death. The exact amount of a variable death benefit is dependent upon how the investment component of the insurance policy performed. Where the performance is sufficient, an additional amount is added to the insured's guaranteed, minimum death benefit.

Vehicle identification number

Vehicle identification number, or VIN, is a unique series of characters assigned to an automobile by the manufacturer. Since 1980, VINs have been standardized to be 17 characters in length.

Vendor financing

Vendor financing is a loan made by a company to its customers; loan proceeds are used by the customer to buy products or services from the company that made the loan. Companies that offer vendor financing can increase sales and earn interest. Generally, vendor financing is slightly more expensive than bank financing.

Vendor take-back mortgage

Vendor take-back mortgage is a first or second purchase mortgage that is financed by the home seller. If the buyer doesn't qualify for a traditional mortgage, the seller can finance part or all of the purchase to facilitate the sale. Generally, a vendor take-back mortgage is priced below market value so that it's affordable for the buyer.

Verbal agreement

A verbal agreement is an arrangement made between two or more parties that's not backed by written documentation. Verbal agreements are legally valid where their existence can be proven. Unfortunately, the lack of supporting documentation makes verbal agreements very difficult to enforce.


Viager is a real estate financing arrangement similar to a reverse mortgage. A homeowner sells his home to another party, who pays an immediate down payment and regular monthly payments. The seller lives in the home as long as he chooses. When he moves or dies, the other party takes physical possession of the home. This arrangement is also called a reverse annuity mortgage or charitable remainder trust.

Viatical settlement

Viatical settlement is the purchase of another person's life insurance policy benefits at a discount off face value. When the insured dies, the one who purchased the policy receives the full death benefit, thus realizing a gain on the transaction.


VIN, or Vehicle identification number, is a unique series of characters assigned to an automobile by the manufacturer. Since 1980, VINs have been standardized to be 17 characters in length.


Vintage is a term that's used in the mortgage-backed security (MBS) industry, referring to the time period during which a mortgage was funded. Certain vintages of mortgage loans have similar characteristics pertaining to default risk, prepayment rate, etc. MBSs that are backed by vintages known to be less risky trade at a premium.


Virus is a software program that, once installed, replicates itself and corrupts data within one's computer. Viruses may be attached to another program that appears to be harmless; the virus gains entry to the computer when this other program is run.


VISA is an electronic payments network. Many credit cards carry the VISA logo, which signifies that the card is almost universally accepted. Merchants who agree to accept VISA payments will accept any card that carries the VISA logo.


Vishing is scam that incorporates a call-in system where the consumer is directed to provide personal information, such as bank account numbers or Social Security number. The consumer may be initially contacted by email or by phone, with a message that her account needs urgent attention.


VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. It's an IRS program that provides free tax return preparation assistance to low- to moderate-income households.

Voluntary compliance

Voluntary compliance is the philosophical principle that people will follow the rules honestly. The U.S. tax system is based on voluntary compliance, in that taxpayers are expected to report their tax information on time and in accordance with tax law. Therefore, not every tax return is thoroughly reviewed for compliance.

Voluntary lien

A voluntary lien is a claim placed on property that results from an unfulfilled obligation; the voluntary descriptor means that the claim was filed with the property owner's consent.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, is an IRS program that provides free tax return preparation assistance to low- to moderate-income households.


Voucher is a document that can be redeemed by the holder for a certain value, either in money or goods, as specified on the document itself.