A cost (load or sales charge) that investors provide when merchandising mutual fund shares within a particular number of years, commonly five to 10 years. The costs amounts to a percentage of the worth of the share being merchandised. The cost percentage is in the peak level in the first year and depreciates yearly until the particular holding timespan ends, at which time it sag downs to zero.

"Contingent deferred sales charge or load" is the other term used to characterize the Back-End Load.