CREDIT CARD AND CREDIT SCORE GLOSSARY:

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Our Financial Terms Glossary will help you

learn the most common financial terms,

credit card terms, and credit score words and phrases

 

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120 Days Late-If you missed a scheduled payment

on an account by 120 days, the company may

report your Payment Status as 120 Days Late.


90 Days Late-If you missed a scheduled

payment on an account by 90 days,

the company may report your Payment

Status as 90 Days Late.



60 Days Late-If you missed a scheduled payment

on an account by 60 days, the company may report

your Payment Status as 60 Days Late.


30 Days Late-If you missed a scheduled

payment on an account by 30 days,

the company may report your

Payment Status as 30 Days Late


3-in-1 Credit Report-Also called a merged

credit report, this type of report includes

your credit data from TransUnion, Equifax

and Experian in a side-by-side format for

easy comparison.

A

Account Holder-A credit card account holder i

s the person or persons responsible for

paying the amounts charged. A person

can be allowed to use a credit card as

an authorized user but not be legally liable for the debt.

Account Name-The name of the company

associated with the account.

Account Number-An account number

is a unique number assigned by a

financial institution to a credit card

customer. On a credit card, the

account number is usually embossed

and encoded on the face of the plastic.

Accounts Ever 30 Days Late (But Not Worse)-

The total number of your accounts

reporting at least one 30-day late

payment, but nothing worse

(such as a 30-day late payment).

Accounts Ever 60 Days Late or Worse-

The total number of your accounts

reporting at least

one 60-day late payment, or worse.

Additional Cardholder-When you have

a credit card, it is often possible to

add an additional card to the

account for use by someone

else. The main cardholder

remains responsible for

making payments on all charges

made by the original cardholder

or the additional cardholder.

Alias-A note on your credit report that

indicates other names used for your

financial accounts. Sometimes marked

as “Also Known As” or “AKA.”

This can include maiden names

or variations on the spelling and

format of your full name.

Amount-The amount owed through

your Public Record.

AnnualCreditReport.com-The official website

for obtaining your free credit report

disclosures from the credit bureaus,

Equifax,  Experian and TransUnion.

You have the right to request your

credit reports online, by phone or

by mail for free once every 12

months under FACT Act regulations.

This free service can only be used

once a year and does not include your

credit scores.

Annual fee-An annual (yearly) fee charged by

a credit card company each year for use of

a credit card. This is a separate fee from

interest rate on purchases. 

Annual percentage rate(APR)-The annual

percentage rate (APR) is the interest rate

charged on credit card balances expressed

in a standardized, annualized way. This

rate is applied each month that an

outstanding balance is present

Application Fee-An application fee is

often charged on credit cards for

people with bad credit. Consumers

should make sure to ask how much

the fee is and how it is applied. Beware

of cards that apply fees to the credit

card and eat up most of its credit limit.

Authorized User-An authorized user is

any person who has permission to

use a credit card account, but is

not responsible for paying the bill.

Authorized users differ from joint credit,

in which both parties are obliged to pay.

In some cases, the user will receive a

credit card in his or her name, even

though it is linked to someone else's

account.

Average Age of Accounts-The average age

of all the accounts on your credit report

(including closed accounts). 15% of

your credit score is based on your

average age of accounts.

Average Credit Card Limit-The average of the

credit limits on all your open credit card accounts.

 

B

Balance-The current amount owed on the account.

Balance Date-The date that the balance owed

on the account was determined.

Balance on Open Credit Cards-The total amount owed

on all your open credit cards.

Balance on Open Retail Cards-The total amount owed on all your open retail cards.

Balance transfer-The process of moving all or part

of the outstanding balance on one credit card to

another account. Credit card companies often offer

special rates for balance transfers This is often done

by consumers looking for a lower interest rate. Many

credit card issuers offer introductory balance transfer APRs

that are lower than the standard rates. Balance transfers

usually have fees.

Balance Transfer Fee-The fee charged customers for

transferring an outstanding balance from one credit

card to another. Card issues offer teaser rates to

encourage balance transfers.

Balloon Payment-If your account has a large

final payment as part of the terms, this

is the amount of that payment.

Bankruptcy-There are different types of

bankruptcies. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy,

debts for an individual or household are

discharged.In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debts

of an individual or household are restructured

and repaid over three to five years, under

bankruptcy court supervision. Chapter 11

bankruptcy allow businesses to restructure.

Whatever the type, bankruptcy has a negative

effect on the ability to borrow.

C

ChexSystems- A credit reporting company that

tracks your banking history and provides this data

to banks when you apply for a new checking account.

Negative records, such as bounced checks, can be

kept in their database for up to five years. If there

are errors on your ChexSystems record, you

can contact the company to submit a dispute.

Company Name-The name of the company

associated with the record.

Co-signer-Person who pledges in writing as

part of a credit contract to repay the debt

if the borrower fails to do so. The account

displays on both the borrower's and the

co-signer's credit reports.

Court-The name of the court

presiding over your Public Record.

Credit and Retail Card Debt-The total balance

of all your credit and retail cards.

Credit Available-The total you have available

to spend on credit and retail cards. For example,

if you had a total credit limit of $100 and

carried a $10 balance, then your credit available

would be $90.

Credit Cards-Credit Cards are credit accounts

that you can use anywhere such as Visa, or

Mastercard. Open Credit Cards can still

 be used, Closed Credit Cards can no longer be used.

Credit Cards Ever Late-The total number of your

credit card accounts reporting any late payments.

Credit Limit-The amount of credit available

to borrow on an account.

Credit Limit for Open Credit Cards-The total amount

of money available to borrow on all your credit card accounts.

Credit Limit for Open Retail Cards-The total amount of money

available to borrow on all your retail card accounts.

Credit Report-Confidential report on a consumer's

payment habits as reported by their creditors to

a consumer credit reporting agency.

Credit Score-Credit Scores are the numerical

results of a calculation based on the information

in your Credit Report that lenders use to determine the

risk they take by approving a loan or line of credit.

Credit Usage-The percentage of credit that you

have used. Also called credit utilization, the

percentage is determined by dividing your

balance by your credit limit.

Credit Used-The percentage of your total

credit limit across all credit and retail

cards that has been spent. For example,

if you had a total credit limit of $100 and

carried a $10 balance, then your Credit Used

% would be 10%.

Definition of Credit Score-A Credit Score summarizes

your credit history into a number that lets lenders

and others quickly know how responsible you

have been with your past credit accounts and loans..


D

Date Open-Indicates the date an account

was opened.

Delinquent-Accounts classified into

categories according to the time past due.

Common classifications are 30, 60, 90 and

120 days past due. Special classifications

also include status like charge-off, repossession,

or transferred.


Discharge-Granted by the court to release a

debtor from most of his debts that were included

in a bankruptcy. Any debts not included in the

bankruptcy - alimony, child support, liability

for willful and malicious conduct and certain

student loans - cannot be discharged.


Dismissed-When a consumer files a

bankruptcy, the judge may decide to

not allow the consumer to continue

with the bankruptcy. If the judge

rules against the petition, the

bankruptcy is known as dismissed.


Dispute-If a consumer believes an

item of information on their credit

report is inaccurate or incomplete,

they may challenge, or dispute the item.

The bureau will investigate and correct or

remove any inaccurate information or

information that cannot be verified.

E

Excellent Credit-On the FICO scale of 300

to 850, a person has excellent credit if

their score is above 750.

Expired card-An expired card has an

embossed, encoded or printed expiration

date that has passed. How long it will take

a card to expire depends on the card issuer's

policy and the credit record of the

credit cardholder.

F

Failed to Pay-If you missed a scheduled

payment on account by a long duration,

the company may report you as Failed to

Pay. Companies will typically do this after

120 or 180 days of delinquency, and usually

close the account when they do so.

Filing Date-The date your Public Record

was filed with the government.

H

I

Inquiry Date-The date that the company acquired

a copy of your credit report.

Installment Debt-The total balance of all

your installment loans. Installment Loans

are loans with fixed amounts that you pay

over time such as Student or Auto Loans.

Mortgages are an exception and are not

considered Installment Loans.


Installment Loans-Installment Loans are

loans with fixed amounts that you pay

over time such as Student or Auto Loans.

Mortgages are an exception and are not

considered Installment Loans.


Involuntary Bankruptcy-A petition filed by

certain credit grantors to have a debtor judged

bankrupt. If the bankruptcy is granted, it is

known as an involuntary bankruptcy.

T

Time Since Late-The amount of time that

has passed since the last late payment

or other negative event was posted

to your credit report.

Total Accounts-Total number of accounts

appearing on your credit report.

Total Credit Limit-The total amount of

money available to borrow on all

your credit or retail card accounts.

Total Debt-The total amount owed

on all your accounts.

Type-The type of the company that

acquired a copy of your credit report.

Type of Record-The type of Public Record

reported; this can be various types of

tax liens, bankruptcies, or judgments.

TIP OF THE DAY

Borrowing and repaying your credit card bill on time, in addition to not carrying a large balance is one of the most important things you can do to build up a great credit score.

However having at least one account with a high balance can hurt your score even if your overall utilization is low.

Make sure your score wont suffer by spreading out a low utilization across all your accounts.