Credit terms glossary


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120 Days Late

The lender could report your Payment Status as 120 Days Late if you miss a scheduled payment on your loan by 120 days.

90 Days Late

The lender could report your Payment Status as 120 Days Late if you miss a scheduled payment on your loan by 90 days.

60 Days Late

The lender could report your Payment Status as 120 Days Late if you miss a scheduled payment on your loan by 60 days.

30 Days Late

The lender could report your Payment Status as 120 Days Late if you miss a scheduled payment on your loan by 30 days.

Account Name

The name of the lender associated with the account.

Account Number

The unique number assigned by a lender to identify your account with them (like your credit card number).

Account Status

The status of your account, which can be open, closed, unclassified (which includes deferred, lost or stolen, refinanced, and transferred accounts), or unknown (which are accounts that don’t have enough info from the credit bureau to set a status).

Account Type

The type of your account, like “credit card” or “installment loan.”

Accounts

A term that could be in reference to credit cards, installment loans, retail cards, real estate loans, and collections.

Accounts Delinquent Right Now

The total number of your accounts that have a delinquent payment right now.

Accounts Ever 30 Days Late (But Not Worse)

The total number of your accounts that are reported as 30 days late exactly.

Accounts Ever 60 Days Late or Worse

The total number of your accounts that are 60 days late or worse.

Accounts Ever 60 Days Late or Worse

The total number of your accounts that are 60 days late or worse.

Accounts Ever Late

The total number of your accounts that have had any late payments or delinquencies.

Address

Your address as it’s listed on your account.

Alert Date

The date the alert was sent by the credit bureau.

Authorized User

A person who’s allow charge goods and services on the cardholder’s account but who is not responsible for repayment of the debt. Permission is granted to this authorized user by the cardholder only.

Average Age of Accounts

The average age of all the accounts listed on your credit report, including any closed accounts. (Fifteen percent of your credit score is determined by this).

Average Credit Card Limit

The average credit limit among all your open credit card accounts.

Balance

The amount owed on the account.

Balance Date

The date when your balance was determined.

Balance on Open Credit Cards

The total amount owed among all of your open credit cards.

Balance on Open Retail Cards

The total amount owed among all of your open retail cards.

Collection Accounts

The number of your accounts that are being handled by a collection agency. After your account is charged off, the lender may sell it to a collection agency, who will then attempt to collect the debt.

Comments

Notes add to your account by the lender or by the credit bureau.

Co-signer

A person who swears in writing (as part of the credit contract) that they will repay the debt if the borrower fails to. The account will appear on both the borrower’s and co-signer’s credit reports.

Credit and Retail Cards Maxed Out

The number of credit and retail cards that have an owed balance of at least 90% of the credit limit.

Credit Available

The total amount that’s available for you to spend on your loan or credit/retail cards.

Credit Card

Credit account that you can use anywhere cards are accepted. Open credit cards are available for use while closed credit cards are no longer valid.

Credit Cards Ever Late

The number of your credit cards that have reported any late payments.

Credit Limit

The credit available for you to use (borrow) on your account.

Credit Report

The confidential report on your payment habits as reported to a credit reporting agency by the lender.

Credit Score

Used by lenders to determine the risk in lending to you, which helps them decide if your loan application is approved or not. Your credit score is represented by a number and is calculated using things like payment history, income, number of open credit accounts, and others.

Credit Usage (AKA credit utilization)

The percentage of credit you’ve used on your account (credit usage = credit limit ÷ the balance).

Delinquent

Can be any account with a status of 30, 60, 90 or 120 days past due, or charged off accounts, repossessions, or transfers.

Dispute

If you believe a transaction (purchase or payment) is inaccurate or incomplete, you can challenge the item. Then the credit bureau will investigate it, correcting and removing any inaccurate or incomplete info.

Failed to Pay

If you miss a scheduled payments for a long period of time — usually 120 or 180 days of delinquency — and then close the account.

Inquiries

When you apply for credit, a “hard inquiry” is recorded on your credit report. If you have too many hard inquiries, that may show lenders you’re trying to spend more than you have. Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for 25 months and 10% of your credit score is based on how many of these you’ve had. A “soft inquiry” is when you check your credit report or when a potential lender or someone doing a background check looks at your report. A soft inquiry does not appear on your credit report and doesn’t impact your score.

Installment Loans

A loan with fixed payment amounts and a set date for the last payment. These can be student loans, auto loans, or a non-specified personal loan.

Lien

A legal document creates a security interest in another’s property. It’s usually a security for repayment of a debt (like your house or car). So if you have “a lien against your house,” that means the lender can repossess the house if you don’t pay the mortgage.

Monthly Payment

The minimum payment amount you must make to the lender each month.

OK (Payment Status)

This means your account status is paid up to date for this month.

Oldest Account

The length of time since your oldest account appeared on your credit report as open.

Ownership

The person(s) who is responsible for the account (can be single, joint, or co-signer).

Past-Due Amount

The balance that’s reported as past-due by the lender.

Payment Status

A short note that describes your payment history for a given account. It will include any delinquencies from the previous seven years.

Real Estate and Other Debt

The total owed balance of all your real estate loans. This can include other loan accounts not categorized specifically as installment loans, credit cards, or retail cards.

Real Estate Loan Payment Status

The payment status of your open real estate loans. If you have more than one, this status will show you the worst payment status.

Real Estate Loans

Similar to an installment loan, but specifically for mortgages, refinancing mortgages, and home equity loans.

Retail Cards

A type of credit account that you can use in only one place, like a department store or certain gas station.

Risk Level (AKA credit risk level)

A range of a credit score that a lender uses to determine the level of risk in lending to you.

Terms

The terms of your lending agreement with a lender, like 48 months or 60 months.

Total Credit Limit

The overall amount available for you to borrow among all of your credit accounts.

Total Debt

The total amount you owe among all your accounts.