Account – An entity which is held at a bank or other financial institution, for the purpose of securely and quickly providing frequent access to funds on demand, through a variety of different channels.
Account Condition – Reflects the current condition of an account, but in most cases excludes the payment history of the account.
Account Number – The numerical sequence which identifies a specific account.
Account Review – The action a creditor takes accessing a consumer’s payment or re-payment of a trade line.
Account Status – The current condition of a trade line based on the most recent date reported.
Account Type – Reflects the classification of an account. For example an account may be and auto loan, student loan … ect
Active Account – A trade line which is currently reflecting as open.
Active Duty Alert – A fraud alert listed on a consumer’s credit report where the consumer is active duty in the military and is currently away from either their home and or duty station.
Activity Description – The verbiage that denotes the current status of an account.
Actual Payment – The amount reflected on a consumer’s credit report as paid to a creditor that may or may not differ from the actual payment due.
Adverse Action – The process a creditor takes that is not favorable to a consumer’s credit report.
Adverse Action Letter – Notification sent from a creditor or potential creditor expressing to a consumer that the creditor or potential creditor has made a negative occurrence reflected on that consumer’s credit report.
Adverse Information – Negation information that is contained within a consumer’s personal credit report.
AKA (Also Known As) – A non official name used by a consumer that reflects on an official document or official standing.
Amount Past Due – The delinquent amount on a consumer’s personal credit report as listed by the creditor.
Annual Fee – An amount charged to a consumer usually by a financial institution for the use of that institution’s services.
Applicant – A person that applies for a loan or credit trade line.
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) – The amount of interest a consumer will pay based on a yearly amount.
Assets – Property or securities owned by a consumer that has monetary value.
Authorized User – A person who has access to a credit account for usage but does not have the financial responsibility of that account.
Balance – The amount to date that a consumer owes a creditor.
Balloon Payment – A one time payment that usually exceeds the amount of the monthly payment of a loan which is due at the end of the loan.
Balloon Payment Date – The date of which the one time payment is to be made at the end of a loan, as specified in the loan agreement.
Bankruptcy – The legal process a person or business takes to relieve debt that they are unable to pay.
Capacity (to pay) – A consumer’s ability to take on a new debt or to pay / re-pay one or many current debts.
Case Number – The number assigned to a court case, usually referred to as a docket number.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – The legal remedy afforded to a consumer to relieve their debt situation (NOTE – Certain debts cannot, by law, be included in bankruptcy. Those would include child support, Federal Tax Liens, Federal Student Loans).
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy - The legal remedy afforded to a consumer to relieve a portion their debt situation. In this case a consumer is placed on a re-payment plan. This is usually referred to as a “Wage Earner Plan”.
Chapter 11 Bankruptcy – The legal remedy afforded to – in most cases – a business where its assets are not completely liquidated and the business dissolved, but allows the business to reorganize in order to remain open.
Chapter 12 Bankruptcy – The legal remedy afforded to those in the farming industry. This works similar to a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Charge-off – The status of an account that reflects the account is no longer included as part of the creditor’s accounts receivables and is in a collection status with another entity.
Civil Action – A legal action taken by one party against another usually for the purpose of recouping funds.
Claim Amount – The amount of funds requested in a civil action.
Closed Account – A consumer’s trade line reflecting one their personal credit report that no longer has activity.
Closed Date – The calendar date that an account was closed or final action was taken on that account.
Collection Agency – A company that engages in the practice of securing the interest of an original creditor on a delinquent or charged off debt.
Co-Maker – A person who is usually needed to help ensure loan approval for an applicant that does not have the credit worthiness to secure a loan.
CCC (Consumer Credit Counseling) – A company that is in the business of assisting consumers in reorganizing their unmanageable debt. In most cases the CCC will assist in negotiating on the consumer’s behalf with their creditors for a lesser amount and structuring a payment plan.
Collection – A delinquent account that has been submitted to a third party by the original creditor to secure their interest.
Complaint – The formal legal action by a plaintiff asserting an accusation against a defendant.
Consumer – A person that engages in the use of credit, goods and or services.
Consumer Statement – A personal statement from a consumer placed on their personal credit report explaining the reason or reasons why an account or several accounts were not paid in a timely manner.
Co-Signer – A person or persons that agree to take on the responsibility of a debt of an unqualified applicant. This agreement usually takes place at the beginning of the contract.
Court – The place where a plaintiff and a defendant seek a legal decision.
Credit – An agreement entered into by a consumer and an entity where the consumer promises to pay for goods or money secured.
Credit Card – A card issued to a person, persons or business by a financial institution for the use of purchasing goods or services, where a partial or full balance is due to be paid on a monthly basis.
Credit File – The collection of a consumer’s personal credit history.
Credit History – The record reflecting the payment performance of a consumer.
Credit Items – Trade lines listed on a consumer’s credit by current or past creditors.
Credit Limit – The maximum amount of credit extended to a consumer by a creditor or financial institution for a specific trade line.
Creditor – A person or entity that extends credit to a consumer.
Credit Report – Compiled information regarding a consumer reflecting their personal identification information (name, address, date of birth, social security number), credit lines acquired, monetary legal actions (against the consumer), and a list of agencies that have acquired the consumer’s credit report over the previous two years.
Credit Reporting Agency – A company that operates in the practice of gathering and compiling a consumer’s personal and credit information for the purpose of determining the credit worthiness of that consumer and setting the standard of the credit reporting system.
Credit Risk – The determining factor of whether a consumer will pay or not repay a debt.
Credit Score – The numerical number that reflects a consumer’s credit worthiness and ability to repay credit.
Credit Scoring – Sometimes called “Credit Scoring Model” is a program used by creditors and financial institutions, where data regarding a specific consumer is entered into the program which uses an algorithm to determine the credit worthiness of that consumer.
Credit Status – The assessment made by a consumer’s credit grantor to evaluate the consumer’s ability to continue to repay the specific debt. This criterion is set by the credit grantors internal scoring system.
Credit Worthiness – The determined the consumer’s likelihood or repaying a debt.
Date Filed – The original date usually reflected on court documents and or a credit report that a civil legal action was taken against a consumer.
Date of First Delinquency – The date that reflects when an account first became thirty days or more past due.
Date of Last Activity – The last date of active reporting on a trade line.
Date of Last Payment – The date reflecting the last payment a consumer paid toward an account.
Date of Status – The last date in relation to the current status of a trade line reported by a creditor on a consumer’s credit report.
Date Opened - The date an account was opened that is listed on a consumer’s credit report.
Date Resolved – The date that reflects when a consumer has satisfied the debt listed in public record, such as a judgment or tax lien.
Debtor – The person owing on a debt.
Default – The failure to repay a credit obligation.
Defendant – A person, persons or entity of which a legal suit is filed against.
Deferred – An agreement where the credit grantor allows for a postponement of one or more payments from a consumer.
Delinquent – The classification of an account reflection that it has not been paid as agreed and reflects the dates in which the account / trade line was not paid on time.
Discharge – The term used for debt or debts where the liability has been released by the court for the consumer.
Disclosure – Usually referred to the issuance of a consumer’s personal credit report, by a consumer reporting agency to that consumer. The report is usually issued in the manner of digitally, or via U.S. Postal Service.
Dismissed – The legal action taken by a court, usually in a bankruptcy proceeding, where the consumer is not granted the relief from the debt petitioned.
Dispute – The action taken by a consumer or on the behalf of the consumer to contest one or more items on a consumer’s personal credit report.
ECOA (Equal Credit Opportunity Act) – The Federal Law enacted to prevent discrimination by a financial institution or creditor against a consumer based on sex, race, financial assistance status, creed, marital status or age.
End-User – The company, financial institution or business that acquires a consumer’s personal credit report for a permissible purpose as defined within the confines of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act – A supplemental amendment to the Truth in Lending Act which requires companies that offer credit cards to disclose to consumers the costs related to specific credit card offers to that consumer that are offered by telephone, mail and distributed to the public.
Fair Credit Billing Act – Federal law that sets standards to prevent credit card companies from charging consumers payments on billings that are inaccurate.
Fair Isaac – The company that developed the credit scoring system.
FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) – Federal law that governs the actions and practices of credit reporting agencies.
FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) – Federal law that governs the collection practices of collection agencies.
Finance Charge – The amount of interest that a lending institution assesses to a consumer for a revolving or installment loan. The finance charge is in most cases included in the consumer’s monthly payment.
Fixed Rate – The amount of rate charged annually on a consumer loan that does not change.
Foreclosure – The legal process where a creditor can sell a home that has been defaulted on to recuperate its financial investment from the consumer.
Fraud Alert – A statement on a consumer’s personal credit report, adding security features to ensure that the consumer does not become a victim of identity theft.
Garnishment – A legal process where the credit grantor or collection agency has obtained a judgment and seeks to recover funds from either the consumer’s employer (ie. the consumer's paycheck) or banking account.
Geographical Code – A code based on information received from the Census Bureau that represents a geographical area, metropolitan area, city, or state of which the code is similar to a U.S. Postal Service zip code.
Grace Period – The amount of time granted by a creditor or lending institution to a consumer before an account not paid on time is reported as delinquent.
Guarantor – A person or persons that have signed on behalf of another entity to ensure the debt incurred is paid as agreed.
High Balance – The maximum amount a consumer has owed toward a specific debt.
High Credit - The amount of credit extended to a consumer from a creditor.
Installment Account – A credit trade line where the terms and conditions are fixed and the consumer has a set amount to repay for the time periods set.
Involuntary Bankruptcy – A bankruptcy regarding a debtor that is initiated by its creditors.
Inquiry – A listing on a consumer’s personal credit report reflecting what entities have been issued a copy of the consumer’s personal credit report.
Joint Account – A credit account that has two or more consumers as obligators.
Judgment – The determination made by a court regarding a complaint submitted by a plaintiff against a defendant.
Last Reported – The date on a consumer’s personal credit report that reflects the last time a creditor has supplied information regarding the specific account where it is listed on the report.
Liability Amount – The amount a consumer is responsible to legally repay to a creditor.
Lien – A legal document that secures an amount owed by a consumer to a State, Federal or other municipality or person. The lien is usually attached to a consumer’s personal property.
Line of Credit – A revolving account where the consumer can borrow against that account to a specific amount. Borrowing from a line of credit is different from a credit card in that amounts borrowed are usually secured in the form of cash or for specific sizable items or home improvements.
Obsolescence - The state of being of an account where its age determines that the account is no longer relevant to the credit decision of the consumer. That time period is usually seven or ten years.
Opt-In – The action a consumer takes to have their credit information submitted for pre-screened credit and insurance offers.
Opt-Out – The action a consumer takes to have their credit information removed from pre-screened credit and insurance offers.
Original Amount – The initial amount that a consumer owes to a creditor.
Payment Status – The information that reflects the history of an account – trade line and the manner in which it was paid regarding current and late payments.
Permissible Purpose – The legal conditions that define “who” and “why” a third party can receive a consumer’s personal credit report and the information contained therein. This is defined within the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Personal Information – A consumer’s information that is solely related to that consumer and listed on their personal credit report. The information is supplied by the consumer, creditors, financial institutions and other sources.
Plaintiff – The person, persons or entity that files a complaint in civil or criminal court against another party or parties.
Potential Negative Item – A listing on a consumer’s personal credit report that may have an adverse impact on the consumer’s credit score or credit worthiness.
Public Record – Information that is not reported to a credit reporting agency but is acquired by a credit reporting agency. That information includes bankruptcy, judgments and liens.
Recent Balance – The current amount owed by a consumer to a creditor as reported to a credit reporting agency.
Recent Payment – The most current payment made by a consumer to a creditor and reported to a credit reporting agency.
Released – The term that defines the relief of a judgment or tax lien by a court.
Reported Date – The month and year a creditor began to report an account regarding a consumer to a credit reporting agency.
Repossession – The act of a creditor re-acquiring collateral from a consumer. This usually applies to automobiles and or recreational vehicles being re-acquired by a lending institution.
Responsibility – Denotes who is legally bound to repay an account.
Revolving Account – A credit line or credit card account that can be continuously borrowed against and paid toward.
Satisfied – Regarding a public record item, usually a judgment or lien that the court has deemed has paid.
Secured Credit – A loan that is acquired where the consumer pledges collateral such as cash, a home, or an automobile in place of the amount received from the lending institution.
Settled Account – An agreement usually for less than the amount due that the consumer and the creditor enter into.
Source – The entity that supplied the credit reporting agency with information regarding the consumer.
Surname – The last name of a consumer
Terms and Conditions – The specific grounds on which an agreement between a consumer and a creditor are based.
Third Party – Usually refers to collectors of a debt that are not the original creditor.
Trade Line – A listing on a consumer’s personal credit report that reflects an account and its activity.
Unsecured Credit – A loan or credit line acquired by a consumer where the consumer’s personal collateral is not required to secure the loan.
Vacated – A judgment that has been voided by the court.
Variable Rate – Interest that can change on a particular account secured by a consumer.
Verified – A term used by credit reporting agencies in the result of a credit dispute which reflects that the creditor has provided sufficient information that the account belongs to the consumer.
Victim Statement - A statement on a consumer’s personal credit report to alert potential creditors that the consumer could be at risk or may have encountered identity theft.
Wage Earner – The term used to describe the repayment plan of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
Withdrawn – The action taken by a consumer to no longer pursue a bankruptcy proceeding.