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Glossary Term A – 100 Best Credit Reports


The financial relationship between a customer and company where the customer purchases a product or service and pays for it over a period of time. An account is also a possible requirement to gain access to certain information or other resources on a website.

Account number

A set of numbers that are unique in their order; used to identify one person's exact account.

Account review
When a creditor makes an inquiry into a consumer's credit report. This can only be done if the creditor and the consumer already have an existing relationship.

Active account
When a credit account has had activity reported to a credit reporting agency within the past 90 days. 

In a Chapter Thirteen Bankruptcy, an adjustment refers to the percentage of a debt that has to be repaid to the creditor.

Adverse action

Any unfavorable disciplinary action taken by a creditor that affects a consumer adversely. (Such as denial of credit, insurance, or employment) According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, creditors must inform consumers of the reason for taking adverse action.

Adverse information
Information that is considered unfavorable and may result in an adverse action by a creditor. Examples of adverse information may include a past due account, a charge-off, or bankruptcy.


The name recorded in your credit file other than your given name. Example- John Smith or J.J. Smith, instead of Johnathon James Smith.


Reducing a mortgage loan through use of equal monthly payments. Amortization is sometimes known as the amount of time it takes to repay a mortgage.

Amount due

The amount due is usually the minimum payment due for the month, not the total amount of money owed.

Annual fee

A yearly fee charged by a credit card issuer for maintaining a consumer's account. However, not all credit cards include an annual fee.

Annual percentage rate (APR)

The cost of credit, or interest rate, over a yearly period of time.


A possession with value, (usually a very high value) such as a house, automobile, jewelry, etc.

Authorized user
A person given permission by the cardholder to charge goods or services on their credit card. Authorized users are not named on the account, so they are not legally responsible for any charges made on the account. 

Available credit
The amount of credit in a line of credit that goes unused (the credit limit minus the current balance of the account.) The amount of available credit you have may be important when creditors evaluate your credit worthiness.

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