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Glossary Term C – 100 Best Credit Reports

A guess, based on the consumer's income compared to the amount of debt already owed, regarding how much debt an individual consumer can have. One of the 3 C's of creditworthiness.

A creditor's way of determining credit worthiness by measuring a consumer's assets. One of the 3 C's of creditworthiness.

Cash advance
A transaction that gives you cash from your credit card issuer. Interest charges on this type of credit card transaction are typically higher than interest rates for purchases and usually start accruing immediately. Transactions fees may also apply.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy

A form of bankruptcy, mainly for a corporation, that allows an organization to seek protection from creditors while it reorganizes itself.

Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is somewhat similar to chapter 13 bankruptcy, but it only applies to farmers and fishermen in some situations.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows a consumer with a stable income and limited amount of debt to keep their assets, and pay off all or a portion of their debts during a period of time. (usually 3 to 5 years)

Chapter 7 bankruptcy
The most common type of consumer bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy sells unprotected assets and distributes the money to creditors, and releases the debtor of all liability. This type of banckruptcy stays on a personal credit report for 10 years.

Character is one of the 3 C's of creditworthiness. This is usually determined by your creditors based on your credit score.

Charge card

It works like a credit card. You don't have to have an account, you can charge goods and services on it, and there is a monthly fee.

This is when a creditor chooses to call the account of a debtor bad debt. A charge-off will happen if the debtor is seriously delinquent in paying debts. A charge-off will remove a debt from active accounts, but will still be demanded in full or possibly negotiated to a lower amount.

Closed account
An account which has been closed and the balance cancelled. A closed accounts will show up on a consumer credit report for seven years from the date of the last activity.


The final stage of a real estate deal. This is when the owner signs the mortgage and pays off the debt, so they officially own the house.

Closing costs
These are other expenses that come into play when finalizing a mortgage. These are fees such as taxes, attorney's fees, oringination fees, appraisals, and more.


The co-signer is a person who is responsible for a loan if the primary signer cannot repay the debt. This allows someone with poor credit to get a loan.

Some kind of valuable property that is pledged as a security. If a debtor cannot repay a loan, then the collateral may be seized.

Collection agency
A company that can be hired to collect a debt that is owed. Some creditors have their own collection departments, while others hire an independent collection agencies.

Consolidation loan

This is when a debtor takes out one large loan from one place, in order to pay off many loans. By doing this, the debtor may owe only one larger debt with the possibility of a lower interest rate.


A person who purchases services or goods.

Consumer credit counseling service

A nonprofit organization that aids consumers by helping them get out of debt. Credit counseling services help consumers organize and plan a budget to live by.

Consumer debt

Debt owed on credit for non-tangible investments such as family lending, credit card debt, car loans, etc.

Consumer statement
A statement submitted to a credit reporting agency that will be posted in the consumer's credit file to explain any specific information on the file.

Consumer version of credit report
This offers an unabbreviated look at the personal credit file, including promotional inquiries and account reviews. This version of a credit report is available only by special request.


The priviledge to buy something immediately and pay for it later based on someone's history of paying back debts.

Credit balance

The total amount of money owed on a credit account.

Credit bureau
These are private agencies that gather information regarding consumer credit histories. These credit reports are sold to creditors who use them to determine the creditworthiness of customers. Some of these bureaus in the US are Experian and Equifax.

Credit card

A plastic card that is attached to a credit account. Payments have to be made every month for using the card in place of money.

Credit card issuer
A financial organization, such as a bank, that offers credit accounts through credit cards.

Credit check
When a creditor reviews a consumer's credit history to determine whether or not they should extend credit. Creditors often use a credit reporting agency to get information.

Credit Clinic
A Credit Clinic is like a Credit Repair Agency. They may help you clean up some bad credit, but you can do the same thing for yourself for free.

Credit file
A file containing information about an individual's credit history. Information found on a credit report came from the information on a credit file.

Credit fraud
This is the same thing as identity theft; it takes place when an individual uses someone else's name, social security number, phone number, or other personal information to make purchases or gain credit.

Credit history
A profile of an individual's loans, debts, and payments. This is used by creditors to determine a consumer's creditworthiness.

Credit limit
The maximum dollar amount of credit that can be extended by a lender. This is also known as a credit line.

Credit line

The maximum dollar amount of credit that can be extended by a lender. This is also known as a credit limit.

Credit Repair Agency
An organization that will dispute outdated or inaccurate information on a consumer's credit history. This can aid your credit rating, but Credit Repair Agencies don't do this for free.

Credit report

A person or company's information regarding all loans, payments, debts, and other liabilities in a report. Creditors can check credit reports before deciding whether or not to extend credit to a consumer.

Credit Reporting Agency

A company that finds and compiles a consumer's or company's credit information. Also known as credit bureaus.

Credit risk

The chance that the consumer will be able to repay a loan. If the risk is too high, the consumer may be declined credit.

Credit score
A statistical method to describe a consumer's creditworthiness. This number is usually somewhere between 300 and 900; the higher the number, the more likely a consumer will qualify for a loan.

An organization such as a bank, credit company, retailer, or any other business that extends credit or issues loans to consumers.


The estimation of a consumer's willingness and financial ability to pay back a loan. Creditors decide a consumer's creditworthiness prior to giving or rejecting credit.

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