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Credit Report Terminology

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

account
An account represents a relationship between a company (the account owner) and consumer, where the consumer purchases a product or service in such a way that represents the transfer of money over time.

account number
A reference number assigned to accounts, by the creditor or collection agency, to uniquely identify a consumer as the owner of that account.

account reviews
Inquiries made into a consumer's credit history by creditors, with whom the consumer has a current relationship. These inquiries are not included in the business version of a consumer's credit report.

adverse action
An unfavorable action, such as the denial of credit, insurance or employment, taken by a creditor or other entity, affecting a consumer. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, creditors must disclose the reasons for any adverse action.

adverse information
Information about a consumer that a creditor or other entity considers a risk or unacceptable, such as a past due account.

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B

bank card
A credit card issued through a bank.

bankruptcy
A legal proceeding to give a person or business some relief from debts. See also Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Chapter 12 Bankruptcy, and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.

business version (of a credit report)
An abbreviated version of a consumer credit report. The business version of a credit report is what creditors see and does not contain promotional inquiries or account reviews.

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C

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code that provides for court-administered liquidation of the assets of a financially troubled individual or business.

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code that is usually used for the reorganization of a financially troubled business. Used as an alternative to liquidation under Chapter 7.

Chapter 12 Bankruptcy
The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code adopted to address financial difficulties of the nation's farming community.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code in which debtors repay debts according to a plan accepted by the debtor, the creditors, and the court.

charge card
A credit card that requires full payment of the bill each month; no interest is charged. The American Express Card and Diners Club Card are examples.

consumer version (of a credit report)
The consumer version of a credit report lists all inquiries, including promotional and account review. Only the consumer can request this version of their credit report. Creditors cannot see this version; they see only the business version of credit reports.

credit
A consumer's ability to make purchases, obtain services, or borrow money based on his or her promise, ability, and demonstrated willingness to repay.

credit bureau
A company that gathers information about how consumers use credit, which the credit bureau in turn provides to potential creditors, employers and others who have a legally-recognized reason (permissible purpose) to inquire about the creditworthiness of an individual.

credit card
A card that allows a consumer to pay a portion or all of the outstanding amount each month and has a credit limit. Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are examples.

credit check
An inquiry to confirm a consumer's credit payment history.

credit fraud
A case when someone has stolen a consumer's identity by fraudulently using that consumer's social security number or other personal information to acquire credit in his or her name.

credit history
The record of a consumer's credit accounts and manner of payment (MOP). Credit history includes high credit, current balance, credit limit, and 24 months of MOP history.

credit limit
The maximum balance that can be carried on a credit account.

credit report
A summary of a consumer's recent credit history plus additional facts about the consumer that will help creditors judge the consumer's creditworthiness.

credit risk
An assessment of a consumer's likelihood of fulfilling the terms of a credit agreement.

credit score
A mathematical calculation that reflects a consumer's creditworthiness. The score is an assessment of how likely a consumer is to pay his or her debts.

creditor
Person or business to whom a debt is owed.

creditworthiness
A description of a consumer's credit behavior and management that leads to a creditor's decision whether or not to make an offer of credit.

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D

date closed
The date when a credit agreement or account was terminated.

date opened
The date when a credit account was established.

default
Failure of a consumer to make loan or credit repayments as agreed in a loan or credit agreement. A loan or credit default may be identified by a high MOP rating. See manner of payment.

dispute
To question the accuracy of information in a credit report. If a consumer questions the information on his or her file, then TransUnion is obligated to recheck the disputed information with the creditor or organization that reported it, record the current status, and correct any error.

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F

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The FCRA protects consumers' privacy by defining permissible purposes a business or individual must have when requesting a credit report; provides consumers with the right to obtain copies of their credit reports for free if denied credit; defines obsolete information; and declares that reasonable procedures must be used to ensure accuracy.

fraud
Intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right.

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I

identity
The distinguishing character or personality of a consumer. Also includes any unique information about a consumer such as a Social Security number.

identity confirmation
The successful verification of a consumer's identity.

inquiry
An examination of a consumer's credit history.

installment loan
A credit account in which the debt is divided into amounts to be paid successively at specified intervals set by the terms of the loan.

installment loan account number
A reference number assigned by the creditor to a specific installment loan account (for example: auto, student, furniture, jewelry).

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L

Lee Street Management
The creator of this Credit Report Terminology list and the owner of this website. All material copyrighted.

lien
An interest that a creditor has in a consumer's property that lasts until the satisfaction of some debt or duty.

line of credit
Credit limit established by a creditor.

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M

Manner of Payment (MOP)
A series of codes or statements used to show the payment habits (prompt, delinquent, etc.) of a consumer.

mortgage
A document in which the owner pledges his/her/its title to real property to a creditor as security for a loan.

mortgage account number
An account number created by a creditor that is usually found on either the monthly statement or coupon book issued with the loan.

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O

open account
An account that is active, still in use, or is still being paid.

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P

paid as agreed
A designation on the credit report that indicates the consumer is repaying the credit account according to the terms of the credit agreement.

permissible purpose
The particular circumstances under which a consumer credit report may be disclosed by a credit bureau in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

promotional inquiry
An inquiry made into a consumer's credit report for purposes of a promotional offer.

public records
Information that is available to the general public, including tax liens, court judgments, and bankruptcy.

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R

retail card
A credit card that is issued by a retail store.

revolving charge account
Credit automatically available up to a predetermined limit so long as a consumer makes regular payments.

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S

score
See credit score.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
An Internet security standard that is used to establish a secure connection on the World Wide Web.

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T

tradeline
Any credit account such as a bank loan, credit card, or mortgage.

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