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The Expert can help you find information to answer credit concerns.

Browse the glossary items listed below for information by topic:

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Accelerated payment
Scheduled payment plus additional monthly payment. Leads to quicker payoff of debt and less interest paid over life of loan.

Account condition
Each account on your Experian credit report has an "Account Condition." It indicates the present state of the account (current, past due, etc.), but does not indicate the payment history of the account.

Account monitoring
Once lenders make a yes decision, they might want to review your credit report on a regular basis as they continue to manage their financial risk. This monitoring, called account monitoring, scans credit reports for certain risk characteristics as defined by the lender. Federal law specifically permits lenders to monitor their accounts. When you signed your credit application, you gave the lender permission to access your credit report from time to time.

Accounts in good standing
Lists credit items that are positive and should help your creditworthiness. Account information includes the creditor's name and address, your account number, the status (current, paid, closed, etc.), type and terms of the account, and additional information as reported to us by your creditors. Some creditors may not report to us, so all of your accounts may not be listed.

Acquisition fee
Refers to the price to purchase another company or property.

Additional monthly payment
The amount of your extra payment per month. This amount is in addition to your minimum required payment. This payment will be used to reduce your principal balance more quickly than if you only made your regular payment.

Adjustable rate mortgage
A mortgage where the interest rate is liable to change over the term of the loan and which is dependent on influences such as interest rates on Treasury securities.

The percentage of debt to be repaid to B15credit grantors in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Affiliate bureau
A bureau or credit reporting agency in partnership with Experian.

Affinity card
A card that is offered jointly by two organizations. One is a credit card issuer and the other is a professional association, special interest group or other non-bank company. For example, Citibank and American Airlines sponsor the Citibank AAdvantage card.

Also Known As

The process of fully paying off your debt by installments of principal and earned interest over a fixed time.

Amount past due
Current amount delinquent on a loan.

Annual Fee
The once-a-year cost of owning a credit card. Some credit card providers offer cards with no annual fee. The annual fee, with interest and other fees are part of the total cost of credit.

Annual income
Your yearly income. For married couples this is your total combined yearly income.

Annual interest rate
The amount of interest you will pay over one year, expressed as a percentage of your balance. Maximum interest rate is 20%.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
A measure of how much interest credit will cost you, expressed as an annual percentage.

Annual rate of return
The pretax rate of return on the amount you earn on savings and investments. For example, the long-term rate of return for investments in the stocks that make up the S&P 500 is about 11%. A savings account earns 2% to 5%.

An expert judgement or estimate of the quality or value of real estate, made by an appraiser, as of a given date.

Appraisal fee
The charge for estimating the value of property offered as security.

Anything owned by an individual that has a cash value. This includes property, goods, savings or investments.

Association code
Describes the consumer's relationship to an account (primary responsibility, authorized users, etc.).

Authorized user
Person permitted by a credit cardholder to charge goods and services on the cardholder's account. The card holder is responsible for charges made by an authorized user.

Average daily balance
The average daily balance is a method used to calculate finance charges on an account. It is calculated by adding the outstanding balance on each day in the billing period, and dividing that total by the number of days in the billing period. The calculation includes new purchases and payments. The daily interest rate is then applied to the daily balance to calculate the finance charge.


Bad debt
A debt that a lender has determined the borrower is not going to repay.

The total amount of money owed on a loan or credit account, or the total amount of money in a checking or savings account. In the case of a credit card, it includes any unpaid balance from the previous month, new purchases, cash advances, and any charges such as an annual fee, late fee or interest.

Balance transfer
Moving a balance from one account to another. In the case of a credit account, the balance (debt) is moved from one credit card to another. This is often done with special checks or forms, or may be offered as an option on some credit card applications. Some credit card issuers may offer temporary special lower rates for balance transfers.

Balloon loan
A short term fixed-rate loan which involves small payments for a certain period of time and one large payment for the remaining amount of the principal at a time specified in the contract.

Balloon payment
Balloon loans require a single, lump sum payment at the end of the loan term. This is usually a larger amount and the borrower often takes another loan to make the payment.

An institution that accepts funds for deposits, lends money and may offer other financial services such as insurance, brokerage or trust accounts.

A credit or debit card issued by a bank or other financial institution.

Bankruptcy - Chapter 11
A chapter of the Bankruptcy Code that provides a type of bankruptcy where certain assets of the business or individual are sold to pay off a portion of all existing debts.

Bankruptcy - Chapter 13
A type of bankruptcy usually used by businesses rather than individuals. Used as an alternative to liquidation under Chapter 7.

Bankruptcy - Chapter 7
A type of bankruptcy where debtors repay debts according to a plan accepted by the debtor, the creditors and the court. Plan payments usually come from the debtor's future income and are paid to creditors through the court systems and the bankruptcy trustee.

Bankruptcy code
Federal laws governing the conditions and procedures under which persons and businesses that are unable to repay their debts can seek relief.

Better Business Bureau
A voluntary, nonprofit group established by businesses to improve the code of business practices and to define fair standards and ethics in the conduct of the business. The Better Business Bureau is neither a government agency nor a consumer group.

Big 3
The three largest credit reporting companies: Experian, Equifax and Trans Union.

A list of charges for goods sold, work performed or services provided to the person who has agreed to pay the costs.

Billing cycle
The number of days between statements (bills). This is generally about 25 days.

A financial plan itemizing income and expense during a projected time period.

A lump sum payment made to the creditor by the borrower or by a third party to reduce some or all of the consumer's debt. A buydown will reduce the amount of remaining periodic payments to repay the indebtedness.