MoneyU Glossary of Terms

MoneyU Glossary of Terms

Browse the glossary using this index

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An amount of money a bank or credit card issuer lends to you. You can charge/spend any amount from your credit line to make purchases or take cash advances. As long as you pay the minimum amount due each month by the due date, you can continue to use your remaining available credit.

Credit Bureau

A credit bureau keeps a record of your credit history for any card or loan issuer to review when considering your application for credit. The three major credit reporting agencies in the United States are Equifax, Experian (formerly TRW) and Trans Union.

Credit Card

A credit card allows you to make partial payments for purchases, but charges interest on the amount owed. You can pay your balance off in full to avoid interest payments. Banks and other card issuers set interest rates and fees.

Credit Card Bill of Rights

An amendment to the Truth in Lending Act to establish fair and transparent practices relating to the extension of credit under an open end consumer credit plan.

Credit Card Debt

The total unpaid balances on all your credit cards.

Credit Counseling

An organization that provides debt and money management advice and assistance to people with debt problems. Not all credit counseling firms are reputable, and some might actually make your debts and credit worse.

Credit Criteria

Factors used by lenders to rate the credit worthiness or ability to repay debt. This includes income, the amount of personal debt, the number of accounts from other credit sources, and credit history. A lender can use any credit-related information in approving or denying a credit application as long as they do not violate the Equal Credit Opportunity Act that prohibits credit discrimination on the basis of race, sex and other factors.

Credit History

A record of how a consumer has paid credit accounts in the past. It is used as a guide to determine whether or not the consumer is likely to pay future accounts on time.

Credit Limit/Credit Line

Your credit limit is the maximum amount you may charge on a credit card or you can carry on an account. Some card issuers set a separate limit for purchases and cash advances. Many banks allow you to spend more than your credit limit, but charge you a fee for doing so. It is up to you to keep track of your credit limit and how much available credit you have left.

Credit Management

The way you handle the money you borrow from banks or credit issuers.

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