Glossary of Terms

Click on the first letter of the credit term to view its definition.

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


Account Types:
The types of records appearing on your Credit Report, such as mortgages, student loans, auto loans, credit cards, charge cards, and service accounts.

Accounts in Collections:
Accounts that are seriously overdue and may have been turned over to a collection agency.

Accounts Listed Negative:
Negative accounts are those that have not been paid or have been paid 30, 60, 90, or 120 days late.

Average Account Age:
To calculate the "mean" or "average" age of your accounts, add the number of years you've had each account, and then divide this sum by the total number of accounts.


Count of Records:
The total number of accounts, inquiries, and public records that appear on your Credit Report.

Credit Cards:
A plastic card allowing someone to make purchases on borrowed money.

Credit Limit:
The amount of credit available to borrow on an account.

Credit Summary:
This contains information about your unsecured credit lines.

Credit Usage:
The percentage of credit that you have used. Also called credit utilization, the percentage is determined by diving your balance by your credit limit.

Current Negative Status:
Any accounts listed as negative within the last 30 days.


Debt Summary:
Snapshot of all the money owed separated by account type.


Experian® Credit Score:
A Credit Score summarizes your credit history into a number that lets lenders and others quickly know how responsible you have been with your past credit accounts and loans. Experian uses the "PLUS Score," an educational Credit Score that can range from 330 to 830, with a higher score indicating lower credit risk.


Hard Inquiries:
This type of inquiry appears on your Credit Report when you give a business, financial institution, landlord, or employer permission to check your credit in order to open a new account, obtain a loan, rent a property, or get a job.


Installment Debt: Credit accounts in which the debt is divided into amounts to be paid successively at specified intervals until the debt is paid off.

Installment Loans:
These are loans you agree to repay over a specified time period a pre-determined schedule of monthly payments.


Length of History:
The total length of time you have had a credit file.


Monthly Payment:
This is the total amount of money you repay to your creditors each month.

Most Negative Status:
This reflects the worst status contained in your Credit Report. For example, if the worst status in your Credit Report is 30 days late, then this section will indicate "30 days late."


Negative Information:
This includes loan defaults, late payments (payments that are more than 30 days past due), delinquencies, charge-offs, collections, and public records.


Oldest Account:
The account that has been in your credit file for the longest period of time


Public Records:
This is information that has been reported by local, state, federal or other government agencies about legal matters associated with your name. The most common Public Records include bankruptcies, tax liens, state and county court records and monetary judgments.


Real Estate Debt:
Any debt that has been used to buy a home or has been secured by your home. For example, a home equity loan can be a real estate secured debt.

Real Estate Loans:
This includes mortgages and other property loans (primary and secondary loans).

Retail Cards:
A plastic card issued by a specific retailer or group of retailers for limited use at their own stores.

Revolving Credit Accounts:
An account from which credit is automatically available up to a predetermined maximum limit as long as a customer makes regular payments.

Revolving Credit Available:
Your available credit is the difference between the unused amount of your credit lines and the amount that you have already borrowed.

Revolving Credit Limit:
These are lines of credit that you open without any collateral security.

Revolving Credit to Debt Ratio:
This number helps lenders determine your risk level. It is calculated by dividing your debt by the credit limits on your revolving accounts.

Revolving Debt:
Line of credit (most commonly includes credit cards or retail cards) that enables borrowers to use available funds as needed. These lines of credit typically require a monthly or annual membership fee.

Risk Level:
In determining Credit Scores, lenders place you in a risk category that compares you to a large number of consumers with similar credit histories. This allows lenders to compare "apple to apples," ensuring that your credit behavior is judged in a context that is relevant and fair.


Score Rank:
This is how your Credit Score compares to a representative sample of U.S. consumer credit profiles. The higher your rank, the better your Credit Score.


Total Accounts:
The total number of mortgages, loans, credit cards, charge cards, and service accounts that appear on your Credit Report.

Total Debt:
This is the total amount of money you currently owe on that has been reported to the credit reporting agencies.

Total Open Accounts:
This is all of the accounts listed as having an "open" status on your Credit Report.