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Credit Card Glossary: Terms and Definitions

Credit score

A credit score is a three digit number that summarizes how well a person or business has handled debt. The higher the number, the better. Those with high scores can qualify for larger loans at better rates. Those with low scores will get poor terms, or be turned down. There are a variety of credit scores using different formulas; what they have in common is that they judge risk and try to predict future behavior. Credit lines outstanding, debt-to-income ratio and (especially) past payment behavior are among the factors in a person’s credit score. The firm FICO pioneered the use of credit scores, and its product, the FICO score, remains the best known.

Terms from A-Z

Search the CreditCards.com glossary for every credit-related term from "account holder" to "zombie debt." Select a letter for alphabetized terms and definitions.

cCarbon-paper packetsCard issuerCard-linked loyalty offersCard memberCard member agreementCard-not-present (CNP) transactionsCard-not-present fraudCard-present (CP) transactionsCard-present fraudCard-present transactionsCard readerCardersCardholderCardholder agreementCardingCarding forumsCash advanceCash advance checkCash advance feeCash advance rateCash backCash cardCasherCashingChapter 11 bankruptcyChapter 13 bankruptcyChapter 7 bankruptcyCharge-back periodCharge cardCharge-offCharge-off rateChargebackChip-and-PIN cardsChip and signatureChip cardChip-enabled terminalChoice of lawChurningClaims and defensesClearingCloningClosed-end loanClosed loopCo-branded cardCo-signerCOB fraudCollateralCollectionCollection-proofCombined guaranteeCommercial cardsCommercial credit scoreCommunity propertyConcierge serviceconjoined accountConsumer credit fileConsumer credit reportConsumer Financial Protection BureauContact chip cardContactless chip cardContactless paymentsConvenience checksConvenience feeCorporate credit cardCramdownCredit bureauCredit bureau risk scoreCredit cardCredit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009Credit CARD Act of 2009Credit card imprinter formCredit card numberCredit counselorCredit freezeCredit historyCredit inquiryCredit life insuranceCredit limitCredit lineCredit mixCredit monitoring serviceCredit mulingCredit obligationCredit ratingCredit Repair Organizations ActCredit reportCredit reporting agency (CRA)Credit scoreCredit unionCredit utilization ratioCreditors meetingCross-collateralizationCryptocurrencyCurrency conversion feeCVV