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Credit Card Glossary: Terms and Definitions

Confused by credit card terms?'s glossary of credit card definitions will help. From account holder to Regulation Z, we have defined the most-common and most-confusing credit card terms.

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Charge-offs are the uncollected credit card balances that have been overdue so long they are removed from the books and charged against a bank's loss reserves. Your original card issuer will typically attempt to collect on the account only until it reaches 180 days past due. At that level of delinquency, most creditors will place the debt with an outside collections agency and "charge off" the debt from its books. For a card issuer, this is an accounting measure the creditor uses to move your account from an asset to a liability. For an individual, it's far more: Having a debt charged off has a serious, negative impact on a consumer's credit.