Credit Cards · Tools · Glossary · D-terms · Default rate

Credit Card Glossary: Terms and Definitions

Confused by credit card terms? CreditCards.com'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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Default rate
The penalty rate, also called the default rate, is the very high interest rate charged by the credit card issuer when a borrower violates the card's terms and conditions. The penalty rate is triggered most often when cardholders are late making monthly payments. This penalty rate can be lowered -- or "cured" -- if the account holder makes six consecutive on-time payments immediately following the late payment.