Glossary of Credit Terms (R – T)

Glossary - Common Credit Reports & Credit Scores TermsHere are definitions of key terms and phrases common to the credit reports and scores. Refer back to this glossary when you come across any jargon that leaves you puzzled.

To fast forward to a particular section of this glossary of credit terms, just click on a letter below for terms beginning with:

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Acronyms & Abbreviations


Recent Balance
The most recent balance owed on an account as reported by the creditor.

Recent Payment
The most recent amount paid on an account as reported by the creditor.

This means that a lien has been satisfied in full.

Report Number
A number that uniquely identifies each personal Experian credit report. This number displays on your personal credit report and should always be referenced when you contact us.

Reported Since
The date the creditor started reporting an account.

A creditor’s taking possession of property pledged as collateral on a loan contract on which a borrower has fallen significantly behind in payments.

Indicates who is responsible for an account; can be single, joint, co-signer, etc.

Revolving Account/Revolving Credit
Debt owed on an account that the borrower can repeatedly use and pay back without having to reapply every time credit is used. Credit cards are the most common type of revolving account.

Risk Scoring Models
A system used to represent a consumer’s creditworthiness with a single numbers (e.g. FICO). Credit grantors use risk scoring models to predict future payment behavior of consumers and make lending decisions.

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Acronyms & Abbreviations


If a consumer has paid all of the money the court says he owes, the public record item associated with the debt is said to be satisfied.
Scoring Models
See Risk Scoring Models.

Secured Credit
Credit or loan for which some form of acceptable collateral, such as a house or automobile has been pledged. The opposite is Unsecured Credit.

Real or personal property that a borrower pledges for the term of a loan. Should the borrower fail to repay, the creditor may take ownership of the property by following legally mandated procedures.

Security Alert
See Fraud Alert

Security Freeze
See Credit Freeze

Security Lock
See Credit Freeze

Service Credit
Agreements between consumers and service providers. The consumer receives goods such as electricity, or services such as apartment rental and health club memberships, with the agreement that he/she will pay for them each month. A contract may require payments for a specific number of months, even if the service is stopped.

An account status indicating that a debt has been paid in part.

Single Bureau Credit Report
A credit report from just one of the three nationwide credit bureaus. See also 3-in-1 credit report.
Soft Inquiry
An inquiry about your credit history made by a creditor or lender with whom you already have a relationship with, made for purposes of account maintenance or any other purpose except applying for new credit. Soft inquiries appear on your credit report, but do not affect your credit score. See ../credit-inquiries/ for more information.

See Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations (SOL)
The legal time frame a creditor can file a lawsuit against a debtor. Each state’s laws dictate how long a debt collector can sue you for a debt. If a debtor is sued after the SOL has expired, he/she can use it as an affirmative defense in court.

Before you respond to an old debt, check the statute of limitations in your state. You can confirm the statute with your State Attorney General.

Stay Current
Paying an account as planed/on schedule.

Customers of credit bureaus who regularly run credit checks on consumers. These include mortgage companies, banks, credit card companies, auto dealers, collection agencies, and apartment managers.

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Acronyms & Abbreviations


Tax Lien
A tax lien is the right, usually by the county, state, or federal government, to take possession of property due to a delinquency on property taxes, or even income taxes. See also Lien.

This refers to the debt repayment terms of your agreement with a creditor, such as 60 months, 48 months, etc.

Third-Party Collectors
Debt collectors who are under contract to collect debts for a credit department or credit company.

Three in One Credit Report
See 3 in 1 Credit Report

Time-bared debts are debts beyond the statute of limitations (SOL), which means that they are too old for creditors and debt collectors to sue you for. Each state’s laws dictate how long a debt collector can sue you for a debt. If a debtor is sued after the SOL has expired, he/she can use it as an affirmative defense in court.

See Trade Line.

Trade Line
Entry by a credit grantor on a consumer’s credit report. A trade line describes the consumer’s account status and activity. Trade line information includes names of companies where the applicant has accounts, dates accounts were opened, credit limits, types of accounts, balances owed and payment histories.

Transaction Fees
Fees charged for certain use of your credit line – for example, to get a cash advance from an ATM.

TransRisk/TransRisk Score
The brand name TransUnion credit bureau is using for their version of Fico credit score. It is also used by CreditKarma.

One of the 3 major credit bureaus. Headquartered in Chicago. The other two national credit reporting agencies are Equifax and Experian

Truth in Lending Act
Title I of the Consumer Protection Act. Requires that most categories of lenders disclose the annual interest rate, the total dollar cost and other terms of loans and credit sales.

Used to be a credit bureau, which evolved into Experian Credit Bureau. TRW is now a corporation based in the United States. The corporation has a number of businesses ventures, one of which is Experian credit reporting.

An acronym to TransUnion Credit Bureau.

Refers to the type of credit agreement made with a creditor such as revolving account or installment loan.

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Acronyms & Abbreviations

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