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Financial Literacy - Credit scores
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Improving credit tool kit
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Credit scoring, demystified

Credit scoring and credit report glossary

13. FICO score -- The most commonly used credit score. The name comes from the Fair Isaac Corporation, which developed the scoring model. The score is used to predict the likelihood that a person will pay his or her debts. The scores use only information from credit reports.

14. Hard inquiry -- An item on a person's credit report that indicates that someone has asked for a copy of the individual's report. Hard inquiries are requests that result from a person applying for credit, such as a mortgage, a car loan, a credit card or a rental application. They are included in the formula for determining a person's credit score.

15. Installment credit -- A type of credit in which the monthly payment is the same every month and the loan has a set time period. The most common forms of installment credit are mortgages and auto loans.

16. Public record -- Information on your credit report that has been obtained from court records, such as bankruptcies, judgments and liens. These are never good.

17. Revolving credit -- An account that requires a minimum payment each month plus service charges on the remaining balance. As the balance declines, so does the service charge.

18. Scoring model -- A statistical formula used to calculate scores based on data such as information from a consumer's credit report.

19. Soft inquiry -- An item on a person's credit report that indicates that someone has asked for a copy of his or her report. Soft inquiries can be from current creditors reviewing the file, prospective creditors who want to send out an offer such as a preapproved credit card, or a person's own review of their file. They are not included in the formula for determining a person's credit score.

20. Trade line -- An account listed on a credit report. Each separate account is a different trade line.

For a complete list of credit scoring terms, check out our glossary.

View glossary archive
-- Posted: June 18, 2007
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