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the key terms


the privilege of using someone else's money for a period of time

finance charge

the total dollar cost of credit including interest and all other charges

down payment

a payment of part of the purchase price that is made as part of a credit agreement

installment loan

a loan in which you agree to make monthly payments in specific amounts over a period of time

promissory note

a written promise to repay based on a debtor's excellent credit history


property that is used as security, giving the lender the right to sell this property to get back the amount of the loan if it is not repaid


the party responsible for payment of a note if the borrower does not pay as promised

credit rating

a person's reputation for paying bills on time


the money you receive for letting others use your money; the money you pay for using someone else's money

annual percentage rate

the percentage cost of credit on a yearly basis

credit application

a form on which you provide information needed by a lender to make a decision about granting credit

credit bureau

a company that gathers information on credit users and sells that information to business offering credit

statement of account

a record of the transactions completed during the billing period

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