Secured Debt:

This means the debt is secured with collateral. Examples of secured debts are; home loans, car loans, loans for specific merchandise that has been named on the loan contract as collateral, federally guaranteed student loans, or other forms of debt that are held against specific property.

Unsecured Debt:

This means that the debt is not secured against any form of collateral, such as property, that can be held against the loan. Examples of unsecured debts are: credit card, lines of credit from banks or finance companies, signature loans, medical bills, bills for services, or bills that have gone to a collection agency. All of these debts can easily be resolved with our specialized debt help services.


Anything owned by an individual that has a cash value. This includes property, goods, savings or investments.

Bad Credit:

A term used to describe a poor credit rating. Common practices that can damage a credit rating include making late payments, skipping payments, exceeding card limits or declaring bankruptcy. "Bad Credit" can result in being denied credit.


The total amount of money owed. It includes any unpaid balance from the previous month, new purchases, cash advances, and any charges such as an annual fee, late fee or interest. The balance should not be confused with the monthly payment (the minimum payment allowed each month), which is generally 2% - 5% for revolving credit cards.

Beacon Score:

This is your credit score that creditors look at when determining if you are credit worthy. Your Beacon Score is determined by negative entries such as late payments which would decrease your score or a positive, timely payment history on your accounts which would increase your score.

Billing Cycle:

The number of days between statement dates. This is generally about 25 days.


Another person who signs for a loan and assumes equal liability for it.


The promise to pay in the future in order to buy or borrow in the present. The right to defer payment of debt.

Credit Worthiness:

A creditor's measure of a consumer's past and future ability and willingness to repay debts.

Credit Card:

Any card, plate, or coupon book that may be used repeatedly to borrow money or buy goods and services on credit.

Credit History:

A record of how a person has borrowed and repaid debts.


Failure to meet the terms of a credit agreement.


A legal term meaning a court has erased your debt(s) not to be confused with a "charge off" or "write off" which is an accounting term which does not erase debts.

Finance Charge:

The total dollar amount paid to get credit.


A notice a creditor attaches to your property that tells the world that you owe the creditor money. You cannot sell the property without paying off the creditor because the lien makes the "title" (history of ownership) cloudy and a new owner won't buy under those conditions.

Overdraft Checking Account:

A checking account associated with a line of credit that allows a person to write checks for more than the actual balance in the account, with a finance charge on the overdraft.

Security Interest:

The creditor's right to take property or a portion of property offered as security.


The monthly bill from a credit card issuer that describes and summarizes the activity on an account. A statement includes the outstanding balance, purchases, payments, credits, finance charges and other transactions for the month.