Glossary of Credit Card Terms

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Identity theft Identity theft, also called ID theft, describes the unauthorized use of other person’s information to commit fraud. The more personal information a thief has, the higher damage is caused. Identity...
In-house In credit card terms, in-house describes store credit cards owned and operated directly by the merchant.
Inactive account An inactive account is an account with rare or no use. If there is no activity on a credit cards account, some card issuers will close the account and cancel charging privileges. An inactive account...
Inactivity fee Inactivity fee is charged by some banks on credit card accounts that are unused for some period of time. Was rarely used until late 2009 and early 2010 when banks found ways to boost income with...
Index An index is a benchmark rate, such as the prime rate or LIBOR, to which a margin is added to calculate a variable interest rate. For example, if your credit card contract says your interest rate is...
Inquiry Inquiry happens when a lender looks at your credit report to see whether to loan you money. An inquiry can be "soft," it occurs when a credit card issuer is searching for new customers and checks...
Installment loan An installment loan is a type of loan where identical, repeated payments are made for a predetermined period of time. A car loan is a good example of this loan, where you monthly pay the same amount...
Interchange fee The interchange fee, also called the discount rate or swipe fee, is the fee retailers pay to credit card processors for accepting general-use credit cards (such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express...
Interest rate An interest rate is the price a lender charges for loaning money. On credit cards, interest rates can be complicated, because lenders set multiple interest rates. You may have a low, introductory...
Interest rate cap An interest rate cap is the maximum amount of interest that can be charged to a customer. Rate caps may be imposed by a credit card agreement, or by state or federal law.

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