When you apply for any form of credit, start a new job or submit a rental proposal for a property, your credit report probably will be checked. To help improve their credit reports, many individuals order a copy from one of the credit referencing agencies. The abbreviations used on the report, however, can be difficult to interpret.
Account Holder Status Abbreviations
The first set of commonly used abbreviations refers to who has responsibility for the account and the participation of this individual or these individuals with the account. According to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service, eight abbreviations are widely used: These are "I," for individual; "U," for undesignated; "J," for joint; "A," for authorized user; "M," for maker; "T," for terminated; "C," for co-maker or co-signer; and "S," for shared.
Account Status Abbreviations
Account status abbreviations comprise letters and numbers. This combination is used to indicate both the type of account and whether or not payment is up to date. The type of account element can have one of three abbreviations. The first is "O," referring to an open account. The second is "R," referring to a revolving account. The third is "I," referring to an installment account. The second element, the payment timeliness element, is a number between zero and six. The number refers to the number of months that have passed since the last missed payment. For example, "0" means payments are up to date, and "6" means payments are up to six months or more late.
Date indicators represent the date of the last update on the account and its status. According to TransUnion, 13 commonly used abbreviations follow the date. These are "A," for automated; "C," for closed; "D," for declined; "F," for repossessed or written off; "I," for indirect; "M," for manually frozen; "N," for no record; "P," for paid out; "R," for reported; "S," for slow answering; "T," for temporarily frozen; "V," for verified; and "X," for no reply.
A number of common abbreviations do not fall into a particular category. These are "APR," for annual percentage rate, the annual interest rate associated with a borrowed sum; "ECOA," for Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the law that prohibits discrimination against a borrower; "FCRA," for Fair Credit Reporting Act, which credit reporting agencies must obey; and "FDCPA," for Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the law that governs debt collection practices.
Samuel Rae is an experienced finance journalist whose work has been published across a range of different sites and publications in the financial space including but not limited to Seeking Alpha, Benzinga, iNewp, Trefis and Small Cap Network. He holds a BSc degree in economics.