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What is a debit card?

Millions of Americans have both debit and credit cards, and may not necessarily know the difference between the two.The simplest way to explain is to say that debit cards allow you to only spend as much money as you have in a bank account,

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What is a secured credit card?

Millions of Americans have limited access to credit, and no borrowing history to speak of. For these people a secured credit card might be the only way for them to build a profile.These accounts work by having the applicant make a small payment

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What is a late fee?

If you've mishandled your credit card bills, you've probably been hit with a sizable fee for missing your payment deadline.The reason a late fee can be such a big problem is that it adds money to the amount you owe, on what might

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What is a credit limit?

If you have a credit card, you have a credit limit. As you might expect by the name, that limit is the total amount you can spend on a card without "maxing it out."But what you might not know about that limit is that getting anywhere

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What is a loan principal?

When you take out a loan, or use a credit card, you have to be aware of two amounts of money: The principal, and the interest. Knowing which is which, and what they mean, is crucial.The loan principal, or the principal balance, is the amount

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What is credit history?

One of the things you might hear about a lot when you try to apply for a credit card or loan is how your "credit history" will affect your eligibility. But you might not know what that means.In short, credit history basically means

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What is an overdraft?

If you struggle to pay all your bills on time every month, you might occasionally find that you're being hit with an overdraft fee from your bank, but you might not know what it is.Basically, it means you tried to take money out of your

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What is an alternative credit score?

In the last few years a major emphasis in financial circles has been placed on a person's credit score, but some experts say that this data might not go far enough.That's where "alternative" credit scores - including those

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What is a credit score?

You probably hear a lot about your credit score, but do you know what it is and what goes into it?That score is a three-digit number that lenders use to determine how risky of an investment a person is. The lower the score, the greater the

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What is a minimum payment?

When you get your credit card bills every month, you'll notice that there's a required minimum payment you must submit A lot of people who are strapped for cash will often send in only that much, but doing so isn't a good idea.A

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