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Credit Abbreviations

Credit reports can be so cryptic with all of their codes and abbreviations. In fact, the credit industry as a whole uses numerous abbreviations that only add to the confusion. Here is a list of common credit abbreviations and what they mean.

RMCR - Residential Merged Credit Report also known as a Residential Mortgage Credit Report. Mortgage lenders want to see all three of your credit reports and scores. The RMCR merges all three credit reports so it's not necessary to pull each one separately.

CRA - Credit Reporting Agency. These are for-profit organizations that collect and distribute credit report information. The three most widely used and commonly known CRAs are Experian, TransUnion and Equifax; otherwise named credit bureaus.

FICO - Fair Isaac Corporation; the company that developed the FICO credit score; the first credit scoring model and the most widely used.

VSS - VSS is VantageScore Solutions, which is the company that maintains the VantageScore credit scoring system.

FCRA - Fair Credit Reporting Act. This piece of Federal legislation regulates how credit information can be collected, reported and distributed. It also entails consumer rights. This law provides many protections for the consumer and is good information to be familiar with.

CRO - A Credit Repair Organization is a company, as defined by Federal and state law, that markets and sells credit report improvement services to consumers for a fee.

CROA - The Credit Repair Organizations Act is the Federal statute that defines how credit repair companies have to operate when offering credit improvement services to consumers.

TILA - The Truth in Lending Act is a federal law that protects consumers in their dealings with lenders and creditors. The most important aspect is full disclosure of annual percentage rates and total costs the borrower will incur before signing.

CARD Act - Credit Card Accountability Responsibility Disclosure Act, otherwise known as the Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights, was passed to mandate fair and transparent credit card transactions. In other words, prevent (or reduce) credit card company abuse to the consumer.

FACTA - Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, an amendment to the FCRA, aimed to provide further protection to the consumer by allowing them to view their credit report for free once per year.

DTI - Debt to Income Ratio compares total debt payment to overall income. A debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is one way lenders (including mortgage lenders) measure an individual's ability to manage monthly payment and repay debts. DTI is calculated by dividing total recurring monthly debt by gross monthly income, and it is expressed as a percentage.

APR - Annual Percentage Rate is the interest rate you are charged yearly on loans and credit cards.

CDIA - The CDIA is the Consumer Data Industry Association, which is the trade association of the credit reporting industry.

FCBA - The Fair Credit Billing Act is the Federal statute that protects consumers again unfair billing practices. One of the key tenets is consumer liability on credit card fraud; which limits victim payment responsibility to $50.

EFTA - The Electronic Funds Transfer Act is the Federal statute that limits our liability on debit card fraud to no more than $500.

FDCPA - The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers from abusive debt collection practices from third party agencies.

ACDV - An Automated Credit Dispute Verification form is used by the credit reporting agencies to communicate consumer disputes to lenders and collection agencies. The non-automated predecessor to the ACDV was the CDV, which stands for Consumer Dispute Verification form.

AUD - An Automated Universal Data form is used by lenders and collection agencies to proactively correct or modify information on a consumer's credit reports. The non-automated predecessor to the AUD was the UDF, which stands for Universal Data Form.

e-OSCAR - Online Solution for Complete and Accurate Reporting is the communication protocol used by the credit reporting agencies to communicate disputes to their furnishing companies, normally a lender or a collection agency.

PACER - Public Access to Court Electronic Records is used by the credit reporting agencies to collect bankruptcy information, which is then placed on consumer credit reports.

AA Letter - An AA letter is an "Adverse Action" letter, which is a declination letter. If you are denied credit because of your credit report and/or credit score the lender is obligated by Federal law to send you an Adverse Action letter.

DMP - A Debt Management Program (or "Plan") is a service offered by credit counselors that are members of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (or "NFCC"). The DMP is a systemic way to pay down your credit card debt.

CCCS - Consumer Credit Counseling Service is a debt management plan that consolidates the consumer's unsecured credit and debt payments into one new monthly payment.