What does Credit Mean?
Credit – Return of funds to cardholder’s account for a sale already authorized and settled.
Credit also refers to the creditworthiness or credit history of an individual or company. For example, someone may say, “He has great credit, so he’s not worried about the bank rejecting his mortgage application.” In other cases, it refers to a deduction in the amount one owes. For example, imagine someone owes his credit-card company $1,000, but he returns a purchase worth $300 to the store. He receives a credit on his account and then owes only $700.
Types of Credits
There are many different forms of credits. When banks offer their clients car loans, mortgages, signature loans and lines of credits, those are all forms of credits. Essentially, the bank has credited money to the borrower, and the borrower must pay it back at a future date. For example, when someone makes a purchase at his local mall with his VISA card, his payment is considered a form of credits because he is buying goods with the understanding that he needs to pay for them later.
However, loans are not the only form of credit. When suppliers give products or services to an individual but don’t require payment until later, that is a form of credit. For example, if a restaurant receives a truckload of food from a vendor but the vendor doesn’t demand payment until a month later, the vendor is offering the restaurant a form of credit.
Credits on Accounting Statements
In accounting, a credit is an entry recording a sum that has been received. Traditionally, credits appear on the right-hand side of the column with debits on the left. For example, if someone is tracking his spending in a checking account register, he records deposits as credits, and he records money spent or withdrawn from the account as debits.
Additionally, if a company buys something on credit, its accounts must record the transaction several places in its balance sheet. To explain, imagine a company buys merchandise on credit. After the purchase, the company’s inventory account increases by the amount of the purchase, adding an asset to the company. However, its accounts payable field also increases by the amount of the purchase, adding a liability to the company.