Credit is essentially borrowed money. You, the borrower, enter into a contract with a lender (e.g., bank or credit union) in which you can use their money to buy something now and repay the funds at a designated later date.

Using & Managing Credit

Credit is used to obtain goods or services before paying for them, like: buying a car, taking out a mortgage, getting a lease on an apartment, etc. Recently, credit is being used in some states (not Illinois) as part of a background check for employment. 

Establishing credit for the first time can prove difficult if you have no prior credit history; some lenders are reluctant to issue credit to someone they don't know if they can trust or not. Learn more about credit and how to manage it wisely to accomplish your financial goals by enrolling in Establish Healthy Credit.

Establish healthy credit

Credit Histories, Scores & Reports

Your credit history is a record of your ability to repay borrowed amounts per the terms of your credit agreements.

This record of your credit history is documented in a credit report. You can get a free copy of your credit report by visiting

Credit scores are a numerical value placed on your creditworthiness based on information in your credit report(s).

Want to learn more about credit scores, reports, and histories? Enroll in Credit Secrets Revealed to learn what each means and why they matter to your financial future, including their impacts on leases, employment, access to financial tools, and more.

Credit secrets revealed