Bad Credit

Definition of 'Bad Credit'


A qualification of an individual's credit history that indicates that a borrower carries a higher credit risk. A low credit score indicates bad credit, while a high credit score is an indicator of good credit. Creditors who have lent money to an individual with bad credit face a higher risk of that individual missing payments or defaulting.

Investopedia explains 'Bad Credit'


An individual's credit history is dependent on a number of factors, including the amount borrowed, the amount of available credit remaining and the timeliness of payments. An individual may have bad credit if he or she does not make timely payments or has defaulted on a loan during a period of time. Having bad credit makes it more difficult or costly to obtain loans, such as mortgages, from financial institutions.


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