Here's part of a conversation:

Mrs. Parker: Can't we get a loan from the bank?
Mr. Parker: Actually, I asked them the other day.
Mrs. Parker: What did they answer?
Mr. Parker: They said I didn't have enough credit with the bank.

I looked credit up in Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary and found the following:

a record of how well you have paid your bills in the past

Is this the right meaning in this context?


a record of how well you have paid your bills in the past

Is this the right meaning [of credit] in this context?

Not exactly. Your credit, properly, expresses the degree of faith which somebody has in you—in the bank's case, the degree of its faith that you will repay a loan. Your "credit history"—your past record of paying your obligations—is no doubt an important contributor to that faith, but there are other factors the bank also considers, such as your income and your employment prospects, and what assets you can put up for security.

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  • 1
    Then the following definition seems better: the status of being trusted to pay back money to somebody who lends it to you. Source: Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary – Mori Apr 10 '15 at 17:47
  • @Mori Yes, that's what banks mean when they speak of extending credit to borrowers. – StoneyB on hiatus Apr 10 '15 at 21:19
  • credit has many meanings in other contexts, including well defined meanings in accounting. Just fyi, since it can be easy to get them confused. – CoolHandLouis Apr 12 '15 at 2:20

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