Credit is a form of borrowing or lending that goes back many millenniums. There are several definitions of the word credit, ranging from "reliance on the truth" to "the provision of money, goods, or services with the expectation of future payment" and "the balance in a person's favor in an account" (Merriam-Webster). In simple terms, credit is defined as a transaction by one person or entity that has the recipient receiving money or goods without pay, so they have incurred a debt or line of credit. One person is a creditor and the other is a debtor.

One of the oldest forms of lending is the pawn shop which was also referred to as pawn broking. Pawn shops were used as credit establishments and are still used today by many people. By exchanging an item or service, money was lent thereby establishing some sort of credit. Today we tend to think of credit in the form of credit cards and insurmountable loans. All throughout history the fall of a person's credit has had the ability to cause their demise, so it is not surprising that the current economic crisis (2009) has again caused devastation. The backbone of economy has to do with the way credit is transacted, from the banking industry, Wall Street, stocks and bonds, real estate, and more.

As time goes by a person's creditworthiness is becoming more important. This practice is causing a huge disparity among the rich, middle class, working class, and the poor. Essentially, creditworthiness is the determination that you are or are not worth taking a chance on when it comes to lending money or extending credit. In order to buy a vehicle, home, property, expensive toys, or jewelry, a business runs a credit check to determine the likelihood of the person being able to repay or afford it. It is becoming increasingly common that places of employment are starting to run credit checks. They are somehow saying that a credit record can determine a person's reliability and accountability. Credit checks and credit reports have risen to their own conglomerations.

It takes a lot of effort to build credit and become creditworthy. This can mean paying off old debt, not accruing any further debt, reducing credit card interest rates, establishing credit building accounts, and simply paying off your current bills. The idea of living inside of your means is integral to becoming creditworthy. Becoming creditworthy is not just about the dollar bills in your pocket. It is about earning trust. When a pawn shop owner back in the day brokered a deal with you and you put your word that you'd come back to repay, it was handshake honored. If you are a person that someone can vouch for then you are creditworthy. Defining credit beyond finance and becoming creditworthy is all aspects of our lives makes it a more important concept. It makes credit about integrity. This doesn't mean you aren't creditworthy if you can't pay your bills or your credit report is a bit rocky.

Credit is considered something positive. It is the opposite of debit, which means debt or to subtract. If the bank credits your account it means that they put money in it. Credit is not just about money though. Beyond banking and lending money, credit is something intangible. It is something that we emotionally extend to other people. By giving someone credit there is an acknowledgment of their accomplishment. Credit can also be referred to as the origin of an idea, so if someone else thought of it first you should "give them credit" with an acknowledgment. A great example of this are the end of a movie "credits" that roll showing who was responsible for what roles in making the film.

Credit and its many definitions is very important. Whether it is in financial terms or in the acknowledgment of someone's work or creativity, credit is respectful and highly honored. In all ways, credit can be something to always strive for. Becoming a creditworthy person can build you financially or in stature by attaining the accolades of others.