Credit Card Glossary

Letter E

Earnings Withholding Offer

Wage garnishment, in short. When an officer of the court serves a cardholder's place of employment requiring them to give a portion of the consumer's paycheck to their creditor(s).

Electronic Funds Transfer Act

Legislation dating back to 1978 that outlines the rights and liabilities of consumers whose funds are electronically transferred.

Emancipated Minor

The age that a person may open up a credit card account in the United States is 18; unless that person is an emancipated minor. Emancipated minors are people who have gone to court to establish independence from their parents or legal guardian.


The term used to describes the raised numbers that are specific to each credit card account. These numbers are located on the front of a credit card issued to US residents. The origination of embossed numbers trails back to when credit card transactions were handled via carbon paper and the embossment, when rubbed, would create an imprint on the paper to create a receipt and be submitted by the merchant to the processor.


The acronym for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa that take part in the standards for smart or chip-bearing credit cards issued throughout Europe. The EMV standards were implemented back in 2002.


Secure encoding standards for online transactions. As it relates to credit card applications, SSL technology with 128 bit technology or higher is the standard for the transmission of confidential information over the internet to protect the personally identifiable information of credit card applicants.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act

The ECOA was enacted in 1974 to prevent discrimination in the lending industry. It applies to mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, and all other types of loans.

Equitable Division

In the case of a divorce, when a judge decides how property and/or debt is distributed between the two parties. The factors that are looked at to determine the judgement vary from state to state and it is wise if you are going through or planning on going through a divorce to view those factors for the state in which you reside.


A person who handles the legal affairs of another guided under state laws. The most common time when an executor or personal representative is assigned is in the event of death.

Expired Card

Credit cards have an expiration date. At that date, embossed on the card itself, it may no longer be used. The issuer of the credit card will typically send another credit card in the mail the month before the old card is set to expire. Additionally, the expiration date will be required for almost all purchases made online or offline as a measure to not only check to see if the card is active, but as a measure of authentication.