Credit is a privilege and a convenience. Credit lets you charge a meal on a credit card, pay for an appliance on an installment plan, take out a loan to buy a house, or pay for schooling. Credit allows you to make a purchase without ready cash. A credit card enables you to buy things now and pay for them later. You get credit by promising to pay in the future for something you receive in the present. Credit usually costs something, and what is borrowed must be paid back.