CREDIT (Lat. credere, to believe), in a general sense, belief or trust. The word is used also to express the repute which a person has, or the estimation in which he is held. In a commercial sense credit is the promise to pay at a future time for valuable consideration in the present: hence, a reputation of solvency and ability to make such payments is also termed credit. In bookkeeping credit is the side of the account on which payments are entered; hence, sometimes, the payments themselves.
The part which credit plays in the production and exchange of wealth is discussed in all economic text-books, but special reference may be made to K. Knies, Geld und Kredit (1873-1879), and H. D. Macleod, Theory of Credit (1889-1891). See also Hartley Withers, The Meaning of Money (1909).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)