Construction Site

It takes less time to do things right
than to explain why you did it wrong.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What you need to know about competition
and consumer law

Five things you need to know about
consumer credit law

1

You need to know when consumer credit law applies to your business

The Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act applies to your business if you are providing credit.

2

When am I providing credit?

You're providing credit if you have an agreement with customers that means they can defer payment for your goods or services. If you are providing credit, you may also be entering into consumer credit contracts and have additional obligations.

3

When have I entered into a consumer credit contract?

You've entered into a consumer credit contract when you provide credit to a person (not a business) and the credit is used for personal, domestic or household purposes (such as repairing residential properties) and where you do all of the following three things:

  • provide credit to customers on a regular basis
  • allow your customers more than two months to pay
  • charge interest or a credit fee (or could do so under the agreement).

For this type of contract, two of your most important obligations are to fully disclose all terms of the contract and to ensure any fees you charge are reasonable.

4

You must disclose key information

You must give your customers key information about the terms of the contract, such as what payments are required, how any interest is calculated and any fees or charges that apply. This must be provided in writing and be accurate and understandable. This is called disclosure.

5

Any fees you charge must be reasonable

Any credit or default fees you charge to your customer must be reasonable.

For information on your other important obligations, visit our website.

 

A credit fee is an additional charge added to the amount loaned under a credit contract, such as an establishment, late payment or administration fee.

Please note this is a guideline only and should not be used instead of legal advice. Only the courts can make a ruling on breaches of the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act.

Also note the law will be changing on 6 June 2015. Make sure you check back for updated guidance. Read more on our website.