WEFOUNDConsumer Credit Act Manual


The Consumer Credit Act is a huge piece of legislation. Understanding it is not an easy task, made harder still by all the amendments and reforms which have taken place in recent years. Nevertheless, these changes have been designed to benefit consumers by providing further clarification and additional rights. In this section, we will look at the basics of the Act, types of credit agreements, consumer rights, creditors’ obligations and what to expect in situations of default or arrears.

The Consumer Credit Act will regulate the majority of credit agreements. There are exceptions, such as mortgages, loans secured on property, short term agreements and charge cards. In addition to credit and store cards, personal loans and overdrafts, a credit agreement will govern the following types of contracts:

Hire purchase (HP) agreements
Under this arrangement, you will pay monthly instalments to hire the item, but will not legally own it until the final instalment has been paid. This type of agreement may also give you the option to buy with a lump sum at the end of the period, such as with ‘balloon payments’ on car finance.

Following the three years review of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the Consumer Credit Act 2006 was passed in March 2006 to fulfil three purposes. Firstly, to increase consumer rights and remedies by the allowing the consumers to challenge unfair lending practices through a more competent dispute resolution system. Secondly, to develop consumer credit business regulation by making the licensing system easier by requiring information provision to consumers over their accounts and lastly, administrating correctly various credit dealings by means of balancing business industry regulation.

The Consumer Credit Act 2006 has many key provisions which includes credit businesses planned to assist quicker and inexpensive dispute resolution system, applying a harmonized standard for all consumer credit organizations, and execute a more rational system that is appropriate in case of breaches of contract. The Consumer Credit Act and its amendments affect all those who use credit to buy goods and or services, for example, on hire-purchase agreements or using a store credit card. The Act governs the licensing of, and other controls, on traders who supply credit, or goods and services on credit.

Although, the licensing system is affected by the new regime that the licensed credit businesses with whom they transact qualified as valid credit firms on the requirements outlined by the Credit Consumer Act 2006 and OFT regulations, even though it does not directly affect the rights of consumers. Licensed credit companies become aware of maintaining fair business to keep their license and expect renewal after it expires.

The Consumer Credit Act is a huge piece of legislation. Understanding it is not an easy task, made harder still by all the amendments and reforms which have taken place in recent years. Nevertheless, these changes have been designed to benefit consumers by providing further clarification and additional rights. In this section, we will look at the basics of the Act, types of credit agreements, consumer rights, creditors’ obligations and what to expect in situations of default or arrears.

The Consumer Credit Act will regulate the majority of credit agreements. There are exceptions, such as mortgages, loans secured on property, short term agreements and charge cards. In addition to credit and store cards, personal loans and overdrafts, a credit agreement will govern the following types of contracts:

Hire purchase (HP) agreements
Under this arrangement, you will pay monthly instalments to hire the item, but will not legally own it until the final instalment has been paid. This type of agreement may also give you the option to buy with a lump sum at the end of the period, such as with ‘balloon payments’ on car finance.


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