BE PROTECTED - Your legal rights
Timing is everything
When talking credit, timing is very important, in fact it is everything! Lending that is regulated by the Consumer Credit code is bound by lots of time rules. These include:
Depending on what the change is, the lender will be required to give you up to one month’s notice. Be sure to read any documents you receive suggesting that your contract is being varied. Variations can be made to interest rates, fees, charges and even due dates for your repayments. Even if you have not read the notice, you are still bound once the notice period is over.
In certain circumstances, your lender will send you a notice about your account. These may relate to an overdue payment or some information you need to provide. It’s important to comply with the notices as there may be significant consequences for failing to comply. It is especially important to follow through on any ‘default’ notices as these can have dire consequences if ignored.
Your contract will describe how interest charges are calculated. In particular, it will also describe if your rights to ‘interest free days’ on a credit card are dependant on payments being made by a specific date each month. Missing the date may incur more interest charges.
Your contract will specify when payments are due and it’s essential that you meet these obligations both by paying the correct amount and by meeting the payment due date. Late payments can incur fees and also damage your credit reputation.
There may be times where you have a dispute with your credit provider. You may have found a credit card purchase on your statement that you don’t recall, a missing payment or some other matter. Its important to contact your lender as soon as you realise you have a dispute. Delays may limit your rights so be sure to follow through promptly.