1. How can I get details of my proposed credit contract?
Your credit provider must give you a pre-contractual statement containing certain information about your contract. The precontractual statement, and this document, must be given to you before;
- your contract is entered into; or
- you make an offer to enter into the contract; whichever happens first.
2. How can I get a copy of the final contract?
If the contract document is to be signed by you and returned to your credit provider, you must be given a copy to keep. Also, the credit provider must give you a copy of the final contract within 14 days after it is made. This rule does not, however, apply if the credit provider has previously given you a copy of the contract document to keep.
If you want another copy of your contract, write to your credit provider and ask for one. Your credit provider may charge you a fee. Your credit provider has to give you a copy;
- within 14 days of your written request if the original contract came into existence 1 year or less before your request; or b) otherwise within 30 days of your written request.
3. Can I terminate the contract?
Yes. You can terminate the contract by writing to the credit provider so long as;
- you have not obtained any credit under the contract; or
- a card or any other means of obtaining credit given to you by your credit provider has not been used to acquire goods or services for which credit is to be provided under the contract.
However, you will still have to pay any fees or charges incurred before you terminated the contract.
4. Can I pay my credit contract out early?
Yes. Pay your credit provider the amount required to pay out your credit contract on the day you wish to end your contract.
5. How can I find out the payout figure?
You can write to your credit provider at any time and ask for a statement of the payout figure as at any date you specify. You can also ask for details of how the amount is made up. Your credit provider must give you the statement within 7 days after you give your request to the credit provider. You may be charged a fee for the statement.
6. Will I pay less interest if I pay out my contract early?
Yes. The interest you can be charged depends on the actual time money is owing. However, you may have to pay an early termination charge (if your contract permits your credit provider to charge one) and other fees.
7. Can my contract be changed by my credit provider?
Yes, but only if your contract says so.
8. Will I be told in advance if my credit provider is going to make a change in the contract?
That depends on the type of change. For example;
1. you get at least same-day notice for a change to an annual percentage rate. That notice may be a written notice to you or by a notice published in a newspaper.
2. you get 20 days advance written notice for;
- a change in the way in which interest is calculated; or
- a change in credit fees and charges; or
- any other changes by your credit provider;
except where the change reduces what you have to pay or the change happens automatically under the contract.
9. Is there anything I can do if I think that my contract is unjust?
Yes. You should first talk to your credit provider. Discuss the matter and see if you can come to some arrangement.
If that is not successful, you may contact your credit provider’s external dispute resolution scheme. External dispute resolution is a free service established to provide you with an independent mechanism to resolve specific complaints. Your credit provider’s external dispute resolution provider is the Credit Ombudsman Service Limited(COSL) and can be contacted at 1800 138 422.
Alternatively, you can go to court. You may wish to get legal advice, for example from your community legal centre or Legal Aid.
You can also contact ASIC, the regulator, for information on 1300 300 630 or through ASIC’s website at https://asic.gov.au/.