Know Your Rights: Credit Cards
Your Rights With Credit Cards
Credit cards are convenient, so Canadians carry approximately $80,000,000,000 in credit card debt, according to GreedyRates.
With over 3 billion transactions happening every year on credit cards, it’s easy to see how credit card debt can grow out of control.
Unfortunately, 30 % don’t pay their credit card balance off at the end of each month, which means they accumulate interest.
Our Bankruptcy Canada trustees have found that many of our clients accumulate debt due to a lack of understanding.
It’s become essential to know your rights: Credit cards can be a source of crushing debt.
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Understanding credit cards
Laws about credit cards are designed to give you back control over your financial situation.
If Canadian laws are violated, you have a right to complain to the lending institution and turn them to the Financial Consumer Agency.
You can also submit a complaint to the Financial Consumer Agency if the lending institution is federally recognized.
When you sign up for a credit card, you need to receive explicit details regarding interest rates, fees and any other charges that could incur.
Additionally, you will receive a copy of all information regarding fees and use of your credit card when the card is sent to you.
Most financial institutions share a copy of the contract or the agreement when they make your credit card available.
Your monthly credit card statement should include essential information to help you make informed decisions.
You will find your outstanding balance, how long it would take to pay off the full balance with minimum required payments, a description and date for each transaction, information on purchases, cash advances, interest charges or non-interest fees.
If credit card agreement terms change, you must receive all written details at least 30 days before the changes.
Finally, your credit card issuer needs to ask your permission to raise your credit limit.
Situations where credit card companies need your content
Any salesperson who stops you to offer to sign-up for a credit card in exchange for a loyalty bonus will require your consent in writing form.
Oral consent is not enforceable.
Additionally, salespeople can’t pressure you into signing up without considering your options and reading the form.
You must consent to credit card cheques or convenience cheques charged to your credit card.
They are used in places where you’d like to pay with a credit card, but the option isn’t available.
You’ll be paying interest on this immediately, so you need to provide explicit consent to your financial company.
You need to provide explicit consent and request to get a card cancelled.
However, remember that if it’s an old card, it can hurt your credit score, even if you paid off your balance.
You can’t cancel the remaining balance or the account.
Dealing with credit card problems
You can contact the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to submit a complaint if you feel your rights are violated.
However, the Financial Consumer Agency can’t erase the debt, even if you feel your credit card company has wronged you.
That’s where our licensed insolvency trustees can help handle credit card debt and regain financial freedom.
If you feel that your rights have been violated, you can complain directly to the FCAC.
However, if your debts are caused by budget mishaps or increasing expenses, our trustees can help regain control of your finances.