The companies that are signed up to the Code of Practice for Consumer Lending have committed to the following as part of their acceptance of the code.
Key information that will be supplied and explained
The companies will always inform you of, and explain, key information when providing you with credit facilities or a written quotation so you have all the facts needed to make a properly informed choice. This will always include:
- amount - the full amount you will be borrowing
- term - for how long you will be borrowing and how this could change
- repayment - the total amount you will repay including interest and any other charges
- repayments - the number of repayments you will make, how often and how these could change
- interest rate - the actual interest rate being charged and, if this is not fixed, how it is worked out
- interest charge - the total amount of interest charged and, if it is changed, how and why
- fees and charges - all non-interest charges payable and, if not fixed, how they can be incurred
- cancellation or early repayment - your rights to cancel the agreement or repay a loan earlier than planned and any charges that might be applied as a result
- insurance costs - any proposed additional cost for taking insurance cover will be shown separately
- insurance disclosures - before you take out payment protection insurance, we will help you decide if the policy suits you by giving you:
- the name of the insurer
- what you will be covered for
- the total cost
- key benefits
- cancellation rights and costs
- any exclusions
- how to make a claim
- who to contact
- joint account holders and guarantors - if you have a joint account, or enter into a liability with another person, we will tell you your individual rights and responsibilities
If you are not provided with any of the above, ask.
Marketing and Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
In all forms of advertising and marketing material where repayments are quoted, companies will show clearly a typical Annual Percentage Rate (APR). They will also clearly indicate in all lending related advertising issued in Jersey that they abide by the Code of Practice for Consumer Lending.
Upon request, the APR for a particular credit facility will always be given to you, together with the other information detailed above. In addition to the interest payable, the APR will also take into account other related charges to be added to the initial debt. Certain charges paid separately (that are not added to the initial debt) will not be included in the APR calculation.
APR is a useful tool for comparing the cost of credit but you should consider all aspects of the credit facility, including costs excluded in the APR, and the total amount repayable over the life of the loan, before choosing the right one for you.
Other key commitments to you
Companies will act fairly, reasonably and responsibly in all their dealings with you and help you when you need information and guidance.
They will provide written terms and conditions of your borrowing agreement and any other appropriate information on aspects of your indebtedness to them. These will set out your rights and responsibilities clearly and in plain language.
They will make sure that all advertising and promotional material is clear, fair and does not mislead and, as responsible lenders / advisors, they will make sure that all applications are soundly and properly assessed.
The companies take complaints seriously and have established procedures in place for dealing with them fairly, speedily and constructively. If you complain, you will be told straight away what these procedures are. If your complaint directly relates to compliance with this code then you may take such an issue to the Trading Standards Service which may investigate complaints relating to this code.
Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs)
A CRA is an organisation that holds personal credit records. Most financial lenders, and all subscribers to this code, provide regularly updated information to CRAs.
When you apply for an account the companies will tell you that they may use a CRA to research your credit history. These searches will be recorded.
You will also be told that they plan to tell CRAs that you have an account with us and how you run that account. They and other lenders may use that information to assess future applications and to prevent or detect fraud or money laundering and / or to trace debtors.
You should be aware that if you do not meet the obligations of any agreement, the availability of this information to other lenders may have a serious effect on your ability to obtain credit in the future.
You have the right to apply to the CRAs for details of what information is held about you and to query such data if you believe it is incorrect.
Guarantees and security
Where the companies take guarantees or other forms of security, they will notify the guarantors / security providers at a reasonably early stage if there is a likelihood of claims being made upon them.
Where your home is required as security for the lending, they will ensure that you are aware that it will be at risk if you are not able to repay the loan.