When you borrow money and pay it back over time with additional interest or fees, you are using credit. Credit may include using a credit card, taking out a loan or using finance options offered by the business you buy from.
There are laws that specify the credit provider's and your rights and obligations. Consumer credit is now regulated by the Australian Government. For more information, visit the ASIC consumer website.
If you use any form of credit, ensure you:
- search the ASIC register of credit registered persons and credit licensees at http://www.asic.gov.au/ to check if the money lender and/or broker is registered
- only make purchases you can pay off
- know what the interest charges or fees will be
- read the terms and conditions of the credit agreement, and understand your repayment obligations
- budget some of your income to paying off your debt
- talk to the money lender immediately if you think you might not meet a payment.
Last reviewed 11/04/2013