There are many credit advertisements out there. Find out how to decipher them and check whether they are giving you all the information you need.

Advertisements on the terms and conditions of a an open credit contract

If an advertisement contains any of the following points, it must also include all of the others:

  • the length of each period for which a statement of account is provided;
  • the amount of the membership or renewal fees;
  • the grace period given to a consumer to pay the balance without having to pay credit charges;
  • the minimum payment required for each period;
  • examples of credit charges.

Subject of the advertisement

An advertisement about goods or services may not provide information on credit offered, other than to mention that credit is available. For example, an expression such as "credit available" may be used.

In addition, in an advertisement about credit, a merchant may not:

  • encourage you to purchase goods or services on credit; or
  • illustrate any goods or services.

Credit rate

Any advertisement that makes reference to a credit rate must indicate that rate.

Any time a credit-related rate (e.g. an interest rate) is indicated in an advertisement, the credit rate calculated in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act must be disclosed just as prominently. An advertisement may, however, only indicate the credit rate calculated in accordance with the requirements set forth in the Act.

The interest rate is an indication, expressed as an annual percentage, of the interest paid on the amount financed.

The credit rate calculated in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act is an indication, expressed as an annual percentage, of the total of all credit fees charged by virtue of the credit contract, including: interest, insurance subscribed through the merchant (notwithstanding exceptions), administration fees, etc. It is the true cost of the credit.

"No fees or interest" promotions

Are you led to believe that you would be granted a grace period "at 0% financing," during which you would not pay any credit charges? Such a claim must clearly specify the credit rate that will apply once that period is over, if you have not reimbursed everything in full by then.

Claims to improve your financial situation

The law prohibits any claims that would lead you to believe that the use of a credit card or line of credit could improve your financial situation or solve your debt problems.

Reporting a merchant

If you find yourself in a situation in which these rules are not respected, you can file a complaint with the Office de la protection du consommateur.


Last update : October 23, 2020

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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.