A merchant’s business practices, including advertising, must comply with the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.

Claims to improve your financial situation

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

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, administration fees, brokerage fees, etc. It is the true cost of the credit.

Unsolicited credit offers

The law prohibits merchants from sending you a document that you simply have to sign to borrow a sum of money or be issued a credit card, with no other steps to follow. This can only be authorized if you request to do so in writing.

“No fees or interest” promotions

Are you told 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.

Subject of an 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.

Advertisements about the conditions of a credit contract

If you see an advertisement that makes reference to credit conditions, such an advertisement must include specific elements, based on the type of contract. Refer to the following pages:

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Last update : August 25, 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.