Advertisements concerning credit invite you to borrow money. Find out how to decipher them and check whether they are giving you all the information you need.
Advertisements on the conditions of a contract for the loan of money
If an advertisement contains any of the following points, it must also include all of the others:
- a component of the credit charges (e.g. interest or administration fees);
- the length and number of payment periods;
- the amount of each instalment (made for each payment period);
- the total obligation, namely the amount borrowed and the total credit charges;
- examples of payable credit charges.
Subject of the advertisement
An advertisement about credit may not:
- encourage you to purchase goods or services on credit; or
- illustrate any goods or services you could obtain using credit.
Unsolicited credit offers
The law prohibits lenders from sending you a document that you simply have to sign to borrow a sum of money, with no other steps to follow. This can only be authorized if you request to do so in writing.
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 of the loan.
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 (other than automobile insurance), 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 false or misleading claims that would lead you to believe that borrowing money could improve your financial situation or solve your debt problems.
Reporting a lender
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.