Our Information Sheets in our Document Library have quick guides to common issues. Consumer tips and case examples are included.
Our Glossary explains the meaning of technical terms used in tips and cases.
COVID-19 update: The Commerce Commission has issued guidance for lenders, including responsible lending principles, and responding to borrowers in financial stress. Access the guidance here. Contact the Commerce Commission: email@example.com
Take time before you sign
A rushed decision can be costly when borrowing money. It’s good to ask: “do I need to borrow the money?” Loans, and the paperwork that go with them, can be confusing. Make sure you ask questions about what you are agreeing to and what your payment obligations are.
Work out how much the loan will cost you before you agree to it
You can use the Sorted debt calculator to work out what the loan will cost each month and in total: www.sorted.org.nz. It’s also a good idea to talk to a Financial Mentor about your budget and how a loan will impact on your finances. MoneyTalks provides free budgeting advice to individuals, family and whānau. Contact 0800 345 123 to talk to a trained Financial Mentor.
Check the fees and charges
All loans will have fees and charges. Ask the lender to clarify all fees and charges over the full repayment period. The documents the lender provides should show these clearly. There can be break fees (penalties for paying off the loan early), fees for missing payments and administration fees.
If you have money problems, talk to your lender as soon as possible
As soon as you have an issue with the loan repayments, get in touch with your lender and discuss it with them. Lenders may allow you to extend the time or restructure your obligations to make them more manageable. MoneyTalks provides free budgeting advice. Contact: 0800 345 123
There are laws to protect consumers when you borrow money
The Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA) requires lenders to act responsibly, and ensures borrowers are able to make informed choices about what they are agreeing to. The Responsible Lending Code further explains lender responsibilities. The NZ Commerce Commission outlines key lending principles and responsibilities.
The following sites may be helpful for further information or budgeting advice:
Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission
Citizens Advice Bureau
NZ Commerce Commission (The regulatory body for consumer credit)
Financial Services Federation (Federation of major lending organisations)