Personal Loans Australia :: Articles

Personal Loans And The Consumer Credit Code

Personal Loans And The Consumer Credit Code

Understanding your rights as a consumer is essential in dealing with complex issues like personal loans and other finance. Here we reveal, in simple terms, how the Credit Code works for you.

Introduction of Credit Code

The Consumer Credit Code commenced operation on November 1, 1996.
This is a national code that is applicable in each State.
Despite what its title suggests, it is not a code of conduct but legislation that is enforceable in certain situations where credit is offered. 
Any non-business credit transactions are governed by the Code if entered into after that date, including continuing contracts that were in force at that date.
This includes:
  • credit provided predominantly for domestic, personal or household purposes;
  • where a charge is made for the credit; and
  • Insuring your most valuable asset
    While many people would consider their home or their car to be their most valuable asset, it's your ability to earn an income that is most important in shaping your financial future. Statistically, two thirds of working Australians will suffer an injury or illness that will sideline them for 90 days or more. The majority of these people would not be able to pay their mortgage or meet car finance and other loan commitments without adequate income insurance.
    credit is provided in the course of a business of providing credit, or incidental to any other business of the credit provider. Definition of credit contract The Consumer Credit Code covers a wide range of credit contracts, which is defined as:
  • the payment of a debt owed by one person to another is deferred; or
  • one person incurs a deferred debt to another. Different categories of credit under the Consumer Credit Code include:
  • instalment contracts;
  • consumer leases;
  • continuing credit.

The Consumer Credit Code covers credit contracts entered into after November 1, 1996 including:

  • all consumer credit e.g. credit cards, housing etc loans that are characterised as being domestic, personal or household - not for business purposes;
  • in all Australian jurisdictions;
  • where charges are made for the credit;
  • where the credit provider does so in the course of business.

Personal, domestic & household purposes

The Consumer Credit Code does not apply for business purposes. 

According to the Code the nature of the credit does not have to be wholly concerned with domestic credit, but will be caught by the provisions of the Consumer Credit Code if:
  • more than half the credit is for personal, domestic & household purposes; or
  • if the credit is to purchase goods that are to be used for different purposes, then the purpose is mostly for personal, domestic & household purposes.

Goods mortgages

Mortgages are a security over goods (sometimes called "chattels") or real property. 

This means that the lender has the right to take the property/goods and sell it if the borrower defaults on the loan. 
There are certain requirements that must be met before the mortgage comes under the Consumer Credit Code, including that the goods or land must be specifically described.

Applicable credit providers

For a credit contract to be covered by the Consumer Credit Code, the credit provider must supply the credit:

  • in the course of a business that provides credit; or
  • where it is incidental to any other business of the credit provider.

There is no hard and fast way to determine this, but it can be important where the seller simply allows the buyer to pay for the goods in instalments, or when a family member offers a loan. 

In the first case the contract would probably be covered by the Consumer Credit Code; in the latter case it would not be covered.

Exclusions from the Consumer Credit Code

This can be complicated, and it is always worth asking whether the contract is covered by the Consumer Credit Code. There are many situations where the Consumer Credit Code will not apply, including:

  • short term credit;
  • where credit provision occurs without contemplation e.g. a savings account goes into debit;
  • within certain limits, where the only charges are periodic or fixed and not changed according to the level of credit that is provided e.g. an annual fee to a credit card provider or a arrangement with a supplier that allows goods to be bought on account and a fixed charge is applied;
  • insurance premiums payable on instalment;
  • most pawnbroker transactions;
  • employee loans.

Credit Code & guarantees

A guarantee must be:

  • in writing;
  • signed by the guarantor;

A copy of the credit contract must be received by the guarantor. 

They must also receive a copy of a document that sets out the obligations of the guarantor under the contract.

Published: Sunday, 1st Aug 2021
Author: Paige Estritori


Personal Loans Articles

Mastering Money Management: The Essentials of Personal Budgeting Mastering Money Management: The Essentials of Personal Budgeting
Embarking on a journey towards financial stability begins with the mastery of personal budgeting. It's the cornerstone of sound money management, where every dollar is allocated purposefully, paving the way for a future free from the shackles of financial stress. In this all-important first step, individuals learn the fine art of balancing their earnings with their expenditures, a fundamental skill for anyone looking to navigate their finances with confidence. - read more
A Credit-Savvy Approach to Loan Comparison: What Every Australian Borrower Needs to Know A Credit-Savvy Approach to Loan Comparison: What Every Australian Borrower Needs to Know
Welcome to your essential guide on how to navigate the complex world of personal loans in Australia. Whether you're seeking to finance a major purchase, consolidate debt, or cover unexpected costs, understanding the nuts and bolts of personal loans is crucial. In this conversation, we'll shed light on why being credit-savvy is not just smart, but necessary for anyone considering a loan. - read more
Personal Loan Pitfalls: How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Loan Comparisons Personal Loan Pitfalls: How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Loan Comparisons
When considering personal finance in Australia, personal loans are a handy resource for achieving various financial goals, from consolidating debt to funding a major purchase. Yet, it's essential to approach this financial tool with caution and understanding. Proper comparison of personal loans can be the difference between a financial stepping stone and a stumbling block. - read more
Proven Strategies to Boost Your Personal Loan Approval Odds Proven Strategies to Boost Your Personal Loan Approval Odds
Embarking on the journey to secure a personal loan can often seem like navigating through a complex financial landscape. Particularly for Australians, where the market is bustling with a multitude of lenders each with their respective criteria and rates, increasing the chances of loan approval is a pursuit that requires insight and preparation. - read more
Comparing Loan Options: Strategic Thinking for the Financially Conscious Australian Comparing Loan Options: Strategic Thinking for the Financially Conscious Australian
As Australians navigate the complex world of finance, understanding the nuances of borrowing can make a significant difference in one’s economic well-being. Being credit-savvy is not just about securing a loan; it's about making informed decisions that align with your long-term financial goals. In this pursuit, comparing loan options emerges as a crucial step for the financially conscious Australian. - read more
Personal Loan Pitfalls: How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Loan Comparisons Personal Loan Pitfalls: How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Loan Comparisons
When considering personal finance in Australia, personal loans are a handy resource for achieving various financial goals, from consolidating debt to funding a major purchase. Yet, it's essential to approach this financial tool with caution and understanding. Proper comparison of personal loans can be the difference between a financial stepping stone and a stumbling block. - read more

Finance News

RBA Holds Steady: Navigating Economic Uncertainty RBA Holds Steady: Navigating Economic Uncertainty
19 Jun 2024: Paige Estritori

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has opted to maintain the official cash rate at 4.35% for the fourth consecutive time this year, a decision that comes amidst a complex balancing act to manage inflation’s differential impacts on various demographics. - read more
Commonwealth Bank Adjusts Rate Cut Timeline Amidst Labor Market Trends Commonwealth Bank Adjusts Rate Cut Timeline Amidst Labor Market Trends
15 Jun 2024: Paige Estritori

As financial experts eagerly await the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) upcoming board meeting, the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has shifted its forecast regarding the advent of the next rate cut. Contrary to popular anticipation, the bank now predicts the rate cut will be delayed, posing less optimistic news for mortgage holders seeking financial reprieve. - read more
Economy's Chill: Aussie Consumers Tighten Purse Strings Further Economy's Chill: Aussie Consumers Tighten Purse Strings Further
09 Jun 2024: Paige Estritori

The economic climate in Australia seems to be cooling down even further as new data reveals that consumer spending continues to contract sharply. This downturn indicates a deeper recession gripping Aussie households. - read more

Need Help Finding a Loan?
Find out now if you qualify and compare rates, offers and options from multiple lenders - without a credit check!
Loan Amount:
Postcode:
All finance quotes are provided free (via our secure server) and without obligation. We respect your privacy.

Knowledgebase
Mortgagor:
A person who offers to assign an asset as security (e.g. real estate) under a mortgage loan contract. The lender (mortgagee) holds the legal ownership of the security until the loan is repaid and the mortgage is discharged.