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What is the Consumer Credit Act?

The Consumer Credit Act is an important law that covers most types of lending in the UK. It sets out rules on:

  • How businesses can lend
  • How they collect money
  • What your rights are when you borrow

What debts does the Consumer Credit Act cover?

Debts covered by the Consumer Credit Act are called regulated debts.

This applies to most common types of borrowing.

Debts that are usually regulated by the Consumer Credit Act include:

Debt that are not regulated include:

  • Mortgages
  • Debts to family or friends
  • Debts to unlicensed lenders or loan sharks
  • Household bills
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Debts to local or central Government
  • Council tax
  • Benefit overpayments
  • Taxes
  • Some credit union loans
  • Charge cards
  • Some types of business debt
  • And more

Sometimes a debt could be either regulated or unregulated

This depends on:

  • The date you took it out
  • The amount you borrowed

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What are the benefits of the Consumer Credit Act?

You have more rights with a debt regulated by the Consumer Credit Act.

Things like:

  • You must be given a default notice if you fall into arrears
  • They must give you time to bring your account up to date before taking further action
  • All regulated creditors must have a licence
  • It is a crime to trade without one
  • Creditors must send you regular statements
  • They must send you arrears letters if you fall behind
  • The Financial Ombudsman Service can investigate if:
  • You make a complaint and
  • You are not happy with the result
  • There are limits to the type of court action some creditors can take
  • Find out more

What rights do I have with unregulated debts?

You may not have all the same rights if you owe money to an unregulated debt.

There are still legal requirements for unregulated creditors.

But your rights may depend on the terms and conditions you agreed with the lender.

Lenders are overseen by:

  • Trade bodies or
  • Ombudsman services

These groups help make sure customers are treated fairly.

We can help if you fall into arrears with an unregulated debt.

Use our free, online debt advice tool to find the best solution for you.