Three days to cancel
A word of advice about canceling a credit contract.
2 May 2011
Sometimes you can get swept away in the excitement of buying a new big ticket item that you just take whatever credit deal is on offer. But don’t forget you have at least three working days to decide if you want to cancel the credit deal. And those three days start when you get all the paperwork. Working days are Monday-Friday, so if you get the paperwork on Friday you can cancel on Tuesday.
That means you have a chance to look at all the details in your contract. (In the rush to get the deal signed you might not have read through the contract properly.) So take the time to find out what the interest rate is, what the fees are and what will happen if you miss payments or you can’t pay the loan back.
Then you can check with a bank, a credit union or another finance companies to see if they can give you a better deal. Take along your contract and see if they can offer you a lower interest rate, fewer fees, and less severe penalties for missing payments.
For example you might have got a good price for a new car, but then you realise that the interest rate is quite high, there are high fees for things you don’t even understand, and the creditor has the right to sell your house if you can’t pay the loan back. If you act quickly you could find a better deal somewhere else that will save you money and hassles in the future.
You may still be stuck with paying the application fee so do a quick calculation about how much you can save by changing. A long term car loan will probably be worth changing but a short term loan may cost more to change than it’s worth.
If you decide to cancel the credit contract you need to do so in writing. It needs to get to the creditor within three working days if they gave you the paperwork by hand, five working days if they emailed it to you, or seven working days if they posted it to you. So you have to act fast.
These rules are under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act and only apply to the credit part of the deal and don’t automatically mean you can cancel the purchase (for example if you decide you don’t want the car anymore). You may be able to cancel the purchase if you haven’t received the goods, or haven’t been told about your right to cancel.
It is much better to check out your options before you buy, but it’s good to know it’s not all doom and gloom if you forget.