Trading Standards Information and Advice: People should take advantage of new consumer rights

Trading Standards encourage consumers to take advantage of new rights aimed at protecting them and encouraging lenders to act more responsibly.

In tough times it is more important than ever that people know their rights and on the 1st February 2011 a new EU consumer directive was launched to ensure consumers are aware of their entitlements.

The amendments that were made to the Consumer Credit Act will strengthen both consumer rights and lenders’ duties towards their customers.

Under the new rules customers will be able to have up to 14 days to cancel new loan agreements as well as the option to make partial early repayments on loans - at the moment borrowers are only able to pay the full amount off early.

Lenders will now have greater responsibility towards consumers and they must give borrowers standardised pre-contractual information to help them compare different loans. They must also ensure borrowers understand the detail of their particular loan and they must carry out a thorough check on borrowers’ creditworthiness before any loan is agreed.

These rules amend the Consumer Credit Act, building upon existing protections to give extra rights and standardised information for consumers.