MANITOBANS ENCOURAGED TO UNDERSTAND OPTIONS WHEN BORROWING MONEY
The Consumer Protection Office of Manitoba Justice is encouraging people to be sure they understand all of their options before borrowing money. After the holidays, consumers may consider taking out payday loans to cover extra costs or bills, and while these short-term loans are easy to obtain, they are typically one of the most expensive ways to borrow money.
Payday lenders can charge up to $17 for every $100 borrowed, which can work out to an annual interest rate of more than 500 per cent. This maximum rate can be charged regardless of the term of a payday loan and early repayment won’t reduce the total amount owed.
Before using a payday lender, consumers should consider all of their options. They are encouraged to talk to a financial institution, such as a bank or credit union, about other solutions that may have much lower annual interest rates. Such loans and credit products come with early repayment options that can significantly reduce the amount of interest that has to be paid.
People thinking about using a payday lender should shop around and compare costs, as lenders may offer different interest rates. Payday lenders must disclose, in writing, all terms and conditions in a clear and understandable way before having a credit agreement signed.
Be extra cautious before using an online payday lender. Always check to ensure it is a licensed online payday lender as protections are not available if an illegal, unlicensed lender is used. All online payday lenders offering loans to Manitobans must have their license number and its expiry date posted on the introductory page of their website.
If using a payday lender, remember:
payday lenders cannot have someone pledge personal property, such as a car or house as payment for a payday loan;
payday lenders are not allowed to go to a person’s employer to collect money owed on a loan;
consumers have the right to cancel a payday loan agreement within 48 hours without fee or penalty, if notice is given in writing and the borrowed money is returned; and
people should never give the login information of online banking accounts to online payday lenders.
People who feel they could benefit from debt counselling can contact the Consumer Protection Office.
Manitobans are encouraged to learn more about consumer protection issues and their rights under the law. Download the free Consumer Protection mobile app from Google Play or the Apple App store, or contact the Consumer Protection Office at 204-945-3800, at 1-800-782-0067 (toll-free in Manitoba), via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gov.mb.ca/cca/cpo.