Have you ever been signed up for a credit card without fully realizing what was going on? It can happen. People can be lured with promises of reward points or free gifts, and then end up agreeing to sign up for a credit card without consent. Here is some information from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) about your rights and responsibilities regarding credit cards and consent.
- Banks must obtain your consent before issuing you a credit card.
- If you consent orally, the bank must provide you with confirmation (in writing) of your consent immediately.
- The bank must provide specific information about the card in a clear, and simple way (Eg. interest rate and any other fees associated with the card).
- The information must be displayed in an information box. Here is an example of an information box. It is helpful to know what one looks like, because it is an easy way to tell that the document you are signing is an application for a credit card.
Remember that applying for a credit card can have an impact on your credit score and it will show up on your credit report. For more information about your credit reports and scores, visit this page on the FCAC website.
Tips before signing
- Take your time to read and understand the documents before you sign them.
- Make sure to ask questions if any part of the document is unclear to you.
- Don’t feel pressured and take a couple days to think about it if you’re not too sure.
Did you sign up for a credit card knowingly, but wish you hadn’t?
It happens. The FCAC has information on their website that goes over how to cancel your credit card properly.
Were you signed up for a credit card without your knowledge?
The FCAC has received complaints about banks that solicit or promote credit card applications and sign up customers without their consent. They are continuing to investigate these kinds of business practices and encourage you to contact them if this has happened to you.
While we are responsible for overseeing certain consumer protection laws in British Columbia, we don’t have any authority over financial institutions. That being said, if you walk away from a transaction and something just doesn’t feel right, we may be able to help. If we can’t provide you with an answer directly, we will happily act as step on your path to a solution.