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Posted on
13 July 2017
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Were you signed up for a credit card without being fully aware of it? Here are your rights.

Written by  Amanda

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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 being fully aware of what they are signing. 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.

About us
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. 


ADDITIONAL READING:
How do your money-management skills stack up?
Answers to some of your money-related questions
Getting calls from a debt collector?
Tips if you’re considering a credit card reward program



Last modified on 18 July 2017
Amanda

Amanda

Amanda is the communications coordinator at Consumer Protection BC. She's passionate about sharing information in ways that inspire and educate...let's see what she comes up with! If you have a consumer question, you are welcome to post a comment!

Comments  

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Peggy Pilon

22 July 2017
My husband was sent a credit card by the Bank of Montreal ( we have never dealt with them) That he did not apply for. What is up with that?
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Amanda

24 July 2017
Hi Peggy, thanks for your question. I can't say for sure why you were sent a credit card, however I would suggest you contact the Bank of Montreal to see if they can clarify the situation for you. It also may be a good idea to contact the FCAC, as we suggest in the this blog post, to let them know that it happened, because legally, banks must obtain your consent before issuing you a credit card. I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any more questions!

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