Top 10 Questions and Answers about Credit Cards*

Information verified correct on September 28th, 2016

When getting a credit card for the first time, it is natural to have some questions. The concerns you have are normally the same as others in your position. Here are 10 top* credit cards questions and answers to help you along the way.

1. How does the Consumer Credit Code protect me?

The code is a used nationwide by all building societies, banks, credit unions and other businesses. Under the code these companies must make you fully aware of your rights and obligations in any credit transaction. They must make sure you are 100% clear in your understanding of the interest rates, and other payment terms of your contract.

2. How important is it that I read the full terms and conditions of my credit card contract before I sign?

Extremely important! If there is something you don’t understand then ask, or get professional advice. You do not want any nasty surprises.

3. My credit card company has increased my interest rate. Can they do that to me?

It is written into your contract with them then yes it is allowed for them to change your interest rate. That is why it is so important you read your contract thoroughly, so you are aware of what you are letting yourself in for.

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  • Cash Advance Rate of 21.99% p.a.
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4. I feel I was mislead into signing an contract governed by the Consumer Credit Code. What can I do about it?

The first thing to do is get some professional advice. Sometimes if a court feels there was unequal bargaining power when the contract was signed they can declare the contract void. If you need advice you may be entitled to it free from the Consumer Credit Legal Service.

5. We told a white lie on our application. Now the card company has found out. What should we do?

Get legal advice! It is a very bad idea to lie on any form of credit application. In most cases you will be found out by the credit search and it is classed as fraud.

6. My bank account has gone overdrawn. Does the Consumer Credit Code govern that debt?

No that kind of credit is non-applicable to the Consumer Credit Code.

7. I think I am going to lose my job and will not be able to pay for my car credit. Will they take it from me?

As long as you are given reasonable notice, the Consumer Credit Code does allow repossession of goods where a debt cannot be repaid. Again a good idea is to seek advice.

8. My brother lent me some money and has been charging me interest on the amount. Does that mean I am protected by the Consumer Credit Code?

No. Only business loans are covered- Personal loans between individuals are not.

9. Somebody has asked me to be a guarantor on their loan. I am struggling for money and am worried. What happens if my friend cannot pay his bills?

Before you enter into any agreement to be a guarantor make sure you speak to a professional and read any contracts yourself. If the borrower cannot pay his debt you will be held responsible and obligated.<

10. Can I decide against being a guarantor on a loan?

Sometimes the Consumer Credit Code will allow a person to withdraw from being a guarantor. Generally it must happen before the credit has been agreed, and also if there are differences between pre-contract and actual contract details. Seek legal advice.

Hopefully these top* 10 credit cards questions has been a help to you, although we would strongly suggest getting proper legal advice before getting into any contracts. That way you understand everything you will be obligated to under the agreement.

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6 Responses to Top 10 Questions and Answers about Credit Cards*

  1. Default Gravatar
    james | November 28, 2014

    does a business credit card have to be secured

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | November 28, 2014

      Hi James,

      Thanks for your question.

      A business credit card can either be a personal liability card, meaning the cardholder is responsible for repaying the balance, or a business liability card, where the responsibility of the repayments is linked to the business. Both of these options are essentially ‘unsecured’. You can compare business credit card options on this page.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  2. Default Gravatar
    Tiffany | May 22, 2013

    What happens if one can not pay the credit card debt?

    • Staff
      Jacob | May 22, 2013

      Hi Tiffany. Thanks for your question. If you can’t pay your credit card, you will be contacted by your lender requesting you to make the minimum repayment. If you can’t do this, your account will go in to arrears. Once this happens, a mark will be recorded against your credit file and you will have difficulty obtaining credit until the mark is removed. You may also face litigation to recover the funds or a debt collection agency may be employed by the lender to reclaim the funds. Credit cards are unsecured though, so you won’t have your card repossessed, for example, to cover the debt. Jacob.

  3. Default Gravatar
    sakshi | June 15, 2012

    Sir/madam

    My husband used a credit card and some amount is due by him … now one of the credit card agencies is troubling me, they have found out my office numbers and my relatives number and are just harassing me… do they have rights to do that ? please let me know as soon as possible.

    • Staff
      Marc | March 27, 2013

      Hello Sakshi,
      thanks for the question.

      If you feel the credit card agency is harassing you it may be helpful to lodge a complaint with the Credit Ombudsman Service. This is a free dispute resolution service.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated September 28th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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