Credit / loan information form – how to read?

Applicable regulations have been imposing banks, credit unions and loan companies for a long time to show the customer a special form before concluding a consumer loan agreement.

This form may be deterrent due to the large amount of information contained

This form may be deterrent due to the large amount of information contained

Despite this, the future consumer credit holder should analyze at least some of the data from the form he has been given. Thanks to this, you can avoid unpleasant surprises, which relate to e.g. verification of data in the Credit Information Bureau. It is worth knowing that the information form also contains a list of all the costs that the customer will have to bear and many other useful information.

The form can only be sent exceptionally after the loan agreement has been concluded

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At the beginning it is worth recalling that the Consumer Credit Act specifying the pattern for the provision of an information form does not apply to all credit and loan agreements. The appropriate information form does not need to be received by persons interested in the loan granted for the purposes of the enterprise’s activity. Such clients of banks, credit unions and loan companies are not consumers in the meaning of civil law. A consumer is a person who applies to an entrepreneur for a loan not directly related to his business or professional activity. So the consumer will not be the person taking out a private loan (from another consumer). In this case, no information form is required.

The Consumer Credit Act provides for three templates of information forms that must be used by banks, cooperative savings and credit unions (SKOKs) and loan companies. A separate template is provided for loans in the savings and settlement account, loans secured by mortgages and other loans granted to consumers (e.g. non-bank loans and cash loans).

Lenders and lenders may not modify the form templates that were specified by law. Such practices will result in sanctions on the part of UOKiK. The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) encourages people applying for a loan or loan to check the following information in the information form:

  • name and address of the lender or agent
  • term of the loan agreement
  • loan interest rate and rules for determining it
  • total loan amount
  • payment method
  • actual annual interest rate (APRC) and types of costs charged
  • total amount to be reimbursed (borrowed capital + loan costs)
  • interest rate on overdue debt and fees related to debt collection
  • principles and terms of debt repayment
  • the need to conclude additional contracts (e.g. credit insurance contracts)
  • consequences of non-payment
  • databases checked by a bank, credit unions or a loan company (e.g. BIK, BIG InfoMonitor)

It is worth adding that the information form should, in principle, be provided to the consumer before the conclusion of the credit / loan agreement. An exception to this rule is possible only if the technical conditions related to the remote lending activity do not allow the consumer to show the form before concluding the contract. This is the case in practice when granting loans via the telephone.

The validity period of the information form is another important issue

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At the end of each form, the bank, credit unions or lending company must declare how long the information provided will remain valid. The minimum validity period of the information form is 1 day.

However, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection recommends that this period be at least 3 days.

The consumer credit agreement must also contain relevant information

It is worth knowing that placing the information required by law in the form does not exhaust the obligations of the bank, credit unions or the loan company when lending money to consumers. The Consumer Credit Act also provides for the need to include certain information in a credit / loan agreement. These required information are, in principle, the same as for the information form (see list above).

Lack of relevant data in the information form may expose the lender or lender to sanctions from the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. The omission of the mandatory elements of the loan or borrowing agreement has additional consequences. Article 53 (2) of the Consumer Credit Act indicates that the lack of required information in the contract will result in an extension of the withdrawal period.

In this situation, the standard withdrawal period (14 days) is calculated only from the day on which the lender / lender provides the customer with all required information. Thus, the negligence of the bank, credit unions or the loan company may result in the customer being able to withdraw from the contract, e.g. one year after its signing.

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