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Taking Care Of Your Car Loan

Taking Care Of Your Car Loan
November 29
00:10 2014

Life is never same – one time, everything is alright and the next, your circumstances have changed.

The twists and turns of destiny such as illness, loss of income or relationship breakdown for instance, can lead to financial difficulties.

A bigger blow is when you have a hefty loan to repay. For many of us in Fiji it is the car loan repayment, when facing financial hardship, it becomes impossible to cope with the payments together with the day-to-day expenses.

Fortunately, some consumers can access help. The unfortunate bit is, not many consumers know about options available to them if they are experiencing financial hardships and find it difficult to meet their financial obligation under the contract.

Help is available

The Consumer Council of Fiji through its Debt Management & Consumer Credit Advisory Services provides consumer advice on financial matters relating to debt (especially car loan, home and unsecured loans) and hire purchase accounts.

Since the setting up of this service in September 2011 till now, the council has assisted 46 consumers with their account restructures worth $346,962 and 110 consumers sought advice on financial products.

Your Rights under the Consumer Credit Act, Section (66)

The Council advises consumers that under Section 66 of the Consumer Credit Act 1999, consumers can opt for an account restructure on the grounds of financial hardship caused by illness, unemployment or other reasonable cause such as reduction in wages/salaries, bereavement etc. Account restructure could be carried out through:

Reducing repayment (weekly/monthly) but take note that this will increase the term of loan;

Changing of dates on which the payments are due; Seeking repayment holiday (take a break from paying loan for a certain period of time) – the credit providers.

However, the credit provider may charge reasonable fees or penalty interest for changes made to a contract.

Remember a systematic approach will help solve the problem in the long-run.

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