What is Consumer Credit?

Legal Definition
Credit allows consumers to finance transactions without having to pay the full cost of the merchandise at the time of the transaction. A common form of consumer credit is a credit card account issued by a financial institution. Merchants may also provide direct financing for products which they sell. Banks may directly finance purchases through loans and mortgages.

The law of consumer credit is primarily embodied in federal and state statutes. These laws protect consumers and provide guidelines for the credit industry.

States have passed various statutes regulating consumer credit. The Uniform Consumer Credit Code has been adopted in eleven states and Guam. Its purpose is to protect consumers obtaining credit to finance their transactions, ensure that adequate credit is provided, and govern the credit industry in general.

In 1968, Congress passed the Consumer Credit Protection Act in part to regulate the consumer credit industry. It requires creditors to disclose credit terms to consumers. The Consumer Credit Protection Act also protects consumers from loan sharks, restricts the garnishing of wages, and established the National Commission on Consumer Finance to investigate the consumer finance industry. Credit card companies and credit reporting agencies are also regulated by the Act. The Act also prohibits discrimination based on sex or marital status in the extending of credit. The Act also regulates certain debt collectors.
Legal Definition
A certification the UK requires for a business that provide the services needed for the business. The Office of Fair Trading issues this.