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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Consumer, stay cautious for instant loans

< previous | next > 08.05.2020

Consumer, stay cautious for instant loans
  • President of UOKiK, Tomasz Chróstny, initiated investigation procedure concerning the operations of Szybka Gotówka (Fast Cash) company.
  • Consumers complain about excessive fees and loan rolling.
  • UOKiK advises consumers what they should pay attention to before taking instant loans.

The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection receives a number of complaints related to the operations of the Szybka Gotówka loan platform. It offers short-term loans online. The complaints mainly concern the automatic refinancing of the instant loan in the event of overdue payment. For example, one of the consumers reported that he borrowed PLN 1,500, and when he failed to pay this amount, the company automatically rolled over his debt several times without giving him an opportunity to read the terms of the loan contract. As a result, as he claims, he had over PLN 11 thousand to pay back. Loan rolling may a practice that may be aimed at working around the provisions of the Consumer Credit Act, in its part related to the cost of loans. Consumer complaints also concern, inter alia, the collection of excessive interest and non-interest fees.

“Loan companies cannot exploit the vulnerability of consumers who need money. They must comply with the limits of fees charged and other regulations set out in the Consumer Credit Act. This is why I have already initiated an investigation procedure with respect to the Szybka Gotówka platform. I want to investigate the operation of this online service and determine whether the rules on offering loans, refinancing and debt recovery do not infringe the consumers' collective interests,” says Tomasz Chróstny, UOKiK President.

Consumer, are you going to take an instant loan? Remember that:

  • The costs of a loan include interest and other fees (e.g. for drawing up the contract, commission, insurance).
  • 8% – is the maximum interest rate currently in effect. The limits are set forth by the Civil Code. The limit is equal to twice the statutory interest (worked out by adding 3.5% to the reference rate of the National Bank of Poland, currently amounting to 0.5%).
  • Non-interest costs are also limited by due regulations. Recently, under the anti-crisis shield, their maximum amount has been further reduced and depends on the duration of the loan. For example, for products shorter than 30 days, the limit is 5%, and for a consumer credit for one year it is 21%.
  • RRSO (Annual Percentage Rate of Charge) - is the actual, annual interest rate, i.e. the cost of the loan, defined as a percentage of the amount we are borrowing. Makes it easier to compare individual commercial offers.
  • Information form - every creditor is required to provide such a form to the consumer prior to concluding the agreement. The form lists the costs associated with the loan, and the fees charged.
  • 14 days - the period of time within which you may withdraw from a consumer loan agreement. You will be required, however, to pay interest for the period of time over which the money was deposited in your account.
  • You may repay the loan prematurely, at any time. The financial institution must settle the amounts charged - you will be refunded proportionally to the period of time that remains until the original due date.
  • Check if the loan company or the credit broker is listed in a register maintained by the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF).

Consumer support:

Phone: +48 801 440 220 or +48 22 290 89 16 – consumer helpline
E-mail: [SCODE]cG9yYWR5QGRsYWtvbnN1bWVudG93LnBs[ECODE]
Consumer ombudsmen – in your town or district
Regional Consumer Centres: 22 299 60 90 – Dlakonsumenta.pl

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland
Phone +48 695 902 088, +48 22 55 60 246
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]
Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

Attached files

 

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