01 December 2021

New lending laws will further protect Kiwis from unaffordable debt

Kiwis can expect better protection from high-cost loans and unaffordable debt as a result of changes to lending laws coming into effect today, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Dr David Clark said.

The update to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA) follows on from Government action over the past two years to keep loan sharks, truck shops and predatory lenders at bay.

“Unfair lenders have been cashing in on Kiwi consumers for too long,” David Clark said.

“Today’s changes require all lenders to complete thorough checks to ensure loans are suitable and affordable for their customers, preventing them from getting into debt they simply cannot afford.

“It’s vitally important to protect people and whānau from falling into the trap of taking on unaffordable debt, and to stop those who take advantage of those in vulnerable circumstances.”

The new rules coming into effect today include:

  • Detailed standards for lenders assessing the affordability and suitability of loans
  • Additional record-keeping requirements on lenders and duties on their directors and senior managers
  • Responsible advertising standards
  • Greater transparency and access to redress before debt collection starts

“We’ve made sure the rules are clear for lenders and consistently applied across the board. The detailed requirements are complemented by the Responsible Lending Code, which provides guidance on their obligations.

“The industry has been working hard to implement these changes over the past year and I’m pleased to see this drive for better consumer outcomes.

“For anyone who may be worried about money, I encourage them to contact MoneyTalks to find out what support may be available to them,” David Clark said.

More information about the changes to consumer credit law coming into force can be found on MBIE’s website here.

ENDS