Credit Card and Line of Credit This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Information from the Office de la protection du consommateur

A credit card or a line of credit is credit extended to a person in advance by an institution (often a bank or credit union) and that can be used at the person’s discretion.

At the end of each period, which is usually one month, the financial institution sends a statement of account. A person can choose to reimburse only part of their debt, but it means having to pay credit charges, which can be quite high.

Consumers should take the time to shop around and evaluate all of the options available in order to find the product that best suits their needs.

Debt Settlement Service This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Office de la protection du consommateur

Debt settlement service merchants can offer any of the following services:

  • Negotiating the settlement of the consumer’s debts with creditors
  • Receiving amounts in order to distribute them to the consumer’s creditors
  • Improving the credit reports about a consumer
  • Providing consumers with education or raise the consumer’s awareness regarding budget management or debt settlement

Debt settlement service merchants are required to hold a permit from the Office de la protection du consommateur in order to offer certain services.

Note: Debt settlement service contracts This hyperlink will open in a new window. are subject to strict rules and mandatory content.

Financing Plans This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Information from the Office de la protection du consommateur

Several merchants offer “no fees or interest,” “buy now and pay in 12 months” or “pay in 24 equal instalments” financing plans.

Such plans may be advantageous if the consumer pays off the invoice in full by the scheduled due date; otherwise, interest will apply at a rate that can be higher than the interest rates charged on the major credit cards.

By paying for a purchase up front rather than opting for a financing plan, consumers can often get a discount from the merchant.

Fonds d’indemnisation des services financiers  This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Information from the Autorité des marchés financiers

The Fonds d’indemnisation des services financiers compensates victims of fraud in relation to financial products and services offered by representatives, firms, independent representatives, independent partnerships, mutual fund dealers or scholarship plan dealers.

Note: The Organisme d'autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec (OACIQ) ensures the protection of members of the public who enlist the services of real estate brokerage professionals governed by the Real Estate Brokerage Act. The OACIQ’s Real Estate Indemnity Fund (FICI) This hyperlink will open in a new window. offers free protection to consumers who do business with a broker or agency and are victims of fraud, dishonest tactics, or misappropriation of funds in the course of a transaction.

High-Cost Credit Contract This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Information from the Office de la protection du consommateur

A high-cost credit contract is a contract under which the credit rate exceeds the rate obtained by adding 22 percentage points to the Bank of Canada Bank Rate.

Any merchant who enters into a high-cost credit contract with a consumer is required to follow certain rules and hold a permit from the Office de la protection du consommateur.

Instalment Sale This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Information from the Office de la protection du consommateur

An instalment sale contract is a credit contract. The purchase is financed by the merchant, to whom the consumer pays the item through scheduled payments. The consumer also pays credit charges. The consumer must have paid the full price of the item and the credit charges before becoming the owner of the item.

Before entering into an instalment sale contract, a merchant must assess the consumer’s capacity to repay the credit requested.

Note: An instalment sale contract may be cancelled without cost within 2 days following that on which the consumer and the merchant are in possession of a duplicate of the contract. This 2-day deadline does not apply if the instalment sale contract is for a road vehicle that has been delivered to the consumer.

Insurance Products This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Information from the Autorité des marchés financiers

Several insurance products are governed by the Autorité des marchés financiers. Before signing an insurance contract, it is important to make sure that the individual or firm being dealt with has the right to pursue activities with respect to advising or selling the financial product being offered.

Note: The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) This hyperlink will open in a new window. is a reference when it comes to getting informed about property and casualty insurance. It provides information, tips and advice, and references to help see one’s way through insurance.

Register of Firms and Individuals Authorized to Practise This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Information from the Autorité des marchés financiers

This register makes it possible to check whether the individual or firm being dealt with has the right to pursue activities with respect to advising or selling the financial product being offered.

Note that the Government of Canada offers services and information regarding consumer affairs.

Consumer Affairs  This hyperlink will open in a new window.