Don’t Skip Out On Reading The Fine Print
by Mashum Mollah Our Blogs 02 May 2017
We all do it, whether you tell people or not. Some of us do it on our own, while others do it with friends and family. We do it at work, at home, and at the coffee shop. Sure, some of us only do it a handful of times a week, but others are guilty of it multiple times a day. Wondering what ‘it’ could be yet? If you haven’t already figured it out, it’s the Canadian habit of clicking I Accept on the terms and conditions of sites, apps, and devices.
Let’s be honest with each other. You probably clicked something similar just to get to this page. Most websites ask permission to store your cookies, but very few of us will actually investigate what that means before we allow it. Cookie consent along with the EULAs (or End-User Licence Agreements) of iOS updates, apps, and online stores typically come in the form of complex legalese that no one would voluntarily read on their own.
For the most part, this aversion to EULAs doesn’t come with many consequences. Though there are some horror stories like this one, accepting Apple’s terms and conditions without reading all 56 pages won’t necessarily land you in hot water. But this laissez-fair approach to legal documents can bring about significant financial difficulties if you apply it to your next personal loan.
Tl;dr? Whether you’re applying for a mortgage, credit card, payday loan, or cash advance, all of these financial products have rates, terms, and conditions that you must read carefully before you accept. Stipulated in your initial application and contract, this information holds important details regarding the cost of your loan and when you must repay it.
Depending on the source of your loan, these terms and conditions may not always be clear. In fact, many predatory companies will do this on purpose. In disguising hidden fees and other important information in overly complex language, they hope you’ll miss them entirely.
If you hope to repay your assistance on time, it’s important to choose your lender wisely. Just as there are predatory scams hoping to do your finances harm, there are legitimate companies who wish to offer financially responsible options. You can find them by confirming they have both of the following two features:
- Accreditation: In Canada, each province is responsible for regulating lending laws, but only a small pool of lenders earn the licenses the province issues. They should also have a membership with the Canadian Consumer Finances Association (CCFA). The CCFA ensures its members abide by the law in order to offer safe financial options.
- Clarity: A lender can make it easier on their customers by designing their website copy and their legal contracts in clear, simple language. As a licensed member of the CCFA, the financiers at GoDay are a perfect example of how easy reading terms and conditions can be. You don’t have to spend long on GoDay.ca to see that they outline their services in no-nonsense terminology so as not to overly complicate their products and practices. They also have customer service representatives available should you still have questions.
With these features in place, your choice of lender will make it easy to avoid the dreaded term and conditions malaise. While you still might click accept without reading the T&Cs of your next app, don’t do the same with your next loan. You’re the only one who can determine whether or not the product is within your means to repay, and you won’t be able to make that decision without doing some reading. So the next time you’re presented with them, make sure it’s the truth when you say you’ve read and agree to all terms and conditions.