What is the Standard European Consumer Credit Information form?
Before signing any credit contract, the credit provider is obliged to provide you with a standardised document called the Standard European Consumer Credit Information form. It is designed to give you the best overview of the terms and conditions of any credit contract you consider and includes key details such as: the main features, amount and costs of credit, the Annual Percentage Rate (APR), the number and frequency of payments requested from the credit provider, as well as a note on important legal aspects. This allows you to compare the offers of different credit providers and select the credit offer that works best for you.
If your credit provider didn’t give you this form, you can ask to receive it.
Download the Consumer Credit Information form
Standard European Consumer Credit Information form explained
The Standard European Consumer Credit Information form consists of five distinct sections that cover all major features of your credit agreement. If you’re not sure about some of the terms used in the form, select them from the following list to obtain an explanation.
Type of credit
Credit comes in all shapes and sizes from a store card at your local supermarket to a loan from your bank. The Consumer Credit Directive applies to most credit agreements with a value between EUR 200 and EUR 75 000.
Total amount of credit
All credit agreements include a ‘ceiling’ or upper limit. This is the total amount of money that the credit provider commits to make available to you in accordance with the terms of your agreement.
Duration of credit
Each credit agreement will include the date that the agreement takes effect (either the day of signing or the day you receive a copy of the contract) and the date that it finishes in a ‘from-to’ format. Remember, however, that some credit agreements can be ‘open-ended’, i.e. without a finish date.
Total amount you will have to pay
This will be one number and will include the amount of money borrowed, as well as interest and any other associated costs.
The number, frequency and size of all payments that you will be obliged to make.
This is the interest rate charged to you to borrow a certain amount of money from a credit provider. It is expressed as a fixed or variable percentage applied to the amount of credit provided to you every year.
Annual Percentage Rate of Charge (APR) represents the total cost of your credit. It is expressed as a percentage of the total cost of the credit and includes interest, commission, taxes and any other kinds of fees.
Insurance policy and ancillary service contracts
If, in order to secure your credit (or to secure it on the terms marketed) you’re obliged to take out an insurance policy securing the credit or to sign another ancillary service contract, it will be indicated here. If the costs of these services are not known by the creditor, they are not included in the APR.
Costs and consequences of missing payment
If you miss payments there could be serious consequences that may affect your financial position. The cost and consequences of missed payments are outlined in this section of the form.
Right of withdrawal
This is one of the two major rights granted to consumers by the Consumer Credit Directive (CCD). It states that you’re allowed to withdraw from a credit agreement without giving any reason within a period of 14 calendar days after the signing of the contract. You must just pay what the credit has cost to date. The payment must be made without any undue delay and no later than 30 calendar days after the withdrawal.
Compensation in the case of early repayment
You can repay your credit earlier than foreseen. However, you may have to compensate the credit provider for their lost income, but the compensation can’t exceed the total amount of interest the credit provider would lose.
If you have a dispute with your credit provider, you can address it to an out-of-court dispute resolution body that should be able to solve your dispute in an independent and objective way without having to go to court.