Consumer Leases to be regulated like other forms of credit

Known as “Rent-Try-Buy”, consumer leases are subject to considerably lighter regulation than credit contracts. They are also incredibly expensive, and targeted at low-income and Centrelink dependent Australians. ASIC last year released a report on consumer leases, which found one lease provider charging the equivalent of 884% on the standard retail cost for a clothes dryer.

The fix is simple. The National Credit Code should no longer distinguish between consumer leases and credit contracts based on whether they provide a ‘right or obligation to purchase’. This amendment should mean that consumer lessors can’t take advantage of Centrepay, Centrelink’s bill paying service, by allowing repayments on high cost credit to be paid ahead of a family’s essential expenditure, including food and rent.

Our infographic, “The Rent-Try-Buy Lie” shows just how expensive these products can be.

Policy contact: Zac Gillam: 03 9670 5088 – zac@consumeraction.org.au

Media contact: Jonathan Brown: 0413 299 567 – media@consumeraction.org.au

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