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Fiji Time: 10:49 AM on Friday 18 April

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Read before you sign

Avinesh Gopal
Monday, October 29, 2012

DO you know exactly what you are paying for?

And do you know your financial obligations under your credit contract?

If not, then there is a need for you to read your credit contract before signing it.

The failure by many people to properly read, analyse and understand their credit contracts before signing them has left them in a financial mess.

An assessment of complaints lodged with the country's consumer watchdog shows that many people do not understand their rights and responsibilities when borrowing credit or taking goods on credit.

But despite this, the Consumer Council of Fiji says people blindly sign the credit contracts.

In December last year, the council launched the "Read Before You Sign" campaign to allow consumers make informed and wise decisions.

The campaign aims to make consumers aware of their rights and responsibilities before accessing goods and services on credit.

It is telling consumers to read, analyse and understand the credit contract before signing in order to know what they have to do financially.

With the Hindu festival of lights Diwali on November 13 and Christmas in December, the council said the need to focus on the campaign was now more than ever.

Council's chief executive officer Premila Kumar said consumers access goods on credit during the festive season because of tempting advertisements like "zero deposit".

She said people should not blindly sign their credit contracts without understanding them when buying goods on credit during the festive season.

"The campaign hopes to promote and encourage a holistic change in the way consumers borrow and manage their money," said Mrs Kumar.