Why is this important?
This information applies to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
This page explains what credit sale is and what to watch out for if you are offered an interest free deal.
Under a credit sale agreement you buy the goods at the cash price. You usually have to pay interest but some suppliers offer interest free credit. Repayment is made by instalments until you have paid the whole amount.
You’re the legal owner of the goods as soon as the contract is made and the goods can’t be returned if you change your mind. The supplier can’t repossess the goods if you fall behind with repayments but they can take court action to recover the money owed if you’re in arrears.
Interest free offers can be tempting and can be a good deal. As long as you keep to the payments you won’t be charged interest.
Goods may not be cheaper this way. The overall price of the item may be higher to make up for the interest free element.
If you fall behind, the lender may start charging interest and this can be at a higher rate than usual. Check your credit agreement to see what the deal is. The credit agreement is the legal document you signed when you took out the credit.
For more information about different ways of borrowing money and getting credit, see Types of borrowing.
You may also find the following Adviceguide information helpful:
- Getting the best credit deal
- Credit cards
- Banks and building societies
- Increasing your income
- How to spend less
- Help with debt in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Help with debt in Scotland.
The Money Advice Service
The Money Advice Service is a free, independent service. Their website (www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk) has lots of useful information about borrowing and managing your money.
Go to their website for more information about: