What Are Truth in Lending Laws?

Understanding the impact of these laws helps you make informed decisions about your credit

9/16/2014 7:05:00 AM
A consumer who wants to buy a new car or home could seek financing, and recognizing how truth in lending laws work can help this buyer make the best choice. Different states have varying versions of the regulations, but the information below highlights the history of the guidelines and how the standards could influence your decision to make a major purchase.

The history of truth in lending laws

In 1968, a federal law was enacted that was designed to protect consumers and lenders in dealings with open- or closed-ended credit. The Federal Reserve enforced the act through several regulations, and to avoid potential issues down the line, consumers should review local statutes before applying for loans.
The Truth in Lending Act is included in the Consumer Credit Protection Act and stipulates that all terms of transactions involving consumer credit must be fully explained to prospective debtors.What Are Truth in Lending Laws?

The impact of truth in lending laws on consumers

Creditors must provide specific information to debtors, including all terms of a credit transaction. Consumers must recognize the duration of the loan, how the allowance must be repaid and other meaningful details before accepting the terms.
Annual percentage rate also is a major consideration for debtors. Creditors must disclose this rate so consumers fully understand the costs of the allowance.
In addition, creditors must provide paperwork to debtors in advance and issue periodic billing statements after consumers accept the terms of a loan.

Research truth in lending laws

Informed consumers can make the best choices and avoid the pitfalls of long-term credit problems.
Before agreeing to financing, review the local truth in lending regulations. Comprehensive research enables people who are hoping to buy new cars or homes to get the necessary information to review all the available options.
Evaluate documents offered by prospective lenders to ensure that the terms of the agreement fulfill consumers’ requests. If there are significant errors, address these concerns immediately before signing any paperwork.
Truth in lending laws are in place for a reason, and informed consumers can dedicate resources toward learning about these regulations so they can receive essential financing for major purchases. Take a close look at state and federal statutes to ensure that the loan terms can be fulfilled successfully.

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