National legislation regulating the way in which credit is provided to private individuals in Australia was regulated in 2009. Key points of this legislation are as follows:

  • The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the consumer credit legislation. The state and territory consumer agencies have a supporting role.

  • All lenders, entities and persons providing assistance for consumer credit dealings (such as mortgage brokers and commercial debt payment assistance firms) must have a licence from ASIC.

  • All licensees are required to adopt responsible lending practices. They must check that you have the financial ability to meet your obligation to pay a debt such as a mortgage.

  • Licensees must establish an in-house informal dispute resolution process to handle consumer complaints or queries, and must also belong to an informal external mediation service.