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Debt management licensing regime has commenced

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From 1 July 2021, providers of debt management services (including firms offering ‘debt negotiation’ or ‘credit repair’ services) are regulated under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act).

This means providers of these services must:

  • hold a credit licence with an authorisation that covers those services (or act as a representative of such an authorised licensee); or
  • be operating in accordance with the transitional arrangements, specifically that by 30 June 2021 they:
    • applied to ASIC for a credit licence or variation that covers this activity (or have arrangements to act as a representative of a provider that has applied for a licence to cover this activity); and
    • are a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).

If providers of debt management services have not met these requirements, they must cease engaging in these activities.

The transitional arrangements only apply while ASIC is considering the application for a credit licence or variation. If no licence is granted the provider must cease engaging in these activities.

ASIC will be closely monitoring compliance with the new laws, including identifying unlicensed conduct and taking action where necessary.

Published list of applicants – debt management services

ASIC has published a list of persons/entities that have applied for a credit licence or a variation by 30 June 2021 (seeking the ‘debt management services’ authorisation) and were members of AFCA on that date.

The list reflects licence applications that have not yet been determined by ASIC and where the person/entity has consented to ASIC publishing details of their application.

If you are dealing with a person or entity that provides debt management services, this list may help you to decide whether they can provide those services under the transitional arrangements. You may also need to check on AFCA’s website to determine whether the person or entity has current AFCA membership.

ASIC reminds credit licensees that under section 31 of the National Credit Act they are prohibited from conducting business with unlicensed persons.

Background

On 29 April 2021, the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment (Debt Management Services) Regulations 2021 were made, which prescribe certain debt management services as a ‘credit activity’ for the purposes of the National Credit Act.

More information about the changes

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.

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Review: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

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Now that most students are starting to return to in-person school, many young adults and their parents are once again looking for the right credit card. Having a credit card offers students a secure and convenient method of payment. It also helps students build credit and even earn some rewards. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students excels at all of these tasks.

Key Terms

  • Welcome Bonus: Earn $200 cash rewards after spending $1,000 within 90 days of account opening.
  • Rewards: Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. Receive 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • APR: 13.99% to 23.99%
  • Promotional Financing Offer: 15 months of 0% APR on both new purchases and balance transfers.

How This Card Works

This card is a very competitive rewards card, especially for a student card. New applicants earn $200 in cash back after making $1,000 worth of new purchases within 90 days of account opening. You also earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. Additionally, you earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

But rewards shouldn’t be the most important thing to students. Instead, consider this card because it’s very easy for Bank of America customers to manage, along with their checking and savings accounts. It also helps students to build their credit by offering them a free FICO score each month. It’s compatible with digital wallet technology and can be managed by a full featured mobile app.

New accounts also receive 15 months of 0% APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, and there’s no annual fee for this card.

Advantages

While most student credit cards are very basic, this one comes with generous rewards, including a new account bonus. Other advantages are its promotional financing offer and free monthly FICO score. There’s no annual fee for this card, but that’s expected with a product designed for students.