The Consumer Affairs Commission, CAC, is urging customers to ensure that contracts for products and services being obtained, especially with financial institutions, are fully understood before entering into any agreement.

CAC Chief Executive Officer, Dolsie Allen, says whether it is a micro-credit lending agency, commercial bank, credit union or mortgage, people must understand fully what they’re getting into.

She’s urging customers to ask all the important questions and request a summary of all the critical points, related to that contract.

She was speaking during a recent Jamaica Information Service ‘Think Tank’, at the agency’s head office in Kingston, ahead of World Consumer Rights Day, which was observed on March 15 under the theme: ‘Level Up: Manage Your Money’.

Mrs. Allen pointed out that interest rates are among the pertinent details consumers need to query.

An interest rate is the amount a lender charges a borrower and is a percentage of the principal, which is the amount loaned.

Other questions which Mrs. Allen emphasised should be asked include: “What are the other fees; how long is the loan for; what is my monthly payment? What happens in the event, for some reason, that I cannot make the payment this month, what do I do, what are some of the penalties?”

The CEO further noted that being “desperate for the money” is often why consumers accept information they are told without thinking or understanding.