To engage in credit activities, a business must have a credit licence or an authorisation from a credit licensee.

ASIC is the national regulator for consumer credit and consumer leases under the national credit legislation. This legislation includes:

  • the National Credit Code (which is Schedule 1 to the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act)) – which contains requirements for the entry into and terms and enforcement of credit contracts and consumer leases
  • the National Credit Act – which contains requirements that persons who are involved with consumers obtaining credit contracts or consumer leases must be licensed and must comply with responsible lending requirements.  

People that engage in credit activities generally need a credit licence or an authorisation from a licensee. This includes both the credit providers and lessors, and other persons, such as finance brokers.

'Credit activity' is defined in the National Credit Act and includes activity relating to credit contracts, consumer leases, mortgages and guarantees, and credit services.

On 25 September 2020, the Government announced proposed reforms to the responsible lending obligations contained in Ch 3 of the National Credit Act. The proposed reforms will amend the obligations that apply before entry into a credit product or the provision of credit assistance. ASIC’s guidance relating to the current responsible lending obligations will be reviewed and updated when the proposed reforms are finalised.

Credit guidance and information

We have issued detailed guidance and general information to help you understand the credit licensing process and your obligations under the credit legislation: see Related links.

You can find more information about licensing on our Credit licensees pages.

However, you may also need to get professional advice on how the law applies to your situation.

You might not need an Australian credit licence if you meet an exemption under the legislation, or if ASIC has granted relief. See Regulatory Guide 51 Applications for Relief (RG 51) for more information on applications for relief.

Information for consumers and borrowers on using credit wisely and managing debt and what to do if experiencing financial difficulty is available on the Moneysmart website.

To make a complaint to ASIC about a credit product or service, read the information on How to complain.

Credit registers

You can search and browse the following online registers for free to check a person's authorisations to engage in credit activities:

Related links

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Last updated: 20/10/2014 12:00