A high-cost credit business operator is a person who offers, arranges for, or enters into a high-cost credit agreement with a borrower in Alberta. This includes a lessor. Operators may conduct business either from a business premises or online.
- A high-cost credit business operator must hold a high-cost credit business licence.
High-cost credit agreement
A high-cost credit agreement means a credit agreement that provides for a rate of 32% and includes a lease but does not include a payday loan. There are 2 types of high-cost credit agreements:
- A fixed credit agreement or lease is a high-cost credit agreement or high-cost lease if the annual percentage rate (APR) is 32% or more, and it includes the interest rate and all mandatory fees and costs involved with the high-cost credit agreement.
- An open credit agreement is a high-cost credit agreement if the annual interest rate is 32% or more.
For more information, see the High-Cost Credit Business Licence tip sheet.
Fixed high-cost credit
Fixed high-cost credit means credit under a high-cost credit agreement that is not for open high-cost credit and that is not a payday loan.
Fixed high-cost credit products are often referred to as ‘instalment’ lending, and are typically for a fixed amount and have a schedule of payments. These products can include:
- instalment loans
- mortgage loans
- car loans
- vehicle title loans
- rent-to-own products
- pawn loans
Open high-cost credit
Open high-cost credit means credit under a high-cost credit agreement that:
- anticipates multiple advances, to be made when requested by the borrower in accordance with the agreement
- does not establish the total amount to be advanced to the borrower under the agreement, although it may impose a credit limit
Open high-cost credit products are often referred to as ‘revolving’ lending and do not have fixed, scheduled payments. These products can include:
- lines of credit
- revolving loans
- home equity lines of credit
- credit cards
- retail cards
If your business does not require this licence, you do not need to proceed further.
How to apply
You will need to provide:
- information on your business
- a criminal record check or police information check
- a security
- payment of a licensing fee
To get started, follow the instructions below to save and open the application form.
PDF form issues
Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save the form:
- Save the PDF form to your computer – click or right-click the link and download the form.
- Open the PDF form with Adobe Reader. Fill it in and save it.
Application for a High-Cost Credit Business Licence (PDF, 1.9 MB)
Licence holders must notify Service Alberta in writing within 15 days of a change in:
- business address
- partners of the business if the licence is issued to a partnership
- officers or directors of the corporation if the licence is issued to a corporation
Licence holders must notify Service Alberta in writing within 15 days of ceasing to carry on the activities for which the licence was issued.
It is your responsibility to ensure your licence is in force as long as you continue to do business. Once your licence is issued, note the expiry date and ensure your licence is renewed prior to this date.
Licensees must be able to provide confirmation of licensing on request. This can be done by providing a copy of the licence or by providing other confirmation that the business is properly licensed. This can include providing a link to the Find a Licensed Business search tool.
Note: applicant, directors, officers and partners are required to read the Consumer Protection Act and its regulations associated with this licence and understand that certain sections are of significance, including but not limited to the specific sections noted below.
High-Cost Credit Business Compliance Standards – Read and understand
- Section 22 regarding business operators shall retain documents and records as set out in the regulation
- Section 23 regarding business operators shall handle dishonoured payments as set out in the regulation
- Section 24 regarding business operators cannot engage in prohibited practices as set out in the regulation
Copies of legislation can be obtained from the Alberta Queen’s Printer.
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