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A high-cost credit business operator is a person who offers, arranges for, or enters into a high-cost credit agreement as the party providing or offering to provide high-cost credit to a borrower in Alberta. This includes a lessor. Operators may conduct business either from a business premises or on the internet.

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
  • leases
  • 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, thank you for taking the time to review these requirements. You do not need to proceed further.

How to apply

You will be asked to provide information on your business, provide a security instrument, and pay a licensing fee. To get started follow these instructions to save and open the application form below.

Trouble opening or completing PDF forms?

Fillable forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save this form:

  1. Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
  2. Launch Adobe Reader.
  3. Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.

Application for a High-Cost Credit Business Licence (PDF, 2 MB)

If a lender is solely engaged in pawn lending/pawn brokering and does not offer any other high-cost credit product, no security is required. All other licensing and regulatory requirements apply.

Your responsibilities

Copies of legislation can be obtained from the Queen’s Printer Bookstore.


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