With the crisis, promotional credit offers are multiplying

Competition and banking supervisory authorities are monitoring the phenomenon. Consumer associations warn against sometimes misleading advertising.

In the last few weeks, enticing and tempting ads have been flooding newspaper pages, websites and personal e-mail. While the financial crisis is raging, these advertisements offer loans Get Index 90 at will renewable or credit buybacks of all kinds, automobile, housing or consumption. They promise citizens-consumers restored purchasing power at the same time … a better life!

“It’s time to take advantage of it!” Says an advertisement for Credito, the “specialist in the redemption of credits, which gives color to your life”. “Click here” to “collect all your credits” and “unlock your purchasing power!” continues the message to households strangled by their reimbursement charges.

Consumers who struggle to make ends meet, and are reluctant to push the door of their bank, other financial companies offer “money reserves” available “right now”, and, they suggest, for nothing or almost. Thus, this advertising signed “Médiatis, the credit that has the sense of service”, puts at your fingertips “a reserve of money up to 10 000 euros to achieve your projects”, with “0 euro to repay for three months, and immediate principle answer!”. As a cherry on the cake, Médiatis, which, lucky enough, “celebrates its 10th anniversary”, offers “an exceptional rate on your credit reserve for 6 months”.

“Relax and do not start repaying until 2009,” says another commercial for a revolving credit called “Disponis, credit according to you”, showing a languid woman on a beach bathed in sunshine. It offers up to 4,500 euros “transferred in 48 hours only”, for “0 euro for 3 months” with, as a gift, a mini-Hi-fi.


The upsurge in promotional credit offers is a classic phenomenon in times of crisis. It is closely monitored by competition authorities, banking supervisory authorities and consumer associations, who denounce misleading messages and inducements for excessive indebtedness.

“All is not bad and it can happen that good buy-backs and debts by serious people allow families to avoid being evicted from housing or falling into debt,” explains Frédérique Pfrunder, Project Manager at the Consumption, Housing and Living Environment Association (CLCV).

But, she warns, “you have to pay attention to very aggressive ads where you do not talk about money but where you sell well-being. The credit conditions behind it can be dangerous, for example, if We propose a variable rate to indebted households at a fixed rate. It must be kept in mind that, in any case, the new credit will be longer and will cost much more!

Ms. Pfrunder denounces the passage “double jackpot” that represent, for banks, these operations of the repurchase of receivables. She also warns against the temptation of revolving credit, while threatens the economic crisis. “We are in the process of setting up an explosive device,” she says, ” there are no longer any small loans earmarked to finance expenses of less than 2,000 euros, such as the purchase of a washing machine. offers revolving credits that can be used at will on bank cards. ”

Christian Huard, president of CondoFrance, shares these concerns. He expects credit institutions to adopt responsible behavior. “The vultures of the crisis are, it seems, already there,” says Huard, ” By offering credits at promotional rates, these companies distort the economic offer. There must be a price for credit. ‘essential is the normal price, the one we will actually pay throughout the loan term.’ For Mr. Huard, it is up to the government to protect the consumer from unfair practices, especially when the state enters the capital of banks.