Money matters - Cancelling contracts

If you cannot make decisions for yourself, this is called ‘lacking capacity’. This page explains what happens if you borrow money from a lender when you lack capacity. It also explains your rights to cancel unwanted items you buy, and what to do if you have borrowed money from a loan shark. This page is for people who experience mental illness and their carers.


  • If you can’t make a decision for yourself, you may ‘lack capacity’.
  • If a lender knows that you lack capacity to borrow from them, they are not allowed to lend you money.
  • Lenders can refuse to lend to you if they have a good reason to think you lack capacity to borrow money.
  • There are guidelines that could help you to show when a lender has been irresponsible.
  • You can make a complaint if you are not happy with the way a lender has treated you.
  • There are options for dealing with debts you can’t repay.
  • You usually have a 14 day ‘cooling off’ period to cancel items you buy online, over the phone or by mail order.
  • If you have borrowed from a ‘loan shark’ you can take action.


We know that money and mental health problems often go hand in hand. That’s why Rethink Mental Illness, as part of Mental Health UK, have set up a new website. It will help you understand, manage and improve your mental and financial health. You can find a wide range of information to help you with your benefits.


Visit the Mental Health & Money Advice site now 

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