In an economy where it is increasingly difficult to get a personal loan, even with fairly decent credit and collateral, you have to be wary of anyone offering easy terms or easy cash. That’s not to say that there isn’t money being lent out there. Rather, that there are a few unscrupulous organizations who are taking advantage of the difficult lending market and making a killing off of application fees for loans they simply don’t intend to make.
Banks and Credit Unions are Generally a Safe Bet
So, how can we know if a prospective lender is legit? Of course, the major banks and credit unions are going to legitimate lending sources. Of course, they also tend to be the most difficult places to borrow money.
Be Cautious of Online Solicitation
Any of us who has a functioning email address has likely been inundated with offers of credit. And these are the ones we need to look out for. That’s not to say that there are no legitimate lenders online. Many lending companies do a good business online, and there’s nothing wrong with using an online lender. But do your homework first.
Check ‘Em Out
Who is advertising the loan? Do a little research. A simple google search will generally give you most of the information you need to have a feeling for whether or not a lender is legitimate. If there isn’t much information about the company online, including feedback from customers, it probably isn’t worth your time to apply for a loan with them. Additionally, if there is a lot of negative feedback or warnings of a scam, it’s a good indication you might want to seek elsewhere for your loan.
Additionally, check with the Better Business Bureau. Any legitimate lending institution is going to be registered with them. And, they generally have the latest information on those who are using unscrupulous business practices.
Don’t send money to any company outside of your own country as a fee for securing a loan, low interest or not. Once your money is out of the country, you have very little chance of getting it back.
Additionally, be very careful about who you give your personal information to, especially your social security number. A lot of the personal loan scam operations cause more harm through identity theft than they did through he original fee.
Photo via johnny goldstein