In tough times like these, it’s not uncommon to need some extra cash, and one of the most popular ways is working with an online loan lender. These online lenders can process and issue loans completely within the digital space, getting you the cash, you need, fast.
However, just like any industry with a digital presence, there can be fraudulent actors that only exist to steal your personal information. We’re going to look at how you can be sure you’re working with a trusted, legitimate online lender.
An online loan lender is just like any other lender that has a physical or “brick and mortar” location. They lend consumers funds based on their qualifications and ability to repay those funds, but they do so with an application and disbursement process that is located entirely online.
Here are the five most effective ways to make sure that your potential online loan lender is a legitimate business.
The most effective way to be sure that the online lender is a legitimate lending organization is to check with your state. All legitimate lenders must be registered with various state agencies before they can begin providing financial products to customers. They must have a license issued from the state financial or lending regulatory commission or agency, and they will often be a member of the local chamber of commerce as well.
The Better Business Bureau is one of the leading resources online to find out if a particular business entity is legitimate or is merely scamming people. A legitimate business will have a solid presence with the BBB and will show plenty of good-faith efforts to resolve complaints that are raised with the BBB on their site. You can read people’s complaints, and the lender’s response, with confidential information redacted of course. Companies with no BBB presence or zero reviews are generally considered to be scams.
The internet never forgets. Combing through online reviews, no matter what platform they are on, can be a valuable way to add more information to your business research. It can give you a sense of who has come away dissatisfied with their dealings with the business, and the content of the reviews will be able to determine if they were written by people who simply defaulted or had legitimate problems. Zero reviews should be a huge red flag and is a good reason to look elsewhere.
Legitimate businesses, especially those in the financial or lending space, will take the time to ensure that their digital presence is secure. This means when you navigate to their website, you should be greeted with an address that begins with HTTPS, not simply HTTP. This denotes a secure site and indicates that communications including your personal information, are encrypted before being transmitted.
For the last check, look at their contact and headquarters information. Call the phone number and make sure it goes where it should. Google their address and find it on a map to determine if it’s a legit business or just some building.
Lending Bear is here to make sure you have a positive experience as a borrower. For more information, reach out today and speak with a member of our online loan lender team.