If you’re in need of financing for either personal reasons or for business, you no longer have to just look around your local city for banks or financing companies because all kinds of lenders have setup shop online who can fund you from anywhere in the US. Yes, you can get a business or personal loan online just like you could if you went to a bank, and in some cases you can get an even better deal with an online loan than what a bank might offer, and you might get it with even less waiting time.
But there are also identity thieves and false lending companies out there who claim to offer easy-to-get loans, but in reality either put you in a debt trap, or steal your information and bank account funds. How do you know if you’re getting a legitimate loan or an online scam?
Check Your State’s Laws And Make Sure The Online Lender Follows Them
There are different online loans that have little or no regulations at the federal level, but they’re regulated heavily at the state level and in some cases may not be legal in certain states. Payday loans and auto title loans are among these kinds of loans, but there are others that may be restricted in certain states as mentioned here in CreditKarma.
A reputable online lender will know each state’s laws and instead of trying to dodge them, they’ll be in 100% compliance with them and say so on their website. If you have any questions about whether a lender or a kind of loan is allowed in your state, you should check your Attorney General’s website or a library of laws.
Look At Reviews And Reputation Sites
You can’t always put 100% stock into what online reviews are saying about a lending company, but if you’ve done a lot of research into the reviews and every place from social media to sites like Yelp have well-articulated reviews that are either positive or negative, you can usually get a vibe on whether the company has good ethics or bad practices.
You can also check an online lender’s reputation with the Better Business Bureau, see if there are any complaints on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website or ask someone you know if they’ve used the online lender. Usually online financial newspapers and blog circles like NerdWallet will have well-known reputable lenders listed somewhere such as a “top 5” or “top 10” list. If it’s a lender that doesn’t seem to have any reviews anywhere, you’re probably better not doing business with them.
Look Out For Lead Generation Sites
Sometimes online websites will appear to look like a lender but instead will actually be marketing companies that get your contact and income information down and then use that to connect you with lenders they say offer the best deal. Most times these companies are legitimate, but sometimes shady lead generators could end up giving that information to the wrong people. You should never trust any website that claims you need to pay a lot of upfront fees just to get a loan.
One area you can find online lenders in is for online title loans in Florida. Usually these online lenders don’t go hunting down too much personal information but simply need to know what your vehicle is like so you can get a cash loan for it. If an online title loan isn’t right for you, an online payday loan might be.