Every year hundreds of millions of dollars are lost due to scams by regular people doing normal activities. These scams are often difficult to spot and go unnoticed until it’s too late. That’s why it’s so important to stay vigilant and do your homework when doing business online, especially when it comes to getting loans. Online loans are a convenient way to quickly get the extra funds you need without all the hassle of working with a traditional bank.
But they can also make you a prime candidate for a potential scam. Follow these six tips for how to get a loan online safely and avoid dealing with shady lenders.
1. Search Through Reliable Sources
The first step to doing any business online, including getting a loan, is to search for the company you want to purchase (or lend) from. This step seems pretty basic but is actually one of the biggest pitfalls people face and can lead to being the victim of a scam if you’re not careful.
It’s crucial to seek out potential lenders from legitimate sources. This means not clicking on any suspicious email that comes through your inbox and going with that lender.
Instead, take a few minutes to look online for potential options and then do a deeper dive into your top few options. Be very wary of fishy emails, even if they look great at first glance!
2. Look for No Limit Offers
Unfortunately, lenders can’t lend money to anyone who asks for it. They wouldn’t be able to run their businesses successfully if that was the case. While it can sometimes make it difficult to find what you need if your financial situation is rocky, it makes for an easy way to spot shady lenders.
Lenders who advertise being able to lend to anyone without hesitation or restrictions are usually too good to be true.
While there are lenders who work with a wider range of financial situations, they will still have requirements that you have to meet. When you spot an offer that feels too good to be true, it’s worth investigating further because it might be.
3. Unclear Procedures
Getting a loan, whether through a traditional bank or an online loan lender, has a pretty straightforward process that is similar across the industry. It typically requires you to apply for the loan and prove certain financial markers to show you’re able to pay back the money.
Each lender will have a slightly different application process to follow which should be outlined and easily followed on their website.
You’ll know you’re working with a potential scam when this process isn’t clearly defined somewhere for you to follow. This is a way to confuse you and keep you moving forward in order to get the shady plans going.
From the very beginning, you should have a good understanding of what you’ll need to do and how the entire transaction will work.
4. Inconsistent Communication
While applying for a loan, there can be a lot of communication back and forth between you and the lender. Especially after the initial application is turned in. The lender may need more documentation or need clarification on certain aspects of your financial status.
During this phase, you’ll want to watch the communication from the lender carefully and look for any red flags that may pop up.
One of the biggest things to look for is an inconsistent flow of the conversation. A lender wants to get you the loan as quickly as they can to start getting your payments. So if you have to wait a long time between discussions, it might be a sign of a shady lender. Look out for other signs of phishing emails at the same time to catch anything worrisome.
5. Follow Typical Business Practices
There are some clear signs that you’re working with a shady lender, mainly when they go against typical industry standards.
One of the most common scams shady lenders will try is to get you to pay a fee upfront before your application can be processed. This is the easiest way to get money from you without having to provide what you are after.
A good, reliable lender will follow typical practices that include not getting any money until your first loan payment is due. They’ll be upfront and open about how things will work all the way through the process.
6. Be On Guard and Critical
The most important thing you can do is be aware that scammers are out there and a real threat. When you treat potential scams seriously, you’ll be much more critical and able to see the red flags more clearly.
Never take anything you read about a potential lender and their online loan opportunities at face value. Make sure to dig deeper to find any potential issues. That means reading through their policies and procedures, talking to employees about the potential loan, and reading reviews of previous customers.
When you have the full scope of information, you can better determine what’s legitimate and what’s too good to be true.
If all else fails, trust your gut and don’t go through with something that feels like it could be any issue. There are enough options available to not go with the first option you come across!
Avoid Issues with Shady Lenders for Online Loans
Generally, when you’re looking to get extra funds you need them quick and without a lot of hassle. This is where online loans come in and make things so much easier than they used to be.
When you take the time to guard against scams and find a reputable lender, you can have all the ease and get the money you need. Taking the time to watch for scammers will save you big time in the end when you don’t end up losing money in the process of making the deal.
If you’re in need of a quick online loan, contact us today to get the process started!