For years the Internet has been compared to the Wild West, a lawless territory where explorers proceed at their own risk. Many consumers, however, are figuring out how to avoid “fool’s gold” and get what they need online, securely. In fact, about 69 million Americans now bank online. The Internet can be a reliable resource to look for a reputable place to get a personal loan, too.
Nonetheless, not every personal loan company out there has your best interests in mind. Personal loan scams are still a threat to consumers everywhere. With some simple research, you can find a personal loan company that instills confidence and trust. Here are a few strategies for narrowing the field.
The Internet has brought us many wonderful things: online shopping, social media and detailed maps of the entire planet. Perhaps just below those contributions are consumer reviews. It’s one of the first things that pops up when researching a personal loan company. Don’t ignore them; reviews can be very helpful in looking for a reliable place to get a personal loan. Consumers Advocate, an independent organization that seeks to inform consumers, lists this advice for using reviews in your research:
Statistical Significance: The more reviews posted, the more likely the review is accurate.
Word Sentiment: Look for keywords within the review that indicate positive or negative emotions, displeasure or satisfaction.
Customer Care: Is the company responding to negative reviews as well as positive reviews? This can indicate how a lender treats its customers on a daily basis.
Learn from Mistakes: Look at where other customers have gone wrong. This can help identify specific problems and help you decide who was at fault.
Read the Fine Print
It’s tedious, but reading the fine print of your agreement is surely more enjoyable than finding an unexpected fee, or worse, that you’re dealing with a dishonest lender. So read it, read it again, and then have someone you trust or a trained professional go over the agreement with you. If any part of the agreement is unclear or makes you feel uncomfortable, ask the lender to explain it more thoroughly. Reputable lenders are typically very willing to help you through the process.
How to Spot a Loan Scam
We talked about asking the lender to answer your questions, but also pay attention to the questions the lender is asking. Did they ask for your credit history? If they didn’t, this should be an immediate red flag, as lenders are invested in your ability to pay back the terms of the loan. Failure to account for your credit history shows a general irresponsibility and most likely, a motive that doesn’t align with your financial and personal security.
Application and Origination Fees
Some lenders charge application and origination fees. At Discover Personal Loans, you don’t have to worry about application fees or origination fees. Decades of reliability and professional service have established Discover as a reputable partner for financially responsible customers everywhere. If you have any questions about a lender, or you just want to know more about the personal loan process, call us at 1-866-248-1255 to speak to a Discover loan specialist.