One further step we like to take to protect consumers using our site to apply for loans is to advise on responsible borrowing practices. Here are our recommendations to ensure that you stay safe when you are applying for a loan online:
Credit Score. Know what you can expect given your credit score. While the loan offers you will receive will vary, you can still look up the estimated APR that you can expect within various credit score ranges. This will help you figure out if the offer you are receiving is fair.
Cost of The Loan. Carefully calculate the full cost of the loan, and make sure that you will be able to pay it back on time and in full. This is vital so that you do not end up in a cycle of debt.
Avoid Predatory Lenders. Do not go through lenders who do not check your credit at all or ask how much money you make. These lenders are not concerned with whether you are able to afford a loan. This may indicate that they are predatory.
No Upfront Fees. Watch out for upfront fees. All fees should be bundled into your loan. If extra fees are charged upfront before you receive the money, you are dealing with a predatory lender.
Licensed Lenders Only. Always check the registration of the lender. Make sure that they are licensed in your state. While you are at it, look up their physical address and find out what you can about their background. If there is no physical address, steer clear.
No Cold Calls. Never apply for a loan with a company that cold calls you. Lenders are not supposed to contact you unless you have contacted them first and requested further communication.
No Scam Emails. Be wary of strange emails. Got an e-mail from a lender with a peculiar address? Perhaps there are spelling errors, or the grammar is off. These may mean you are dealing with a predatory old lender.
No Hard Sells. Do not succumb to hard sells. No one should subject you to excessive pressure to take out a loan. In particular, no one should ever threaten you. Only work with a lender which respects your boundaries and your decisions.
Once you take out a loan, make your payments on time. Doing so can save you money on interest and penalties, and may even help you improve your credit rating.
Questions? Ask Us!
You are now familiar with responsible lending and borrowing practices. Hopefully reading the advice will help you stay safe while you are applying for a loan online. If you need further guidance or have questions, the 12M Loans team is standing by ready to assist you. Please feel free to contact us anytime.