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There are a number of ways to check that a lender is legitimate and if you are providing your personal details and looking to borrow money today, you always need to take an extra moment to ensure that the lender is real and not a scam.

Taking out a loan involves your money, giving your personal details and access to your checking account. It is essential that you enter a contract with a verified lender who you can trust, and who you feel comfortable having as your lending partner. 

There are a few ways you can ensure you are using a trusted lender. 


Key Points:

  • Search for your lender on the OLA website or SEC register to ensure they are regulated. To see how reliable they are, check their status with the Better Business Bureau.
  • There are 23,000 regulated lenders in the US. Ensure you are borrowing from one of them, and not a scammer. 
  • Carefully look at your lender’s website, and look out for signs of a scam, such as their website address beginning with ‘http’ rather than the desired ‘https.’
  • If you think you’ve been scammed, contact your bank who will help you.


Check Your Lender Is Regulated

For lenders to be legitimate and trustworthy, they need to be regulated. Don’t worry – such lenders are easy to come across – there are 23,000 in the US that offer short term loans online

To check they are regulated, look their details up on the OLA website or SEC register. If they are registered, they will be present on these website’s records. 


Scams often have warning signs. Look out for them.

Scams often have warning signs. Look out for them.


Look At The Better Business Bureau 

Even if a lender is regulated, this doesn’t mean they’re the most reliable lender. Some businesses offer poor communication, while some use intimidating staff. By checking the Better Business Bureau website, you can understand how a lender has behaved in the past. Businesses are graded from A+ (good) to F (bad), along with reasons for the grade.

Finally, search the business online to see other borrowers’ reviews on review sites like Trustpilot, which can help you separate the reliable lenders from the not-so-reliable lenders. If you find that the lender wouldn’t be a good fit, you can also use the website to find one that might be a better one.



What Else Can I Do?

Read The Terms And Conditions

Read the terms and conditions of your loan before agreeing to anything.

When you take out a loan, you are entering a contract and your money is on the line. It is important to check the contract doesn’t offer any odd terms regarding your money. If you are unsure, you could approach a lawyer who knows how to review contracts. 

If you haven’t been provided with terms and conditions, your lender may not be trustworthy. Verified lenders must lay out their terms and conditions.


Check The Site Is https:

In ‘https’ the ‘s’ stands for secure. If their web page’s address omits the ‘s’ and just says ‘http’, stay away. The website could be a scam and trying to phish for your details. Given that you will provide personal information, you want to protect yourself as best you can. 

You should also see a padlock symbol on any pages that ask you to provide personal information. This shows that your personal information is safe and confidential, and you are safe from identity thieves.


Verify Their Address And Phone Number

Most trusted lenders will offer a physical address and contact information. If there isn’t any contact information this will raise concerns about the safety of your lender. It is better to opt for a lender that does provide borrowers with this information. 

If they offer a contact number, try and call them. If your calls continuously fail to go through, they could be using a dummy number, and you should approach an alternative lender. 


I Think I’ve Been Scammed! What Should I Do?

First things first, call your bank and freeze/cancel your cards. This stops scammers removing money from your accounts. 

Get in touch with the police and inform them of what has happened to you. They may be able to help you, and deal with the criminals. This protect others! 

You may want to obtain a new ID, like passports or driving licenses, anything that was given to the scammers. You can often report these items as stolen, to protect you in the future.


personal details for loan application

You should keep your personal details secure, and not reveal them to scammers.


Common Loan Scams

Phishing Scams: Happens when a scammer retrieves sensitive information under the pretence that they will provide you with a loan. The loan never materializes but you or your business becomes a victim of identity theft.

Advance Fee Loan Scams: Lenders demand cash upfront to pay for “insurance” or to make a few payments up front to “demonstrate good faith.” 

Predatory LendingSome lenders knowingly mis-sell loans with predatory repayment terms such as extortionate fees.