Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of year, but for some people, the season brings unneeded stress. And now, with Covid-19 and many people out of work, the stress has been ramped up even more. Many consumers cannot afford to spend money on Christmas presents and other holiday essentials because their budget is filled with their standard obligations.
In this instance, a Christmas loan from a reputable online lender can save the day. However, borrowers need to do their due diligence before choosing an online lender. In our post today, the Rules of Thumb blog from MoneyThumb has listed below several pieces of helpful pieces of advice to follow that will remove the worry of whether the online lender you choose to borrow money from at Christmas is reputable before you apply:
1. Research Their Online Reputation
For a legitimate online business, reputation is everything. The fastest way to get an idea of what kind of reputation an online lender has is to read reviews from former borrowers. The simplest way to do that is to type the name of the lender into Google or another search engine with the word 'reviews' afterward. This will quickly lead you to many sites, such as Yelp, where former borrowers share their experiences with the lender. Some online certification organizations, like TRUSTe, review sites, and award seals if the company meets security and privacy standards.
2. Check with the Better Business Bureau
Check the Better Business Bureau website to learn more about whether the lender is worth working with. You’ll typically see a letter grade from A+ to F, along with reasons for the grade. In some cases, you’ll also find former customer reviews on the BBB website, which can give you a better idea of what to expect. If you find that the lender you are researching wouldn’t be a good fit for your Christmas loan, you can also use the BBB website to find one that might be better for your needs.
3. Check your comfort level
Lenders want your business, but they’re not desperate for it. If you feel like your contact with the company is overly aggressive or manipulative, it might be a sign that they’re trying to fluster you and make you feel like you need to make a decision before you get all the facts. If you feel uncomfortable about the process at any time, take a step back and con
4. Look for a physical address
Although many lenders work strictly online, a legitimate lender will display a physical address in a prominent location on their website. For example, you can visit the Kabbage contact page to learn that this online lender has an office in Atlanta. It’s simple enough to verify this address with a quick Google search. Your search should uncover all sorts of press and information about any credible company.
5. Check the website’s ownership
You can perform a WHOIS check within seconds. This will tell you who owns the site and how long the site has been around. This can give you insight into the actual nature of the organization that runs the site and if they are truly an online lender. If you have any questions about this registration information, go ahead and contact the lender to ask about it.
Other tips to consider
In addition to taking the above steps, there are some other small things to think about as you learn how to check if an online lender is legitimate. Here are some questions and answers to help:
Do loan companies ask for money upfront?
Some online lenders charge what’s called an origination fee to process your loan. However, this fee is typically deducted from your loan disbursement. No legitimate lender will ask you to pay them the fee directly before you can get access to your money.
Are bad credit loans legitimate?
There are several legitimate online lenders who specialize in working with borrowers with bad credit. However, it’s important to take your time when comparing bad credit lenders to make sure you not only avoid scams but also improve your chances of getting favorable terms on your Christmas loan.
The MoneyThumb team hopes the above tips will help you make informed decisions when it comes to getting a Christmas loan from a reputable lender. By following this advice you and your family should be able to truly say that Christmas truly is the very best time of the year!