During a financial crisis, a loan can bail you out of a tight situation. Many companies offer both short-term and long-term loans depending on the conditions. You need to be careful though, as there are deceiving operators who add hidden costs and make you pay more than you actually owe. The Internet provides a lot of information on some of the best loan companies. You can also find out how they operate, so you can get some of the best offers in the market.
While searching for reliable loan companies, keep the following factors in mind:
- Make sure that the loan company has a proper address and office that you can visit. If a company gives out a “P.O. Box” as its address, be more cautious. Moreover, if you can’t find their street address online, say, on Google Map, think twice before doing business with them.
- If they provided a phone number, dial it. If a touchtone system answers your call and no real person is reachable to answer, it can be a problem. Any reputable loan company with proven credentials will have proper customer-service personnel readily available to answer your queries. Avoid any company that lists no phone numbers at all.
- An accreditation from The Offices of Trading Standards is necessary for any loan company to establish its credibility. This is because the Bureau lists only those companies that adhere to ethical business practices. If the company doesn’t show up on their official website, look elsewhere.
- Visiting the websites of the Rip-off Report and other associated websites relating to consumer affairs is advisable. These websites provide complaints against fraudulent and scam-tainted loan companies. Enter your prospective loan company’s name to check their background.
- Be careful of loan companies that ask for upfront fees before disbursing your loan as no legitimate company asks for this. Also, check whether the loan company publicly lists its interest rates. Any company charging high application fees is also likely to be a fraud.
- Before entering into a contract, have a lawyer go through it. He will be able to tell you whether the contract’s clauses are legal and clear.