How do I know if a loan company is legitimate?

The best way to verify a loan company is legitimate is to check the state registration. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires every lender to register in each state they conduct business in. You can verify the registration information through your state regulator or attorney general.

If you find an online lender you want to do business with, search for the lender on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) website. You can check to see the lender’s accreditation, years in business, rating, and customer reviews. Testimonials from customers can provide great insight into the financial intuitions level of customer service and satisfaction. 

The lender’s website should be secure if they provide online loans. Secure websites should begin with “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP.” The “s” in the URL stands for secure since the website encrypts your information through a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate. There should also be a padlock symbol on the left side of the URL address. You can check the connection status and certificate details when you click it.

When you search for information on a lender online, you should be able to find an address and a phone number. Legitimate financial businesses should have easy-to-find contact information. If you are struggling to find any contact details, that may be a sign that the lender is illegitimate.

Legitimate lenders will not ask you to provide money or unusual forms of payment. However, some lenders do charge one-time application fees, which are paid when you submit an inquiry. 

But if the website is not secure and the lender starts harassing you for payment, then they are likely a scammer. Legitimate lenders do not harass potential borrowers or ask for upfront payments in the form of gift cards or wire transfers.

Unfortunately, there are many speedy cash scams you need to watch out for. But the good news is that there are many ways to verify a financial institution’s legitimacy! The first step is to avoid accepting the first loan offer you get without conducting some online research. There are plenty of legitimate online personal loans that offer flexible loan approval and fast funding.

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