March Money Madness: Make Sure Your No Credit Loan Is Nothing but Net

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It’s March Madness time, but the real challenge is trying to find a loan when your credit score is having a bad season.
There are a lot of “no credit check” loan options out there, but far too many of them are like taking a shot from half-court: a risky idea with little chance of success.
But there is good news…

Just because your score is down right now doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around over time. But for now, you’re on defense, trying to prevent the other team (let’s call ’em the Loan Sharks) from scoring on you. With our coaching, you’ll be sure to get a no credit check loan that’s nothing but net!

Come up with your gameplan ahead of time!

A good basketball team knows game-planning for their opponent can be the difference between an exhilarating victory and a humiliating defeat. But it can be tough to come up with a plan during an emergency, so you should always have one ahead of time.

Ian Atkins, an analyst and writer for Fit Small Business (@FitSmallBiz), suggests that potential borrowers “shop online for loans that are designed for less than perfect credit but that offer reasonable repayment terms.”

You can do your research to figure out which “no credit check” lenders have reasonable terms you can actually handle. The last thing you want when you end up in a financial emergency is to be stuck with a payday lender.

If payday lenders were a basketball player, they would be the guy who does whatever it takes to steal the ball, even if it means playing dirty. (cough Grayson Allen cough.) Occasionally they even get shut down by the refs.

Atkins also recommends looking into what government assistance you might qualify for: “The thing about recurring household expenses is that they won’t go away. Many people considering a payday or title loan will be in a state, county, or city that offers temporary assistance programs they might benefit from. Whether it’s rental assistance, help with utility bills, or nutritional assistance, you may need to find a non-borrowing solution to your budget for a while.”

Don’t let your loan go into overtime! 

Those payday lenders we mentioned we mentioned earlier? One of the worst things about them is the short payment terms they offer. Many will expect you to pay back the full loan, with interest and fees, in only two weeks.

Imagine getting to the final round of March Madness and being told the game is only going to last ten minutes. That would be madness, no matter the month!

What happens if you can’t pay your loan back in time? Well, you’ll be forced to pay a “rollover” fee to extend your loan. It’s like if you were losing a game and you had to pay for more time using whatever points you already had. Sure, you would get extra time to win the game, but you’d have to score even more points to do so!

Rolling over a payday loan might give you an extra two weeks to pay off your loan, but that added time comes at much too high a cost.

Make sure you’ve got a team to back you up!

You’ve made it all the way to the final game. The other team enters the arena. They’ve got their five players, ready to go, and a bench full of people set to take over as soon as they’re needed.

You look around to see… that you’re all alone.

That’s not going to work at all! Unless your idea of a good game is 48 straight minutes of getting dunked on.

If you don’t have a strong team on your side, you’re doomed to fail. That’s why you don’t want a lender who sees themselves as your opponent.

Instead, find a lender who’s willing to work with you to create a payment plan you’ll be able to pay off in a reasonable timeframe while still having money left for the essentials, like food, rent, and a cable package that allows you to watch the NCAA finals. (Okay, so that last one isn’t actually a necessity.)

In addition to working with you, a good lender will have customer service professionals available to help you whenever you need it—whether you’re worried you might miss a payment or you need to ask about a change in terms.

You deserve to work with a lender who wants to be on your team and see you succeed.

Don’t give up what’s essential!

So the coach tells you he has a brand new strategy to win. Step one: you’ve got to hand over the ball to the other team.

Wait, what?

You don’t have to hear step two to realize this is not a great plan.

That’s why you should avoid title loans, which make you put up your car as collateral. In these loan arrangements, when you fail to pay, you’ll be forced to give up your car. If you like your ride, then a title loan is a predatory loan you need to avoid.

Listen to the fans!

A great team should have frighteningly committed fans. If people are painting their faces and wearing funny hats, there must be a good reason for it.

Likewise, if you showed up to a basketball game and the stadium was empty, it would make you wonder why the home team isn’t earning any fans.

That’s why it’s important to check online lender reviews. When you find a lender that gets people to wear giant foam fingers and paint letters on their chest (figuratively) then you know you have someone you can work with.

You’ll still need to be very careful to find out all the terms and be sure you’re getting a fair loan—but if everyone else has had a good experience, odds are you might too.


Contributor

Ian Atkins (@FitSmallBiz) is an analyst and staff writer for Fit Small Business. He covers small business finance with a focus on traditional and alternative small business lending. Ian has over 9 years working in personal and small business finance.