How To Select A Personal Loan When You Don’t Have Perfect Credit

A President of an Online Lending Company shares how to select the SAFEST and BEST Personal Loan Company for you

Published March 27, 2015 by If you are interested in borrowing money and have less than perfect credit, surfing the web for a personal loan can be a daunting task. If you type “PERSONAL LOANS” into Google, it returns 48 million results. On the first page alone, there are over 12 ads promising anywhere from $500 to $20,000. With identity theft at an all-time high, and non-lending lead generators sharing your information on the Internet, you have to be very careful where you apply. Here are some tips to help you make a better decision when selecting an online lender for a personal loan:

1. Make sure you are dealing with a Direct Lender: Due to the popularity of online personal loans, most of the ads and websites you find are not actual lenders but lead generators that sell your information to lenders. There is no way to choose your lender and there is no guarantee that you will be approved. You can usually tell by looking at the bottom of the homepage. Actual lenders will have longer disclosures saying that they fund loans versus arrange or match them.

2. Make sure the website is secure or starts with https://: Never apply to a site that is not secure. Having an https:// at the beginning of the URL means the company has purchased and installed a SSL encryption certificate. It is a major RED FLAG if the company does not have this encryption, particularly on their application page.

3. Call before applying and ask questions: Any reputable lending company will have friendly and knowledgeable people answering any questions you may have. Their phone number should be clearly displayed on the home page of their website. You should be able to get answers to any questions you have regarding a loan, including: amount, terms, rate, fees, payment amounts, approval time, funding time, etc. You should never have to give any personal information out to have your questions answered. Once you call a couple of places and get your questions answered, you should apply with the one that makes you feel most comfortable and best meets your lending needs.

4. Rates, Terms & Licenses should be displayed: All legitimate state lenders have to be licensed in each state in which they lend money. These licenses should be clearly displayed, along with the terms of their product, on the “Rates, Terms & License” page of their website. The more transparent a lender is on their website, the more likely it is that they are a legitimate business.

5. Read online reviews: If you were to go to a hotel or restaurant, you would look at websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor to help make your decision. Similarly, online lenders are rated and reviewed on websites such as Google+, Yelp and Facebook. A simple Google search of the company name will allow you to see the reviews for that lender. Make sure the company has enough reviews that their star ranking is legitimate. This a great way to find a company others trust and that you can feel comfortable with too.

My hope is that this article reaches potential online borrowers and equips them with the information needed to select the best online personal loan for them.

Written by Todd G. Schwartz, President and Founder of Opportunity Financial,