If you didn’t already know, scam lenders and loans are on the rise, fueled by the economic fall-out of the Covid-19 crisis. Bad lenders have been around for a long time, however, and though the tactics they employ may evolve over time, with a keen eye and some common sense, you should still be able to spot them pretty easily. The proliferation in recent years of online lenders has also created a renewed emphasis on researching lenders’ online presence and any complaints. Here are some key red flags and how to spot them.
If you’re being offered a loan by a company you haven’t already vetted thoroughly, the easiest place to start doing so is online. A simple search query should generate enough to get you started – take a look at their online footprint, any associated customer reviews, or signs of negative news stories. Then, it’s reasonable to follow-up with a lender search by name with both the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau(CFPB). The BBB can provide a plethora of information, including customer reviews and complaints, and an A-to-F letter grade rating of a lender’s reputation and business dealings.