Signs That A Loan Site Is Trustworthy

Thousands of people apply online for loans every day, and the commissions loan brokers receive for successful applications mean that it's big business with plenty of money involved. Unfortunately, as in any area where there's potential profit to be made, not everyone you'll come across is totally scrupulous about how they try to make money. Taking out a loan is a serious commitment with long term consequences, especially if you choose a secured loan deal, and so it's important that you only deal with reputable loan providers and brokers.

But how can you tell if a particular site is trustworthy? While it's impossible to be 100% sure, the following pointers will give you a very good idea of whether you should proceed with an application or look elsewhere. Firstly, you should never be asked to pay a fee up front, merely for making an application. These kind of loan sites are often scams, promising more than they can deliver, and you may well find that you pay the fee and get either nothing in return, or an offer of a loan that's so expensive that it's pointless taking it out.

You might however be charged an arrangement fee once your loan has been agreed and you've signed on the dotted line - this is perfectly okay and normal, especially where there's an element of bad credit or self certification involved. You should also avoid dealing with sites who insist on you telephoning a premium rate number as part of the application process. In these cases, it's very likely that you'll be kept hanging around listening to pointless but official sounding messages, all the while racking up a hefty bill. If you need to phone the loan arranger, it should ideally be on a freephone number, or at least a standard rate one. Most of us find it easier and quicker to apply for finance online, and there are countless numbers of sites that allow this. However, not all of them feature a secure application form.

It's not just credit card details that need to be protected online - the personal details asked for on the average loan application form would also be very useful to criminals engaged in identity theft, and so you should only offer information to a site with proper security and a valid certificate to prove it. On a related note, you should check whether the site is registered under the Data Protection Act, which reassures you that the information you're parting with will be used correctly and ethically. Finally, are the loan providers or brokers licensed credit brokers? It is a condition of providing credit or advising on it that the agent holds a valid consumer credit license issued by the Office of Fair Trading. This license can be withdrawn if the holder is found to be acting improperly, such as providing loans under false pretenses, or giving misleading information or advice. Thus, holders of a credit license are likely to be more trustworthy than some anonymous site that is unregulated and may not even be based in the same country as you.

Even if you follow all this advice, you could still come up against a lender who is more interested in their own profit than conducting business fairly. Remember though that you should never be under any pressure to take out the loan, and you can cancel the whole process without charge at any point up to signing the loan agreement.

Martin writes for ADM Online who supply personal bad credit loans for debt consolidation or any other personal use.

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