With so many expenses in your life, and maybe some unexpected ones too, it can be hard to feel like you’re on top of your finances at times. This is when people need to turn to others for help to cover some costs, even just for a short period of time. That is why lenders are around, to help supply loans to people who desperately need an advance on the money.

The problem with getting a good loan is that not all lenders are in it for the sake of helping others. There are just as many, if not more, unscrupulous or shady lenders out there who are not your friend. If you’re thinking about applying for a loan, here are some tips to consider for finding a reliable lender.

Read Reviews From Clients or Customers

One of the simplest ways to see if a lender is good is to read a collection of reviews from clients and customers. These people are going to be in a position much like your own, so it gives you some second-hand insight into what to look for. It’s best to read reviews on other platforms than the lender’s site too, because they may be artificially boosting the good reviews, or possibly paying for great testimonials. This is a great and simple way to gather information from the people who have borrowed from them.

Know the Signs of Scams

Another good aspect of being a savvy loan shopper is understanding what kind of scams are out there. Every country gets hit with scammers from local lending companies, from Canada to Singapore, so it’s important to see common ones you can find worldwide across the internet. There are loan scams that prey on SMS (text) contact, which reliable lenders rarely if ever use, similarly, if they ask for upfront payments or fees, it’s probably a scam. Many lenders can ask for a credit check to ensure you will pay back the loan, but they should never ask for any bank login information. Know these scams to avoid getting trapped.

Types of Loans to Avoid

Scams are one thing, but bad loans are another. There is a thing called a “predatory loan” which is often a payday advance that will have such a high-interest rate that it becomes nearly impossible to pay back. Many states in the U.S. have outright banned this practice because it preys on people with little financial knowledge or has a lower income, meaning they can never pay it back. Look for loans for reasonable interest rates, repayment plans, and don’t have deceptive wording in their contract.

Look for a Legitimate Online Presence

Reliable lenders will make themselves legitimate by providing a real online presence. Many good lenders will have multiple means of contact through a well-designed website, social media accounts, and contact information that is widely available. Bad lenders will lack many of these forms of an online presence and this is a red flag. If you received an unfair loan or your agreement was not clear and you couldn’t contact them, you’re in a very tough position. This is why you should always do plenty of research into the lenders that you are looking for. The more exposure they have online, the more likely they are to be legitimate and reliable.

Research Their Credentials

You can also research the credentials of a lender as well. In many countries, the BBB (Better Business Bureau) has an archive of registered business certifications that can be searched for a company. Lenders should have these certifications and any other legitimate documentation from banks or financial institutions to indicate that they are backed by real money and a real member of the financial industry. Without these credentials, it could be another lender looking to scam unsuspecting borrowers.

Reliable Lenders Offer Flexible Repayment

You will want to find a good, flexible repayment option, which is something a reliable lender can offer. This may mean longer-term repayment, a more manageable APR (annual percentage rate), or the option to restructure the loan contract. Whatever it is to help the borrower is something that is in the interest of a good lender and should help you find the best possible solution for your financial needs.

Getting a loan sounds like a complicated task and it scares off many people when they start to think about repayment, interest rates, and all of that, but the reality is that a good lender makes all of this a lot easier to deal with. Follow these tips to help find the right reliable lender for you.

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