There are numerous online payday loans lenders and these come up when you run a search. Immediately you are faced with the decision of choosing one or two. How do you spot the best online payday loans lenders? This article will help you spot and choose the best lenders to deal with. I outline 7 things that you need to look for with any payday loans website. Here they are.
1. Lender, broker or introducer
This is your starting point. The payday loans company or firm should reveal this on their “About us” page or somewhere else on the website. A good lender should readily display the fact that they are a registered lender. Registration information is typically displayed on the footer section of the website.
2. Online presence
As you browse through a website what impression do you gather about it? Do they appear professional? What image do they portray? These are important questions to ask of any payday loans website you will deal with.
A good payday loans website should display contact details. Ideally you would want to see a physical address of the registered office alongside opening times and days. In addition they should be a contact telephone number, email and/or a fax number. This information is typically found on the “contact us” page.
Tip: Sometimes it is a good check to ring the provided contact telephone number and determine whether a human being actually answers it and that they make reference to the payday loans company in question. If you are diverted to an answering machine – this should raise concern.
Be equally concerned if an online payday loans lender’s website displays neither a physical address nor a contact telephone number. Surely if they are genuine, they should be open about their contact details.
3. About the payday loan
How much is offered
Look out for how much they offer. Companies usually state the minimum and maximum loan amounts they offer. Look out for the maximum amount offered to first time borrowers. If you cannot find this information, look on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) section.
Payday loans charges
There has to be transparency over the charges and interest for borrowing a payday loan. Most websites would have a fees and charges page displaying this information. Also check out late payment fees or default charges should you miss a payment – this information is sometimes on the FAQ.
Most lenders prefer to collect payment from a debit card. Some set a direct debit from your account. Check and establish what means the company will use to collect a payment from you.
4. Payday loan application
A lending criteria should be readily available for you to review and see if you qualify to apply.
Next is the loan application process. This should be clearly stated or illustrated. You should know what to expect at every stage of the application. Check out whether the application is done completely online and how long it takes to receive notification of approval. Check to see if you need to submit documents by fax or email. Some lenders may want you to ring and complete the application process over the phone.
Finally check on how long it will take to have the loan in your account once it has been approved. There is usually the ideal option of fast transfers and a BACS transfer which typically takes up to 3 working days and this is usually free of charge.
Tip: There may be a fee or charge for fast transfer of the loan to your bank account. This information is not made clear in some cases. Customers sometimes only get to know about this when they are finalising the application. Do check – the FAQ will sometimes display this.
5. Online security
This is extremely important. The website should be secure and safe for users to submit personal details. Check out the following 3 things that show security of any website.
1st: The web page URL
The URL of the web page address (in this case the application forms) should start with the letters https. A website URL usually begins with http. Take note of the ending letter s in https. This is the bit which shows that the web page is secure.
2nd: The Lock icon
Look for the “lock” icon (in this case on the application form pages). This is displayed somewhere on the browser window of a secure web page.
Tip: Some fraudulent websites are built with an imitation “lock” icon. You can validate the “lock” icon on any website by clicking on it. When you do, details on the website’s security are displayed.
3rd: SSL Certificates
Look out for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates. SSL protocols have to do with the secure transmission of information between web servers and browsers – in other words they make it safe and secure to pass our personal details over the internet. SSL certificates are issued out by vendors like Comodo, Entrust, GeoTrust, Thawte and Verisign. The certificates are usually displayed somewhere obvious on the web pages.
Tip: You can validate authenticity of the certificate(s) by clicking on them and you will be directed to a page verifying the website’s security.
If all these 3 are in order, then the online lender’s website is safe and secure to input your details.
6. Privacy and information protection
Tip: Some websites will have a box for you to opt out or opt in to having your application shared or matched with other online payday loans lenders if you are not approved. Watch out for this and take the necessary action.
7. Responsible lending
Most lenders pledge to be a responsible lender. They display a statement highlighting this fact. Check it out and see how they are committed to responsible lending.
In summary, when you are choosing online payday loans lenders, these are the things to consider:
1. The payday loans company – what are they: a registered lender, broker or introducer
2. The impression you gain of the company’s website and can they be contacted
3. Clear information about their loans including interest, charges and repayment
4. Clear information on the application process including lending criteria
5. How secure the website is
7. Finally, is the company a responsible lender?
I trust that this information will be of use when you are choosing online payday loans lenders.