When you search for any sort of financial advice online you are almost immediately inundated with advertisements for “cash loans” and “no credit loans” and “get cash now!” Obviously, these ads can be tempting, especially if you are in need of a loan. The truth is that there are far more scam artists out there than legitimate lending operations. This does not mean that there are no legitimate online lenders or that all offers of cash loans are bogus. On the contrary–some cash loans are backed be legitimate financial institutions.
The easiest way to tell if the company promising your “cash loans” is legitimate is to do some digging into the company. Find out the street address for the company. If there is no street address or if there is only a post office box, move on to the next company. If there is a street address, check into the city, county, and state business records to make sure that the company is registered properly. If you cannot find any business listings for the company in its own state or in your own, move on to another financial institution.
If there are business records, check the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. Make sure that the company is not under investigation for fraudulent activity and that it has a good reputation. If it looks shady, move on. Finally, make sure that you are able to call the company directly and talk to a person (or that you can visit its offices if they are located in your local area). If there either is no way to communicate directly, vocally, or face to face with the company, move on to another company that is offering you the opportunity to apply for a cash loan.
Your first stop on any cash loan quest should be your bank. You might be able to take out a loan if your account is in good standing and you have a good history with the bank. If your bank turns you down, your loan officer might be able to point you to another legitimate source of case. One that isn’t out to make money off you by charging you extra high fees or is only in search of your personal information. Remember that the rule of thumb is always, “If it feels shady, walk away.” Trust your gut!