Published July 19, 2018

You’re credit is trending the wrong way and you’re desperate for a loan. Unfortunately, it seems that no reputable institution is willing to work with you – and the few that are, offer very unforgiving terms. 
Then you see it: an ad for an easy loan for which almost anyone can qualify. There’s the promise of great terms and a willingness to work with borrowers in any financial state. It’s a dream come true! 
Or, more likely, it’s a scam. 
Once a loan scammer has snagged a victim, they will have the borrower fill out an “application” with sensitive and personal information. The scammer will use the victim’s information to hack their accounts. 
Arm yourself with knowledge and awareness. Here’s 7 ways to spot a loan scam: 
1.) There’s no credit check 
Reputable lenders will verify that the borrower can, and will, repay the loan before they agree to the transaction. If a lender doesn’t bother to check your credit, you’re about to get scammed. 
2.) You’re asked to pay an upfront fee 
When a lender asks you to pay for a loan collateral, insurance, or other fees using a prepaid debit card, it’s a scam. Back out of the deal before it’s too late. 
3.) The lender isn’t registered in your state 
As per the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), every lender and loan broker must be officially registered in the states where they do business. A legitimate lender will have a list of those states posted on their site. If you can’t find this information and the lender refuses to provide further details, they are likely not legitimate. 
4.) The lender is not affiliated with any financial institution 
Authentic lenders must operate under a bank or credit union charter. This information should be posted on the lender’s website. If it’s missing, you might be dealing with a scammer. 
5.) You’re urged to act immediately 
If a lender pushes you to submit your information and make an upfront payment RIGHT NOW, it’s probably a scam.   
6.) The site isn’t secure 
Verify the site’s security by checking for an “s” after the “http.” If it’s there, the site is secure; if it’s not, back out now! You should also check the site’s security as soon as you hit the homepage. Lots of hackers use keystroke loggers to record as you type. So, even if you don’t hit submit, they may already have the information they need to scam you. 
7.) The lender has no physical address 
Do a quick online search using the lender’s official name. If it’s legitimate, a search should bring up a physical address for the company. If the lender’s name doesn’t turn up anything beyond the online world, opt out immediately. 
Remember Maps is here to help with your financial needs. If you need assistance building your credit, improving it, or need a loan for a challenged credit rating, we have options. Give us a call or stop by any branch and ask about our Credit Building Program.