Anytime you’re dealing with private, financial information, you want to make sure every step in the process is safe and secure. This is particularly true when handling financial transactions online, like a payday loan. Not only are you entering important personal information, you’re also giving the lender access to your checking account to both send funds and possibly even withdraw them with when the loan comes due. This makes it particularly important to make sure you find a trusted lender who handles each transaction with the proper due diligence. Here are a few questions to investigate when finding the best lender available.
Is the lender licensed?
Many states require that lenders, including payday loan companies, maintain valid license numbers. This shows consumers that they are regulated by the correct agency and abide by all proper laws and regulations. Licensed payday lenders generally post their license number on their website. If you can’t find it, call the company’s customer service line to ask what it is. Then verify the license number with your state’s banking or financial services regulatory agency. No matter how fast you need the money, don’t skip this important step. It’s always worth a few extra minutes on the phone to ensure your financial information is safe.
How old is the lender’s website?
Legitimate online payday lenders usually have a website that is at least five years old. This isn’t because every new company is a scam, but instead is because it takes a long time to build a complex, secure website suitable for lending. There are many free online tools like Who Is that will tell you the exact age of a company’s website. Make sure this step is part of your selection process when it comes time to choose a payday lender.
Is the website secure?
Once you’ve found a licensed lender with an appropriately aged website, the next step is to check that the website is secure. If the payday lender you’re reviewing already meets the above criteria, then the website is probably secure, but it’s always good to double check. The easiest way to tell is if the website address begins with “https” rather than the typical “http.” The extra letter indicates an additional level of encryption that prevents hackers from intercepting any information you type into the website.
No matter how quickly you need money, never skip these important steps. Protecting your current finances is just as important as helping your future finances, so it’s always a best practice to ensure you are working with a safe, reliable payday lender.