Personal Finance

Online lenders – How to check their reputation

To reach out virtually for any information online – that’s the plenty of World Wide Web. It has shrinked the distances so much that now everything is available at the click of a mouse. Online services are a direct result of the booming internet scenario. In a way, online services – here online lenders – has made things easier for a customer. He can do everything sitting at home and all what required is a computer and a reliable net connection.

But online lenders, on a flip side, also pose a question of reliability. Among online lenders, there can be serious and reputed companies as well as not so serious loan firms and fraudulent clones. How can we make sure that a particular online lender is a reputed service provider and not a tricky customer? In other words how to check their reputation before getting into a business deal. Let us analyze the situation a little further in detail.

An old adage says – First Impression is the Best Impression. To an extent this holds good. The website design of the lender can be a maiden point of appraisal for a prospective client. Check the website to see if it is,

  • Uncluttered. That is if you can pick valuable information without wandering too much through the pages.
  • A fast loading page is indicative to a good server that has the capacity to serve a large number of customers at a time. It is a sign of a reputed firm who are keen to serve the people.

Across the net, for securing the loan, the customer might need to share his/her personal information. See if the website features a private policy. If there is one, use your discerning senses to verify if it sounds reasonable and makes some sense.

Now go through the ‘About us’ page. A genuine or a lender with reputation fills this page with all his achievements and vision statement and mission statement etc. It is an opportunity for the online lender to boast about him and if there is something missing there, see a red flag instead. A genuine player won’t provide it with insufficient information.

From the ‘About us’ page, one could get detailed information regarding the online lender such as his location, experience, area of operation, phone numbers and their policies and philosophies.

See the popularity of the website of the online lender. This can be obtained from If the site has a good enough traffic over a period of time, it can be an indication of frequently people is using it. This can be taken as a half test, but should look out for other aspects as well.

To check their reputation, one can talk to your friends or relatives who have had been a client of the particular lender. One other reliable way is to check the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Reliability Report. The report features corporate information, if the particular lender is a member of BBB or a participant of BBB online program. The report also mentions any complaint that has been made against the lender and the each complaint’s final resolution.

But as you go through the report, you may be surprised to see a long list of complaints made against the major players in the market. But that all is part of the game and the customer should use his common sense to best use in order to find the suitable lender.

You can fill and submit the online short form and within minutes, you inbox will start flooding with loan offers. See if the ‘short form’ is indeed short or is asking for a lot of information. While the customer must not mind giving basic information, you are advised against disclosing that information which you think is sensitive.

The loan offers you start to receive after submitting the short form will have the details regarding the fees, rate and term of that particular loan. Compare several offers before short listing two or three.

Now talk to the respective online lenders about the pros and cons of the offer. Remember, you are the person who is going to buy the deal and hence you are in the driver’s seat. Talk with the online lender representative as if in an interview with you as the interviewer. See if the clerk is answering your queries correctly and convincingly. A fair lender need not have to hide anything from a prospective customer.

Even after making 3 or 4 calls, do not rush yourself into a decision. Sit back and call all your senses to service and you’ll soon find the online lender you want to work with. The above described tips can help you in this regard.