Taking out a loan is a considerable commitment to make, however, with so many options available and with numerous loan websites all over the internet it can be difficult to know which to choose from.
Considering also the fact that money is at stake here, one of the most important steps you need to take prior to getting a loan from a loans website is making sure that the company itself is reputable and safe. After all, being the victim of loan fraud and potentially ending up in debt as a result of it, (when you may be taking out a loan) could end up badly.
However, when it comes to checking if a loans website is safe to use, it isn’t as simple as just looking at the site and seeing if it looks legitimate or not. So what exactly do you look for then? We give you a short overview as to what you need to know when checking loan websites, so you can make sure that the online loan you are getting is secure.
Do they have a secure server?
When you are considering online lenders, it is essential that you check that the company has a secure server. This means all your personal and financial information is safely secured through encryption technology. In case you are wondering what exactly you should be looking out for, many leading lenders will use the 128-bit secure socket layer (SSL).
Are they FCA registered?
If the loan website clearly indicates their Financial Conduct Authority number, and when you verify this on the FCA website you can see the company is registered, this is usually one of the best indicators of whether or not a lender is safe to use online. You can easily check through the FCA website who is an authorised firm. It is recommended to access the register directly through FCA rather through an email or website link to avoid potential scams. The FCA also has a list of unauthorised firms list that can be viewed, which shows which companies they have received complaints about.
Do they provide a phone number?
One thing to look out for when seeing if a loans website is safe is whether or not they are easily contactable. Do they provide a phone number that is clearly visible on the website? Do they also provide a mailing address? It is simple, yet easily forgettable steps like this that you should remember. Ideally, you want to see a number and address that looks local to you and not based overseas.
Do they have testimonials?
Part of doing your homework is checking that the website have testimonials. The likes of Trustpilot and Feefo require reference numbers to prove that they are legitimate customers. So in addition to just having reviews, see legitimate reviews from real users can help you tell whether the loan company is good or not.
Other endorsements you can look are if they are part of consumer groups like the CFA, BCCA and CCTA who are responsible for looking after consumers. One of the recent introductions by the FCA was for all short term lenders to feature on a comparison website and include a link to this website on their homepage. For a company like All The Lenders which has been endorsed by over 40 different lenders, you have peace of mind that you data will be kept safe.