Borrowing money is easier said than done. Even if you have an established credit history and a high credit score, there are questions to answer and obstacles to overcome. One of the most important things you can do is find a reliable lender that you trust. With the right partner, it’s much easier to feel confident in the direction you’re headed. So, with all that in mind, here are five things to look for in a lender:
A Good Reputation
A loan agency with a good reputation is one that you can trust to do the right thing at all times. Conversely, if you borrow from a lender with a less than stellar reputation, you’ll always have questions and concerns about the future. The best way to check a lender’s reputation is to read online reviews. What are other customers saying? Do most people have good things to say? Bad things? You can’t rely 100 percent on what other people say about a lender, but the information you gather can at least point you in the right direction.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is getting ahead of yourself in regards to borrowing. If you do this, you could end up securing a loan that does not have competitive terms. And for most people, that means a competitive interest rate. No matter what type of loan you need, make sure you compare three to five options to ensure yourself of securing competitive terms that won’t put you in a worse financial position over the short and long term.
Great Customer Service
Even if you don’t have any intentions of needing to speak with the customer service team, you never know what the future could bring. You could have questions about how to pay your loan. You could have questions about your payoff balance.
There’s no replacement for great customer service. When you feel like a valued customer, you’re much more likely to be happy with the decision you made. But when the customer service team treats you poorly, it’s easy to wonder if you actually made the right decision.
Safety and Security
In today’s day and age, safety and security are more important than ever before. The best financial institutions are those that take this seriously. They do whatever it takes to keep your personal and financial information safe and secure at all times. Ask about safety and security before applying for a loan. This will help you understand the measures that the lender has in place to keep you safe.
Online Account Management
While most lenders have a robust online account management system, this isn’t always the case. You should check on this before choosing a lender, as you don’t want to find yourself without the ability to make your payment and manage your account online.
Along with the five things above that you should look for in a lender, there are also red flags that you should look elsewhere for the money you need. Keep a close eye out for the following:
- A complex application process
- A lender that is unable to answer your questions and / or address your concerns
- Bad reviews from current and past customers
- The inability to get in touch with the customer service department
- A website that is full of errors
If you spot one or more of these red flags, carefully consider the impact it could have on you right now and in the future. It always makes sense to take a step back, assess the situation, and determine the best path forward. You don’t want to take a risk when it comes to your money
These are five of the most important things to look for in a lender. When you take these points into consideration, you’ll find it much easier to apply for a loan with a clear mind. And when you do that, you’ll be confident as to where you end up. Regardless of how much money you make or what you’re up against in regards to your finances, there’s likely to come a point when you want to borrow money. And when that point comes, you must know what to look for in a lender.