The pandemic has resulted in Canadians seeking high-interest loans. From this survey, more than half were denied at a traditional bank or credit union.
Online loans offer a solution to those people. While online loans can be a convenient way to access credit, they also come with risks, including high-interest rates, hidden fees, and the potential for fraud.
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of online loans, and provide tips for safely borrowing money online. Keep reading to learn more.
Pros of Online Loans
Before we delve into the safety of online loans, let’s first consider the pros. One of the most significant advantages of online loans over traditional ones is their convenience. Borrowers can apply for a loan online from the comfort of their home, or anywhere remotely for that matter.
Gone are the days of needing to meet in person for a lengthy application process. From the borrower’s perspective, this means saving time and money.
Online loans are especially beneficial for those who live in rural areas and have limited access to traditional brick-and-mortar lenders.
The approval and funding times will be much quicker than traditional loans. When you apply for a loan online, you could be approved in minutes and have your funds transferred directly to your bank account within hours or days.
If you need to borrow money quickly for unexpected bills or events, or emergencies, online loans are the way to go.
Cons of Online Loans
Now let’s look at the flip side. What are the potential risks a borrower should be aware of before the online loan application process begins?
As with anything online, you become vulnerable to scams and hacks. The risk of fraud increases simply for being online.
An online lender can also be located anywhere in the world. This could potentially be trouble since it would be difficult to verify their legitimacy or hold them accountable.
For example, fraudulent lenders could steal someone’s personal and financial information. When this gets into the wrong hands, who knows what they will do with it?
Tips for Borrowing Safely Online
Now that you’re more aware of the risks of online loans, what can you do to protect yourself? Let’s take a look more closely below.
Do Your Research
It’s always a good idea to do your research beforehand. This means researching the online loan lender and reading reviews from previous borrowers. You want to find an online loan lender that is registered with relevant regulatory authorities and has positive reviews.
Note, that some reviews with be fake. If it feels too good to be true, it probably is.
Read the Fine Print
Carefully read the terms and conditions of any loan offer and make sure you understand all of the fees associated with the loan. Be wary of hidden fees or charges that may not be immediately apparent.
Protect Your Personal Information
Only provide your personal and financial information to reputable lenders that use secure encryption technology to protect your data. Never share your personal information with unsolicited lenders or respond to unsolicited loan offers.
The Role of Credit Scores in Online Lending
Your credit score plays a huge role in determining if you’ll be approved for an online loan or not. This will also help determine what interest rate to charge the borrower.
Credit scores are a measure of a borrower’s creditworthiness and are based on factors such as payment history, credit utilization, and length of credit history. Borrowers with higher credit scores are typically seen as less risky and may qualify for lower interest rates and better loan terms than those with lower credit scores.
However, not all online lenders require a high credit score for approval. Some lenders offer loans to borrowers with poor or no credit, but these loans may come with higher interest rates and fees. These lenders may also require additional collateral, such as a car or a home, to secure the loan.
It’s important for borrowers to understand their credit scores and how they may impact their ability to qualify for an online loan. Borrowers can check their credit scores for free through a variety of online services and can take steps to improve their credit scores before applying for a loan.
Alternatives to Online Loans
Before taking out an online loan, consider other alternatives, such as borrowing from friends or family, using a credit card, or exploring government assistance programs.
For example, government assistance programs like the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) or the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERRS). These programs offer financial assistance to individuals and businesses who were impacted by the pandemic.
Borrowing from friends or family may be a viable alternative to online loans. While borrowing from loved ones can be emotionally fraught, it may be a good option for those who need a small amount of money and are able to pay it back quickly.
Apply Now With EasterLoans
Online loans can be a convenient and accessible way to access credit, but they also come with risks that must be carefully considered. By researching lenders, comparing loan offers, and protecting personal information, borrowers can reduce their risk of falling victim to fraudulent lenders.
Additionally, borrowers should understand their credit scores and explore alternative sources of credit before taking out an online loan. With careful consideration and due diligence, online loans can be a valuable tool for managing finances and achieving financial goals.
Thankfully, you’re alright right where you need to be. Apply now with EasternLoans.