Instant loans are available on various portals online. Their application and approval process is fast and hassle-free, and the loan is transferred almost immediately to your account. Everything from the application process to document verification is done online, from the comfort of your home. However, while this is very convenient, you need to be careful while sharing personal information online, especially when it relates to financial matters. Many websites and loan portals are secure and you can trust them to keep your information safe, but there are also many websites and apps which may turn out to be fake and breach your privacy. Instant loan portals are just like all other websites – some are secure while others are not. Hence, to ensure that your personal information is protected and not misused, you need to be careful which portals to trust with your information. Here are some tips to help you find out if the lender is legit and trustworthy.
Check their physical address and contact information
Every company has a physical office, and online lenders are no exception. Reputable lenders would have their address and contact number listed on their website. If no address or contact information is listed, it is a major red flag. Without a chance of contacting your lender, there is no way to hold them accountable for any mistakes. There is also the much greater danger that the company doesn’t exist at all. Even if contact information is listed, it is always better to call them and speak to the people in charge to get an idea of the legitimacy of the lender before sharing your financial information with them.
Check if the website is secure and encrypted
This is the easiest and most basic thing to do before deciding whether to trust any website with your information. Hackers and scammers tend to steal and misuse your information through unprotected websites. If your browser is showing security errors in the website, you need to be wary of it unless you trust the lender implicitly. All you need to do to verify the encryption on the website is look at the address bar. A secure website has a “lock” icon and its URL starts with “https” instead of “http”. If these are present, the portal is more likely to be safe.
Watch out for scammers
A major indication of scammers is if they ask you to pay a fee upfront while you’re applying for a loan. This is the most common red flag you’ll come across when it comes to online instant loan portals. No reputable lender would ask you to pay upfront fees. The fee may be masked as something fancy or benign, like “processing fee”, but you’re not responsible to cover any initial payment. Such a demand is a clear sign that the website is dishonest, and you should never take loans from such portals.
Another sign that the lender is a scammer is if they are offering loans to anyone without a credit check. It may seem a good deal, but reputable lenders don’t take the risk of giving you a loan without ensuring that you can repay them. A loan you get without credit checks may seem too good to be true because it usually is. Scammers tend to charge ridiculously high penalties and late fees if you fall behind on your payments, which they count on.
Create a strong password
All online portals, apps and websites are susceptible to hacking and security breaches, no matter how secure they claim to be. The best way to prevent misuse of your information is to set a strong password. It may seem an insignificant detail, too tedious to pay much attention to, but its importance cannot be ignored. A strong password may be difficult to remember, especially if you haven’t used it elsewhere, but the best way to keep your financial information safe is to use a password that is difficult to crack and also not used in any social media account. Try to use uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers, and even symbols if it is permitted. This will significantly minimize identity threats and help in keeping your information safe.
Be wary of unprofessional customer service
Unprofessional or unresponsive customer service is always an off-putter, but in case of online loan portals, it is a red flag which may indicate that the website is not trustworthy. A primitive website which is full of errors is a sign that you may be dealing with scammers. Another thing to look out for is how their customer service staff speaks to you. While financial institutions are not known for their warm service, they are usually professional, if not polite. If, on speaking with the staff, you get the impression that there is something fishy, trust your instincts. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Care must be taken to ensure that your information is safe with the instant loan portal you choose, and many portals provide security features like encrypted transactions to ensure the security of your financial information. EarlySalary is one such portal, which is leading in security features and gives immense importance to information protection and privacy.