Editor's choice: OppLoans Installment Loans
- Easy online application
- Quick approval
- Fast funding
- Long repayment terms
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A short term loan, also referred to as a payday loan, can help you get through tricky financial situations, and getting one can be straightforward if you meet some basic criteria. While you can find multiple options online, not every lender that offers short term loans is a real lender. Some of these operate as intermediaries or loan matching services, while others are simply there to scam borrowers.
Fortunately, there are plenty real and legitimate short term lenders in the US. In the states where payday loans are legal, you can expect lenders to abide by all relevant state regulations. Here’s how to find real payday loans and lenders, and how to avoid the ones merely looking to take your money.
Simply put, a real short term loan is one you get through a direct lender. A direct lender has its own underwriting department and makes its own lending decisions.
This is in contrast to a loan matching service or an aggregator that collects your information and passes it on to a pre-selected bunch of lender. This can lead to you receiving scores of unsolicited offers, some of which might be scams. Searching online is also likely to turn up dubious operations alongside the legitimate ones.
With a real short term loan, you can expect to find out if the lender approves your application almost immediately. If approved, you can expect access to funds soon after. The time it takes depends on the lender you choose as well as whether you apply in-store or online.
Distinguishing a real short term lender from a potential scammer is easy if you go through the following steps:
These clues can help you be confident that you’re dealing with a real online short term lender:
If you think you may not be able to repay the loan or that you might make your repayments late, reconsider applying for the loan in the first place. This is because you may have to pay additional fees and the lender can report your late or defaulted payment history to credit bureaus.
Before the lender sends you the funds, it will give you a loan contract. Go through this document carefully because it tells you how much you may have to pay as fees.
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