Everybody knows this - lenders and creditors profit when you take out a loan and fall into debt. Whether they’re big or small, short-term or long-term, there’s always a danger in taking out loans. Some unscrupulous lending companies, who operate under illegal conditions, worsen the situation by dragging poor, desperate borrowers down with extremely high interest rates for short periods of time.
We call them loan sharks. These vicious lenders, who offer to provide loans for large sums of money, prey on borrowers in dire need of cash. They usually target people with low income and with bad credit - folks who may have been declined several times. Loan sharks take advantage of the desperation for their own benefit.
They use certain strategies to lure borrowers. If you feel like you have no other options and you’re tempted to say yes to seemingly friendly loan ads, read on to tell whether you’re going to deal with a credible lender or with a loan shark. They may be using some tricks to hook you into making bad financial decisions.
1. "Easy and quick with little or no paperwork"
When you’re faced with a financial emergency, the last thing you’d want to do is fill up a lot of papers, submit a lot of documents, and wait for weeks or months. You should be able to trust banks, but due to time constraints in applying and qualifying for the loan, they're not the ones you're looking for.
This is the part where loan sharks hook you up with their promise of fast, thick cash and zero worries to cater to your financial need today.
There’s a catch, of course, so you need to dig deeper in the fine print. Many loan sharks draft a questionable loan contract and include several provisions, which are usually unreasonable for the borrower. There are loan sharks who oblige you, not to present, but to submit and surrender documents like your ID, passport, or even your ATM card, which will act as the security of the loan. Legitimate lenders don't turn to such extreme measures.
Make sure to read the legalese and ask questions regarding deductions and requirements. Every credible company in the debt business knows how important transparency is - loan sharks cannot provide that.
2. "No credit history required"
If the lender tells you that no documents are needed even for verification purposes, start backing off - it’s a red flag that you’re being put in a trap. Legitimate lenders want to make sure the person they will extend credit to is a real, creditworthy borrower, so they ask for at least a valid government-issued ID and proof of billing.
Loan sharks usually target borrowers with a poor credit file. They take advantage of the fact that the borrower has the tendency to be declined of loans from banks and might be interested to take out a loan from them. Loan sharks don’t require background checks or credit reports - which makes them attractive yet dangerous to mindless borrowers.
3. "Borrow large amounts of cash"
Who do you first turn to when you’re caught up in a financial emergency, like sudden hospitalization or overdue bills? Perhaps, family and friends, but there’s no guarantee they can lend you big amounts. Credible online cash loans are a good choice but you might be needing more than what they can offer.
Then, you saw a lending business on Facebook that seems legit and generous in terms of lending amounts. While loan sharks tend to lend large sums of money and help resolve your financial strain, they have an intention of gaining profits from interest rates far above the regulated rate in a short span of time.
4. Fun and hip branding
Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing, the old adage says.
Some unscrupulous companies may have fun and quirky website designs, interesting catchphrases and taglines, and other effective digital marketing strategies, which all work to persuade online visitors. It’s also ironic that some companies use “financial literacy” in their gimmick; one example is putting up a "financial blog" to trick borrowers that they can help them make wiser financial decisions.
They put on friendly faces to hide their wicked intentions. They pride themselves in being a “lending a helping hand” to people in need. They claim to be better than payday loans online by promoting transparency and flexibility to hook consumers into making the same bad financial moves. They even try to portray trusted lending options like banks in a bad light.
They all do these things, when in fact, they make money when you're in debt. What’s alarming is some people actually believe in them.
Author Bio: Sophie Harris is a resident writer for QuickCash Au, an Australian-based business, providing short-term cash loans for your borrowing needs. She is passionate about writing articles regarding personal finance and money hacks.