It’s easier than ever before to get a loan, with a plethora of companies offering loans online.
What to look out for before applying for an online loan in SA
In South Africa, dozens of web-based finance companies offer loans structured as payday loans, debt consolidation loans, car title loans, asset-based loans and more.
But before you apply for a loan from just any online provider, it’s important to do some basic checking. Know what you could be getting into and what to look out for, to avoid unscrupulous lenders and scams online.
Search for online lender reviews
Along with references from family, colleagues and friends, independent reviews and online searches are helpful when it comes to choosing a lender.
You won’t necessarily find glowing, or even positive, reviews but you’re certain to identify the finance companies you should avoid at all costs.
A simple Google search using “reviews” and the name of an online lender (for example, “reviews lamna”) should be sufficient to tip you off if a loans company has featured in the news for the wrong reasons, or has left others in the lurch or behaved unscrupulously.
Does the online lender have physical premises?
If a loans company operates exclusively online and the only contact point is a mobile phone number, there’s a chance it’s a fly-by-night operation.
We advise you to deal with a lender that has publicly accessible offices, preferably in more than one location. A loans company with physical branches is more likely to be legitimate than one that exists purely on the ‘net.
Does the online lender have a website (or ad) that “feels legit”?
As well as checking for physical premises, consider whether an online lender’s website or advertising appears professional and trustworthy.
It’s vital to note that this is no guarantee – a good-looking, perfectly functional website can still hide a disreputable company. However, being on the look-out for warning signs can help you weed out some obvious “no go” companies.
It’s always best to trust your instincts. If a site is missing key information you think should be there, appears to be “playing” readers, makes unrealistic claims or even includes multiple sloppy errors, it’s best to give the relevant online lender a miss.
Check whether the loan provider is accredited
Once you’ve shortlisted a few online lenders, take the time to check whether they’re properly accredited and registered with both the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and the Financial Services Board (FSB).
Don’t take a company’s word for it. Visit the official websites and check the lenders’ credentials yourself.
Request the lender’s general terms and conditions
Ask each lender for their general terms and conditions of service. This will outline exactly how they do business.
You’ll have written confirmation of their fee structure, repayment terms and interest rates, and any penalties for settling the loan early.
Consider the impact of the loan on your credit rating
Before you formalise an agreement with an online lender, you should consider how the loan will impact your credit rating.
In the case of unsecured loans (any loan for which you don’t provide something as collateral), the loan providers will likely contact credit bureaux to check your credit rating. This can knock a few points off your credit score. If you have a poor credit rating, you may not qualify for an unsecured loan at all.
Why choose lamna as your online lender in South Africa?
If you apply for a loan with lamna, you’ll be dealing with a reputable company that’s accredited with the National Credit Regulator and the Financial Services Board, and that has physical branches in major South African cities.
Other reasons to choose lamna as your online lender in South Africa:
- our interest rates are competitive and fall within NCR guidelines
- we don’t charge hidden fees or early settlement penalties
- we don’t share your details with credit bureaux or other third parties
- your assets are valued by independent appraisers
- loan applications are processed while you wait
- funds are transferred to your account via EFT, typically on the same day you apply.
We offer fast, discreet loans against the value of a wide range of assets, from luxury watches and jewellery to vehicles or artwork. For more information about using an asset to secure a short-term loan, contact us on 086 111 2866 or simply complete and submit our online application form
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