How to Apply for a Payday Loan Online that's Not a Loan Scam

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Applying for a payday loan or short-term loan online may seem like a fast way to get cash, but be careful! Among the legitimate payday loan companies that are online, there are loan scams designed to take your money or steal your identity. However, if you find yourself in need of a short-term cash loan for a car repair, medical bill, or any financial emergency, you can safely apply for a payday loan online, without losing money to a loan scam, by paying attention to these steps.

  • Search online and you'll find many companies that offer payday loans. Even if they're not scams, they may not be right for you. Payday loans can be expensive, even when they're legitimate. Look at the terms and the requirements, and select those that seem to meet your needs. You'll probably need a minimum income, be required to have a bank account, or be a minimum age. Consider if the length of the loan is what you want. Do you understand the costs? What if you can't repay on time? After you've found a few of the companies that meet your needs, explore further.

  • Check to see that the company's name, address, phone number or similar contact information is on their website. Type the company's name into Google or another search engine along with the word "scam" or "ripoff" to see if you can find any complaints or evidence of a loan scam. You can also search for the phone number or the address to see if they seem legitimate, or see if the Better Business Bureau is aware of the company.

  • Compare the loan rates of several companies that seem honest. It's helpful to compare Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) as well as the cost in dollars. If one loan is amazingly cheaper than the rest, be cautious. Payday loans involve risk for loan companies, so they're expensive. A cheap payday loan that seems way too good to be true, may be a scam.

  • When you've found a few companies you're interested in, apply for a payday loan online, making sure you're not obligated to accept the loan just by applying. Usually, you'll fill out an application online, and within a few hours or the next day, you'll receive an answer by email or phone. You can then decide if you want to accept the loan. If one company asks for far more personal information than the others, be careful. It may be a loan scam to steal your identity.

  • If a payday loan company asks for money before they'll give you cash, don't send it to them! That's the most obvious sign of a loan scam and the easiest to avoid. A payday loan company should deposit the cash in your account first, before you need to begin repaying them.

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