There are many lenders available for us to choose form when we are taking out a loan. Even when we have a specific loan type in mind, there will still be lots to pick from. You will find that there will be some that you have heard of and some that you have not and so you will have to think about how to choose. There are many criteria that you might look at but finding one that is trustworthy is probably high on most people’s requirements. But how do you find out if a lender is trustworthy?
Ask friends and family
It is really useful to talk to friends and family about where they bank, borrow and generally get their finances. It can often be a bit of a private matter in some families but there is no need for this. You do not need to know how much they borrowed or even if they are in debt or how much money they have. It is important though to find out whether they would recommend any lenders or even advise you to avoid some. It is understandable that you may not like to tell them that you are borrowing money but you could just say you are comparing different financial institutions and would anyone be able to make recommendations. You will then be able to find out more about different ones which could help you to decide who you might trust and who you may not. It is important to try to find out why they had trouble with certain ones as it may be for reasons that you feel are unimportant or that might be irrelevant to you.
The reason that asking friends and family is so important is because they are unlikely to be biased. Once you start searching online you can never be too sure as to whether the opinion you are seeing is genuine or true or that belonging to someone who has an interest in the company such as a shareholder, owner or employee.
Look at their website
Looking at the lenders website can reveal quite a bit about them. You will be able to get a feel for the company and their culture as well as getting more familiar with the types of products that they sell. It can be interesting to see if it allows you to find out any more information about them which could help in your decision as well. You might be interested in when they set up and what products they offer and things like that. You may also want to check their SSL certificate to see how secure the site is and whether they offer secure transactions and things like that. You would expect a lender to have the most secure type of website.
Find reviews online
You might be able to find reviews and information about the lender online. There are many websites specialising in finance and some of them will review different lenders. There will also be message boards and forums where people discuss this sort of thing and this might be useful as well. It can be good to gather as much information as you can as it will allow you to build up a picture of what the lender is like to deal with. Again, like with talking to friends and family, try to find out why people have the opinion that they do as their reasons may not be things that are important to you.
Contact them directly
It can be really useful to actually contact the lender yourself. So once you have drawn up a short list, based on the information that you have gathered, you can get in touch with some of them. It is a good idea to thin about how you would normally want to communicate with them. Some people like face to face, some online and some telephone. Consider what you would rather do, so if the lender offers this and try it out. It will be a good idea to ask them questions and see not only how polite and friendly they are but how well they answer. Asking them how much they would be prepared to lend and at what cost could be worthwhile, checking how many repayments there are and how much each one will be, can also be useful. There may be other information that you would be interested in finding out as well and so you can ask too. You can then compare them, not only on the information that you find out but how well they explained it and how quickly you got the information. Of course, if you have emailed one lender and phoned the other the response times will be different, so try to find a way to compare them fairly.