There is no limit to things we can do online these days. From socializing to full- or part-time jobs to shopping, the internet seems to have answers to any and all of our problems. Well, earning or spending money online is okay – but life isn’t always as good as all that. What about borrowing money – is it safe and can you trust the lenders? And should you trust the PersonalLoans.com web service to connect you with the honest ones and not bogus thieves or money or identities?
It’s all too easy to say yes when someone else’s money is at stake. So we did some digging around, and here’s what we found out. This review let you know whether you should take that risk or skip the opportunity. Keep in mind that the company didn’t pay us or incentivize us for writing it – so there’s no reason to worry about any potential bias.
On the Surface – Website and Company Overview
Is all of this a red flag or at least a cause for mild concern? Frankly, I don’t think BBB is that important. It’s just a business repository, and any business can choose to apply for accreditation or not. To determine if Personal Loans are a trustworthy site, we will have to investigate it from within. And the first thing that implies trustworthiness is the fact that they are a member of Online Lenders Alliance, a trade association that you can contact with any request via their hotline number.
They Aren’t the Ones Who Lend You Money
If you haven’t realized it by now, it’s important to understand that this platform does none of the lending or brokering business. It merely serves as a middleman between you, the borrower, and any number of potential lenders.
Think of it as a huge database of lenders and lending partners. It’s up to you and your potential lender whether the two of you will broker the deal or not – and under what terms.
Digging Deep – How Does It Work?
As soon as you land on their homepage, they’ll let you know that you can borrow anything from $500 to $35,000. Depending on your agreement with the lender, your repayment period may last up to 72 months, with the APR (Annual Percentage Rate or interest rate) ranging from 5.99% to 35.99%, depending on your credit score.
Basically, there are no limitations as to the types of loans you can apply for, but here are some ready-made options:
- Debt consolidation
- Credit card refinance
- Emergency situation
- Auto repair or purchase
- Rent or mortgage
- Major purchase
As you can see, these types cover everything there is – so you don’t have to worry that they would deem your request inadequate or unjustified. Note, however, that the lender may (and probably will) require some proof of your income such as your bank statement. While filling out the application form, you will be prompted to enter your valid ID or driver’s licence, social security number, bank account, and credit score.
As soon as you submit this info, their algorithm will search for a matching lender and send you the preliminary offer very soon – even on the following day. One thing is especially important here – you absolutely don’t have to agree to anything, nor is this offer obligatory for any of the parties involved. It’s up to you to either take it or leave it – and the service is completely free.
Now, since every state has its own set of laws on money lending, with varying interest rates, the system will only ever connect you with lenders from your state. That’s the core of its convenience – you don’t have to look for all the legal nooks and crannies with a potential agreement. The system’s algorithm does it for you automatically.
Do They Give You Any Guarantee?
In case anything goes awry, PersonalLoans.com won’t be held accountable. In other words, it’s all between you and your lender. Should the need arise, the company may conduct an investigation of your case and report fraudulent behavior, if any, to the authorities.
Therefore, the fine print will catch you up eventually. It’s up to you to read it on all the offers that you receive. You and your lender are the only parties that matter – and the only ones whose voices will be heard in court, perish the thought.
In fact, a potential litigation with Arrow Eagle LLC would be very complicated, them being members of the Ute Indian Tribe. It means that you would have to deal with the Ute tribal courts.
However, it’s worth noting that all the lenders from their network abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices and other corresponding federal laws. Which means that you have no great cause for concern just because you opted for this site.
What We Like About Personal Loans
- The process is swift and painful, even for the least tech-savvy users. Even more importantly, it’s free of bureaucracy. It will guide you through the process online, such that you never need to pick up the phone. If everything goes by the book, you should get your hands on the cash as soon as the following day.
- Chances are you’ll receive more than a single offer. It means you will be able to choose an offer that seems most favorable. Which is certainly reason enough to use this platform in the first place. That’s exactly why they ask for your information and credit score right away – so they could match you with as many lenders as possible.
- The service is absolutely free of charge. Not only they don’t introduce hidden fees, but there are no fees whatsoever! At least not on your part.
- You don’t have to verify your bank account upfront. That is, you can get an offer without sending any bank statements or other documents. Upon receiving an offer and researching the lender in case, you can choose whether to give it or not.
What We Don’t Like About Personal Loans
- They are mere mediators, a bridge between you and the lenders. It means that you can’t know upfront who they may propose as a lender. Therefore, you won’t be able to research them. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do it when they send you an offer, though.
- Soft or hard pull – or multiple hard pulls? Take another look at the FAQ. “Typically only a “soft” pull is done initially and then a “hard” pull may be done later on in the loan process by a lender. It is possible that multiple credit pulls will be done by our lenders.” Really – multiple pulls? And what if all of them are hard? It would definitely affect your credit score, if only temporarily.
- The APRs tend to be on the higher side. There is quite a difference between 5.99% and 35.99%, thank you very much. Granted, it will mostly depend on your credit score. But right now, the average credit card interest rate is up to 17.30%, which is nowhere near the PersonalLoans.com maximum.
Should You Trust Personal Loans Reviews?
While no one can be 100% positive about these things, it does appear that PersonalLoans.com is a trustworthy aggregation of money lenders. Even though they don’t offer any guarantees that no damage will be done on either side, they are still a nice alternative to traditional banks or peer-to-peer lenders. Especially if you dislike tons of paperwork or don’t feel like researching and comparing state usury laws.
Think of this platform as a kind of specialized search engine – say, Google for borrowing money. You wouldn’t sue Google for serving you a scammy survey site that failed to make you some easy money, would you? It’s only a search engine, after all. Its algorithm is doing a decent job in filtering out scammy results, but any algorithm can be tricked. It’s ultimately up to you to critically assess search results and choose to act on them – or not.
So, my final word would be to consider the site, but always carefully research the lender before you sign any agreements with them. And don’t forget to inquire with the lender about the type of pull they are going to make. Getting a loan online is as safe or unsafe as getting it from a brick-and-mortar lender. But it’s certainly less paperwork for you.
Make sure to look the lender up on CFPB – if there are any consumer complaints, you will want to know both the cause and outcome. If anyone calls you with an offer, it’s a clear-cut proof that they are scam, since that practice is illegal. Report that both to PersonalLoans customer service, the OLA hotline, and – most importantly – to the police.
And if you’re compelled to frequently borrow money for whatever reason, make it a habit to always check if the lender is registered in your state. This homework may be dreary, but it will give you a peace of mind once you do it right.