How safe is Online Personal Loan and Credit Card Application?
Today, any product or service that you could possibly want is available online. You can just browse the internet to get products and services delivered to your doorstep. Similarly, you can also apply for personal loans and credit cards online when you urgently need funds. There are online lenders that can process your loan application and disburse funds in a matter of hours. But, one question runs through everyone’s minds. How safe is an online Personal Loan and Credit Card application?
Well, we thought this is a topic worth exploring. There is a lot of fear and uncertainty in people’s minds regarding online personal loan applications or credit card applications.
This article aims to address that fear and uncertainty. Read further to learn about the safety and security of online personal loan and credit card applications.
Is it safe to apply for a Personal Loan online?
On the Internet, you’re at risk every time you share some sensitive information about yourself or your finances. A lot of sites are secure and keep your information safe. But there have been many instances when someone’s personal information has been stolen or misused.
It’s important for you to know how to protect your information and keep yourself safe while surfing the web. You must do your due diligence before trusting an online lender and applying for a personal loan online. Check whether the lender is registered and whether their site has a secure SSL certificate or not.
But, the presence of a few scam sites doesn’t mean there are not enough legitimate sites that are safe. You just have to stay informed and alert so that you can differentiate reputable sites from scam sites.
What are the Pros and Cons of an Online Personal Loan?
Pros of an Online Personal Loan
- Convenient: Online lenders often allow you to start the loan application online and upload verification documents. With an online-only lender, you can rest assured that the entire personal loan application process will take place online.
- Prequalification: Some online lenders let you apply for prequalification with a soft credit inquiry. This won’t affect your credit scores. Submit multiple prequalification applications to narrow your list of potential lenders when shopping for a loan.
- Options: Comparing lenders and loans before accepting a loan may help you get the best rates and terms. Shopping online makes this process easier. There are websites that let you compare lenders and loan options based on needs & requirements.
- Quick: The entire lending process for an online personal loan is a lot quicker. The entire process of application, verification and approval can be completed from the comfort of your home.
- Bad Credit Loans: Even if your credit isn’t great, you might still be able to get approved for a personal loan. Some online lenders even specialize in lending to borrowers who don’t have a positive credit history.
Cons of an Online Personal Loan
- Trust: You may already be familiar with banks and credit unions but you may not be familiar with all of the online-only lenders available. It’s good to be skeptical, and more so if you’re about to share your personal information online.
Before applying, search online for reviews of the company and check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau. The Federal Trade Commission also warns about potential loan and credit card scams, so lookout for that as well.
- Other Better Offers: Online lenders may offer good rates, but you should check whether your bank or credit union offers personal loans. Sometimes, they’ll offer discounted rates if you already have an existing account or a large balance with a lender.
How to Protect your Personal Information online?
Always be careful while sharing your personal information whether it is online or offline. There are best practices and ways of protecting your information while dealing with online services. Let’s look into it!
Look out for Scam Sites
Make sure that you know who you are sharing your information with before you divulge anything. Make yourself familiar with the tell-tale signs of reputable sites and scam sites. For example, a trustworthy site will not ask you to pay upfront in order to give you the loan. A trustworthy site will have SSL encryption, reCAPTCHA, and other similar security checks.
Keep it Encrypted
You must ensure that your browser is secure. Use an encryption software to protect your online transactions. This will encrypt any information you send over the internet and make it almost impossible to understand by anyone else. Pay attention to the sites you are looking at and always check the status bar for a “lock” icon. This tells you the site is safe/encrypted and your information will be transmitted safely. If the lock icon is missing, or there is on unlock icon, then you shouldn’t trust that website.
Use Better Passwords
Create a strong password with alphabets, numbers, and special characters. This is especially true for sites where you take care of your personal or business finances or loans. Even on sites where you apply for an online loan, make sure that you have a strong password. A strong password can help protect your information from being stolen and going into wrong hands.
Exercise Caution on Social Sites
Always be cautious of the content you post on your social media profiles. If your personal information is publicly available for anyone to see it makes it easy for an identity thief to use it to gain access. Remember to never post your full legal name, social security number, address, phone number, or any account numbers publicly on such a site. Your personal information can be used to conduct a brute force attack on your financial accounts. That is why you must always refrain from posting any of your personal information on social media.
Is it safe to apply for a Credit Card online?
Usually, it is safe to apply for credit cards online and it is quite commonplace these days. It is probably just as safe, if not safer, than applying through mail. You can safely apply for both business credit cards as well as personal credit cards online. As safe as it may be, you must follow some basic safety tips before applying online for a credit card. Let’s explore some basic safety tips to follow while applying for a credit card online.
How to safely apply for a credit card online?
- Use a Secure Personal Computer: Avoid using a public computer such as a school or work computer. Sometimes, these computers store user data, or may have a software installed that monitors your web surfing. So, we recommend using a secure personal computer for applying for a credit card online.
- Make sure that your computer is safe: Run a virus scan to make sure your computer isn’t compromised. Download and install the latest updates for your browser and set up the appropriate security settings. Also, make sure that you have your firewall enabled.
- Deal with Secure Sites: You must always visit secure sites that belong to known credit card companies. Don’t reply to emails or other suspicious modes of communication. Always visit the credit card sites directly, and make sure they have a security certificate (SSL) active. This can ensure that you are applying with a genuine credit card company and not a scam website.
- Never save the information: After filling out all the important information, make sure that you don’t save a copy of that on your computer. Instead, you should print out the page and store it safely with you.
Always remember that there are risks with mailing a credit card application as well. The mail might get lost, or a postal worker could steal it. Or, someone could send you a fake application with a fake return address to get their hands on your information. So, always remember that applying online is just as safe (if not safer) than mailing your application.
Today, it has become quite safe to apply for a personal loan and credit card online. If you know the security features to look for, then you can know whether a site is secure and safe. If you’re dealing with a trustworthy lender and authentic, genuine website then it’s safer than applying via mail. Applying online can get you quick approval for your personal loan or credit card application. So, do your due diligence and basic check and safely apply for personal loan or credit card online.
Got any questions? Let us know in the comments below or apply online and we’ll get back to you with answers.
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