8 Point Checklist: Evaluating Online Vendors
Here are 8 things to consider, when evaluating lenders online:
1. Website Design:
The webpage is, in fact, the storefront of the internet. In the real world, your first impressions make all the difference. Well, it's no different on the internet.
Examine the website design, and trust your first impressions.
You will likely be sharing some personal information, in exchange for loan offers. You shouldn't be so concerned about this that it limits your ability to reach out to possible lenders. However, use your common sense.
Virtually all trustworthy online businesses now have posted privacy policies to both assure you of their intent, and to comply with current laws and regulations.
3. About Us:
Does the lender post an "about us" page?
Reading the "about us" page can tell you tremendous information about the lender.
Take your lender's website address, and plug it into Alexa.Com. Alexa is a tool, created by the folks at Amazon, to evaluate traffic on the internet, and to provide a venue for visitors to post critiques of websites.
Just use popularity as one of the many tools at your disposal, when evaluating online lenders.
There are a number of ways to evaluate a lender's reputation. Talking to friends, family, and associates, of course, is one way. Another method is to see whether or not the prospective lender is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB at BBB.Com), and if there are any complaints on record filed against them.
Also, if you see something on the reliability report that may be concerning you, talk to your prospective lender, and see if they can give you a reasonable explanation for what happened.
Complete an online "short form" application, and within minutes, several competitive loan offers could be making their way to you.
So, evaluate your comfort level with the context of each lender's short form application online.
7. Points, Fees, Terms, and Rates:
After you complete the online short-form, prospective loan offers will almost instantly be making their way to you.
After you've obtained several loan offers, it will be time to talk to your prospective lenders over the phone.
Use your instincts to gauge who you worked well with, and who might present challenges down the road.
We've enjoyed providing this information to you, and we wish you the best of luck in your pursuits. Remember to always seek out good advice from those you trust, and never turn your back on your own common sense.
This article may be freely distributed so long as the copyright, author's information, disclaimer, and an active link (where possible) are included.
About The Author
Copyright 2004 LoanResources.net
Tom Levine provides a solid, common sense approach to solving problems and answering questions relating to consumer loan products. His website seeks to provide free online resources for the consumer, including rate-watch, tips and articles, financial communication, news, and links to products and services. You can check out Tom's website here: http://loanresources.net, or you can email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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