Loans are a great way to finance your goals, support your businesses, or even bring your ideas to life. However, it’s important to be careful while accepting loans to avoid costly mistakes or scams. Nearly 48 percent of scams are financial and at a time when it has become easier to access loans, it is equally critical to exercise caution to avoid loan scams.
Here are some tips to help you protect yourself:
1. Never sign contracts you do not understand:
Please read the contract, read it again, and read it two more times before you sign. A contract is a legally binding agreement with strict penalties if defaulted. Do not agree to any terms and conditions you do not understand, including interest rates, fees, and repayment terms.
2. Watch out for red flags:
Some common red flags are lenders who offer loans with no credit check or low interest rates that seem too good to be true. If it sounds too good to be true, it is likely a scam.
3. Only borrow from reputable lenders:
Conduct some research to make sure the lender is licensed and reputable.
4. Don’t be shy to ask questions:
If you don’t understand something, ask the lender to explain it to you. If they give half-baked answers or refuse to share full information, assume it is a red flag. Better safe than sorry.
It is equally important to be aware of your responsibility as a loan borrower; one of the most crucial is to make your payments on time.
In addition to making your payments on time, you are also responsible for keeping your lender informed of any changes in your circumstances. For example, if you change your address or phone number, notify your lender immediately. Also, inform your lender if you experience financial difficulties that may hinder your ability to fulfill your obligations.
At Sterling, we are committed to protecting our customers’ interests. Here are some ways we do that:
- We provide all our customers with a Key Facts Statement (KFS): This document summarizes the key terms and conditions of the loan clearly and concisely.
- Informed Decisions: Our comprehensive loan contracts detail everything you need to know, from features and risks to repayment terms and fees.
- Transparent Fees: We only charge lending fees on the money you receive. There are no hidden costs.
- Flexible Repayment: Repay early without penalty for variable rate loans. Choose what repayment plan works for you.
- Free Monthly Statements: Access your loan statements anytime, anywhere at no cost.
If you’re interested in taking a loan, choose Sterling. We’re the bank that puts your interests first.