While payday loans may be necessary for those who need cash right away, they can lead to cycles of debt or scams. As the state with the highest usage rate of payday loans in the U.S., Oklahomans need to be extra cautious when thinking about signing up for one. The higher the usage rate is for loans like these, the higher the risk of running into a scam.
Immigrants, elderly and younger people in poorer neighborhoods and near military installations are at a higher risk of being scammed, but whether you fall into one of these categories or not, consider all of the risks associated with a payday loan before you agree to anything. Thorough research of payday lenders can help you avoid losing money or putting yourself at risk for identity theft.
Start your search by checking with us first. Better Business Bureau is a free resource consumers can use to educate themselves before making a decision. You can access BBB Business Reviews to read customer experiences and see if any complaints have been filed or how they were handled, before you choose a lender.
Avoid any payday service that requires you to sign up online. People who sign up online to receive a loan must provide their bank account number. Scams like this often end up with the victim having money continually pulled out of their account for fees and interest once the loan is received. Try to find a lender that is willing to speak with you over the phone or meet with you face-to-face in a public location.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, make sure you check for a license. You can do this by contacting the Department of Financial Institutions. Licensed businesses must comply with state laws, giving you more protection should you run into any problems.
Finally, never send money in advance and always read the fine print. A request for money to cover the cost of taxes or application processing is a red flag for a disreputable payday lender, and carefully reading the terms and conditions can keep you from being caught off guard by hidden fees.
Find information about a payday lender by visiting www.oklahomacity.bbb.org or calling (405) 239-6081.