Legitimate Online Loans: How To Find a Safe Lender

Although you can find countless legit Online Loans on the market, there are many illegitimate companies and scammers offering fake loans.  Let's dive deeper into how legitimate online loans work, types of online cash loans available and ways to check if the loan company you’re interested in is legit.

How online cash loans work

Online loans are loans offered by lenders that operate online, such as payday loans, installment loans, title loans, and lines of credit. With these cash loans, borrowers can fill out an application and get funds online from the comfort of home. If approved for a legit online loan, you can use the funds to cover any essential or emergency expenses.

Types of legitimate online loans

Payday Loans

Payday Loans are short-term, small dollar loans that can give you a few hundred dollars to cover expenses before your next payday. You’ll typically repay this online loan in two to four weeks, when you receive your next paycheck.

Installment Loans

With Installment Loans, you can receive a lump sum of money that you can repay in fixed monthly payments, or installments. You’ll typically repay this legitimate online loan over a few months or years, depending on the loan terms.

Line of Credit

A Line of Credit is a  flexible loan that lets you withdraw funds as needed, up to your set credit limit. You can pay back this type of legit online loan all at once or over time, and will only pay interest on the amount you borrow.

Title Loans

Title Loans are secured loans that let you use your car title as collateral. With these types of cash loans, you’ll receive funds worth a percentage of your vehicle’s appraised value. Then, the lender will hold onto your title, and you can keep driving your car as you repay the loan.

5 tips to check if an online loan is legitimate

Here's how you can figure out if an online cash loan is legitimate:

Avoid an offer of advance payments

If a company guarantees they’ll give you a loan in exchange for upfront or “advance” fees, look elsewhere. This practice is illegal and companies that require advance payments are usually scammers.

A legitimate online loan provider may charge an application or origination fee, but it will be clearly disclosed and taken from the amount you borrow. You’ll usually pay this fee after you get approved for a cash loan.

Search loan company reviews and licenses

There are plenty of ways you can search for a loan company’s reviews and licenses. Visit the Better Business Bureau (BBB) database to find out whether a company offers legitimate online loans.

You can also check verified review sites like TrustPilot to get an idea of how previous customers feel about it. A lack of accreditation on the BBB paired with many negative customer reviews is a sign that the lender may not be legit, and you should find another loan company.

Check the loan company’s address

A legitimate online loan lender will have a single office or multiple branches. Plug the company’s address into Google Maps to make sure the lender has a physical location. The company is likely a scammer if its address does not exist or is only listed as a P.O. box. Scammers who offer online cash loans avoid physical addresses because they don’t want to be traced.

Search the loan company’s online presence

If you find a loan company that piques your interest, check out their website. Their site should look professional and be free of typos. It’s also a good idea to check their social media outlets and read through any articles published about them.

Companies with legitimate cash loans have an online presence, even if they’re new. If you don’t find much about a particular loan company or its website seems sketchy, then the company is likely a scammer.

Contact your state's attorney’s general

Your state’s attorney general works to inform the public of deceptive or unfair business practices like loan scams. You can contact them online or via phone to see if they have any record of the loan company you’re considering. The loan company is not legitimate if the attorney general does not have a record of them or reveals complaints from people the company has scammed in the past.

Are online cash loans right for me?

To decide whether legit online cash loans are right for you, you should consider your financial needs. These loans can help if you need to pay an unexpected car repair or medical bill, fund a home improvement project, or simply cover day-to-day expenses like groceries and gas. For any borrowers that are short on funds, an online cash loan can help them get out of a financial pinch quickly.

Advance America offers legitimate online loans

Advance America has maintained a history of safe lending practices since 1997. We are proud of our A+ Better Business Bureau rating, 5-star TrustPilot rating, and countless positive reviews on Google.

Our online cash loan applications come with advanced security and encryption to keep your personal data secure. If you’re in search of a legitimate payday loan, installment loan, line of credit, or title loan, Advance America can help you get the funds you need with a safe transaction.

The Advance America advantage

Since 1997, Advance America has helped millions of hardworking people with a variety of financial solutions including Payday Loans, Online Loans, Installment Loans, Title Loans and Personal Lines of Credit.
157+ million
loans issued
800+ stores
and online loans
25+ years
providing loans