The current recession has affected nearly every American in some way. Faced with a still sluggish economy, rising food and gasoline prices, high unemployment and a stagnant job market, consumers everywhere are looking for more sources of quick credit. Unfortunately, predatory lenders are aware of this situation and are taking full advantage of it by offering borrowers fast, easy loans that come with extremely high interest rates and dangerous loan terms. Do some research and learn the facts about predatory lending. It can save you a lot more than just money.
BEWARE OF PREDATORY LENDERS
- Learn how to make a realistic budget and stick to it.
- Get in the habit of saving. Start small if you have to and increase the amounts as you can. The important thing is to start.
- Use financial common sense. If you can’t afford to pay cash for something, you probably can’t afford it, period.
- Have an emergency fund- and this really means strictly for emergencies.
- Remember that there are no quick fixes for financial problems and there’s no such thing as easy money.
- Bad credit, no credit, no problem! Run, do not walk, from any loan company which uses this marketing pitch.
- Rent to own. No money down! You must act now! Avoid these common come-ons, also.
- Any loan, including a first mortgage, which uses the equity in your house as collateral should be regarded with much skepticism and be carefully reviewed before signing.
- Fully read and understand any loan document before signing. Never sign an agreement that contains blank spaces.
- If you need professional advice concerning a loan agreement, consult an attorney. The fee you may have to pay can be a bargain compared to what you might lose.
- Always shop around for the best rates and terms before committing to a new loan. Never accept the first offer.
- To learn more about consumer protection and your legal rights, visit The Center For Responsible Lending.
- Never take on new debt to pay off old debt.
- Resist hard-pressure tactics. You have every right to take your time when considering a loan. You are not legally obligated until you sign on the dotted line.
- Take responsibility for your financial well-being. Predatory lenders rarely take advantage of smart, well-informed consumers.