Protect Yourself Online — Especially When Borrowing Money

It’s becoming easier to complete our everyday tasks online. Though some of us are still less likely to use the internet than others, 84 percent of Americans adults are connected to the internet.

Maybe you use it to compare the prices of big purchases, check your banking balance, transfer money to a friend, research loan options, check your email or just find grocery coupons for your Super Bowl snacks. But whether you complete your tasks on a mobile device, tablet, e-reader, or computer, it’s important to make sure that you are on a safe, trusted website.

And if you’re planning on borrowing money online, it’s especially important to work with a licensed direct lender. In addition to our fun, short education course on how to protect yourself when you’re borrowing money online, here are some tips to remember:

Not all online lenders follow the same laws. If a lender is not licensed in the United States, it may not be subject to consumer protection laws and could sell your information to third parties. Non-U.S. licensed lenders may even be operating illegally. Read our tips to avoid scams and stay alert.

Website security matters. If you’re thinking of entering your personal information online, check that the website has “https” (the S stands for “secure”) and a green lock in the address bar at the top of your browser.

Think twice before sharing your information. Since email is not encrypted, we caution against using it to send anyone your full social security number or bank account information.

Watch out for fine print. Look for lenders that are transparent in their pricing. Licensed direct lenders like LendUp will clearly show the interest rate, or APR, and all the fees you’ll be responsible for -- before you agree to the loan.

To learn more, watch our Protect Yourself Online and Your Finances: A Tool for Life education courses.

Is there an area of personal finance that you’d like us to cover in a course or Fast Financial Fact? Where do you struggle with managing your finances? We’d like to know! Or are you an organization that’s interested in collaborating? Please get in touch at education(at)lendup(dot)com.

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