Just a couple of decades ago, it was nearly impossible to get a personal loan anywhere other than a bank or credit union. In the digital age, though, online personal loans have become much more common and provide many advantages. Therefore, it is more important than ever to ask yourself, are online personal loans safe? For example, they offer competitive rates, can be faster to obtain, and might have fewer requirements for borrowers. If you're considering getting a personal loan online, it’s important to understand that the process is completely safe and secure if the lender follows a few simple practices.
Lender’s Responsibility for Safety of Financial Information
Keeping your personal and financial information secure should be one of your top priorities when working with any company, whether a bank, online lender, or an online store. Because information is transmitted through networks, it can be vulnerable to malicious attacks if the website’s owner has not used secure technology. This technology includes proper encryption of information, so, if it is somehow intercepted, it will not include any of your sensitive data. Most reputable online lending companies use bank-level encryption to protect your personal information and provide perfectly safe ways to get a loan.
How to Keep Your Personal Data Safe When Getting Online Personal Loans
- Choose a reputable online lender that has a physical address and contact information listed on its website. Give the lender a call before entering your personal data if you are unsure it is safe.
- Look for two simple signs that information entered on a personal loan website is secured and encrypted. When you look at the website address in the top of your browser, it should say “https” instead of “http” at the beginning of the address. The “s” indicates that the website is secure. In addition, most browsers will also display an icon of a closed lock, which also shows the connection is secured and encrypted.
- Ensure there are not people who can read information on your screen if you are applying for the loan in a public location. Sit against a wall, at least a few feet away from other people, and be aware of your surroundings. If possible, manage your personal finances at home so you can be sure no one sees your information.
- Use a new password when you set up your login information with the online lender. The password should be at least 8 characters long, include both uppercase and lowercase letters, and have at least two numbers. If you use a password you don’t use on any other websites, you are less likely to have a widespread problem if one of your passwords is somehow compromised.
- If you print out a copy of your loan application or other loan documentation, keep it in a secure location such as a locked filing cabinet at home or at work. If you decide later to throw away or recycle the paper, shred it first so your sensitive personal information cannot be obtained by anyone else.
Overall, online personal loans are very safe to obtain, provided you take a few precautions and check to see that the lender has secured its website. If your information is encrypted, it is just as safe to transmit it online, as it is to give it to a banker at a brick and mortar location. Plus, getting a loan online is much more convenient for you.