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Diatribe: GUEST POST – Online Car Loan Scams.

07/09/2014
There's a lot of sketchy online auto loan lenders out there. Beware!

There’s a lot of sketchy online auto loan lenders out there. Beware!

A lot of us have been there before; for whatever reason, our credit score isn’t up to scratch and suddenly taking out a loan becomes a major undertaking. This is right about the time that the car decides to give up the ghost, requiring a replacement, which means trying to get a car loan.

Now, conventional wisdom says that a car loan is one of the easiest loans to get. In fact, a lot of experts say that if you’re starting out in trying to build a credit rating, start off by getting a car loan. But if you have issues in your credit history that makes you seem a bad risk, you’ll find yourself rejected by the dealer’s credit department, your own bank, and whatever other reputable institution that people turn to when they need a loan.

The sad thing is, the more you need a loan, the less likely it is that an institution will give you one. Yes, it makes no sense in some regards. Chalk it up to the same insanity that says that a prospective employer is more likely to hire you if you are presently working than they are if you’ve been out of work for a while.

Enter The Vultures
But as each door gets slammed in your face, out of desperation you decide to check the Internet to see if there’s an out. After all, the online world seems to have so many answers, right? Sure enough, you’ll find an army of companies out there that try to lure you in and have you commit to an online car loan. Regrettably, a lot of these places want to take advantage of the desperate, the people who’ve run out of decent options (note the qualifier word there: decent).

And that’s the sick part about these people. They prey on the desperate. They know that people are at their wits’ end, especially if their only car is now nothing more than a very large paperweight. They count on people being at the end of their rope and yet badly needing transportation. That’s why it’s important that you don’t let an online car loan connection scam happen to you.

Just Another Internet Scam
You’ve probably heard the expression “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. And let’s face it, the Internet is positively rife with scammers, spammers, and rip-off artists who will happily take your money and/or lock you into a state of perpetual usury without a second thought.

GuestBloggerOnce upon a time, if you got suckered into giving money to a shady business, you could at least march down to their physical location and confront them directly. Today’s online hyenas don’t even give you that option; they are safely hidden by the anonymity of the Internet, free to skulk around unseen, looking for some poor schlub who has a less than stellar FICO score.

And speaking of which, those FICO scores can be a joke sometime, and unfortunately they up being the only thing that stands between you getting a loan at a respectable financial institution or owing money to some shady outfit run by a Nigerian prince or Russian bridal dating service. A few inaccuracies, a few missed payments, or even participating in a credit card counseling payment plan to settle old debts, any of these will turn your FICO score sour. That’s when the nasty bottom feeders twirl their mustaches evilly and emerge from the shadows to “help” you.

Alternatives?
In addition to visiting the link above, see if the company you want to deal with has a history with something like the Better Business Bureau. Or see if you can scrape together a few hundred bucks and get a temporary beater via a classified ad or something like Craigslist (although make sure you keep in mind the ol’ caveat emptor!).

A bad credit score takes a while to turn around, but in the meantime, if you avoid the scammers and work with a responsible lender, you can still find a way to a decent vehicle.

john terraJohn Terra has been a freelance writer since 1985. He’s had unusually good luck finding cheap cars via friends who know someone who’s selling theirs.

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One Comment
  1. Thanks for warning folks. You need a bigger bull horn, though.

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