Personal Loans

Is AmOne Legit? How to Tell if a Loan Company Is Legitimate

Is AmOne legit? Learn how to tell if a personal loan company is legitimate and how to avoid scams when applying for loans online.
A woman wears a serious expression while looking for a legitimate personal loan on her computer tablet
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By Gina Freeman
Updated on: August 27th, 2021

If you’re looking for a fast personal loan, you have a lot of choices. Online personal loans are quick and convenient, but are they safe? Is AmOne legit? Learn how to figure out which companies are legitimate and which are just nests of scam artists.

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6 Signs of Legitimate Loan Companies

Legit lenders all have these characteristics, while scammy lenders are red flag parades.

Here are the signs of legitimate loan companies.

1. They check your credit

If you’re concerned about your credit history, or are just in a hurry, you might be tempted by offers of “personal loans with no credit check” or “loans with guaranteed approval.” But legitimate personal loan providers always require an application and a credit check. That’s because most personal loans are unsecured — there is no car to repossess or home to foreclose on if you fail to repay the loan. Your credit rating tells the lender how likely you are to keep your promise to repay.

These “loans with no credit check” are not personal loans. They are payday loans, check advance loans or auto title loans. And those loans carry an average interest rate of nearly 400%!

2. The FTC knows them

Lenders must by law register with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to do business. The lender’s website should list the states in which it’s licensed. You can also verify licensing with your state’s attorney general or financial services division.

If a lender soliciting you is not licensed in any state, you may be dealing with a scam company. AmOne.com matches borrowers with licensed providers in their state. When you complete an inquiry form on the site or call a financial services specialist at 1-800-781-5187, you can ensure that the lenders selected are licensed and legitimate.

3. They don’t charge upfront fees

Lenders that require applicants to send a prepaid debit card to get online personal loans are scammers, plain and simple. Prepaid debit cards are practically cash and virtually untraceable.

Legitimate financial institutions can charge application, appraisal, or credit report fees, but they disclose them upfront and deduct them from your loan proceeds. If a lender does not disclose its fees or requests upfront money for “processing,” “insurance,” or “paperwork,” don’t do business with it.

4. They have a physical address and a secure website

Scam lenders don’t disclose a physical location or only have a PO box. Look for lenders with offices, and plug the address they give you into Google Maps. Some scammers list addresses that are vacant lots or space that belongs to a different business.

Legitimate loan company websites are secure. You can tell if they are by looking for a padlock symbol on any pages where you would input personal information. In addition, the site URL should begin with “https” instead of just “http.”

If the site is insecure, your information is not protected from identity thieves and other criminals.

5. They don’t apply pressure

Legitimate lenders may give you deadlines for accepting a loan offer. That’s normally because underwriting guidelines can change over time, and so do interest rates. However, you will probably have at least a week to decide if you want to accept a loan offer.

If the lender wants you to commit to a loan immediately, it may be a scam. Offers that expire in a day are often not legitimate.

6. They get good consumer reviews

If other consumers have terrible experiences with a lender, don’t work with that lender. The Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Trustpilot, and Trustlink are all excellent places to check when verifying the legitimacy of a lender.

Is AmOne Legit?

AmOne is legit, and it is a free service that matches consumers to legitimate direct lenders in their states. Direct lenders take your application and fund the loan. AmOne helps you find lenders that work with borrowers similar to you and offer the loans and terms you want.

You can check AmOne’s reviews on sites like Trustpilot and Trustlink to verify the experiences of real consumers.

Does AmOne charge for its services?

AmOne’s service is free to consumers. And AmOne’s lender partners disclose their fees and do not charge fees upfront.

Does AmOne run a credit check?

AmOne only performs a “soft credit pull” to provide credit offers. You can see interest rates without having a credit inquiry. That’s better than going directly to several lenders and getting multiple “hard credit pulls,” which does drop your credit score.

Does AmOne hurt your credit?

AmOne does not harm your credit. However, completing an application for credit with a lender requires a “hard credit pull,” which drops your credit score a few points. Using a service like AmOne can keep you from applying with multiple companies that might not approve applicants like you or offer the terms you want. This can help protect your credit score.

Does AmOne keep your personal information on file?

In general, AmOne retains consumer data for as long as is needed to connect them with lender partners who provide information about the products and services they are seeking. This time is typically 30-180 days. And they usually keep an archived copy of that data for six years as required or permitted by law for legal and compliance purposes. You can view AmOne’s privacy notice for more information.

About the Author

Gina Freeman writes about personal finance and has been featured on MoneyRates.com, The Mortgage Reports, MSNMoney, Fox Business, Forbes, The Motley Fool, and other fine websites. Her background includes tax accounting with Deloitte, over 20 years in mortgage sales and underwriting, systems consulting for Experian, and several years in bankruptcy law. Gina enjoys helping consumers make confident and intelligent financial decisions.