SPARTANBURG, S.C., Dec. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — With the holiday season come family gatherings, traditions, and expenses. Whether you’re planning on giving gifts to family and friends, or preparing for get-togethers or other seasonal festivities, the holidays stretch every budget. Advance America offers a variety of credit products and services that can help consumers bridge the gap in their finances during the busiest time of year.
But consumers borrowing for the holidays should take extra precautions to guard against unregulated lenders and scammers.
“Sometimes people need a small-dollar loan from a regulated consumer lender like Advance America to help with extra expenses during the holiday season,” said Jamie Fulmer, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for Advance America. “Unfortunately, too many Americans will fall victim to the illegal lenders and scammers that flood the marketplace offering too-good-to-be true services, and we want to make sure they are prepared to identify the signs of a scam.”
As a regulated consumer lender, nearly every aspect of Advance America’s business is regulated by four federal regulators, 10 federal laws, 31 state agencies and more than 50 state laws. The company is committed to responsible lending and transparency, fully disclosing all terms and fees, to ensure consumers can be successful borrowers.
In many cases, unregulated loans come with higher fees, no consumer protections, and little recourse for the consumer. Often they are headquartered outside of the U.S. and operate exclusively online. The terms and fees of these loans may be unclear, and contact information or company details may be missing. Consumers that reside in states without a regulated small-dollar lending market are particularly vulnerable to fraudulent and illegal operators.
Loan scammers often use the reputation of legitimate, respected businesses to con victims out of their money. Consumers should be suspicious about requests for personal information by email, or demands for money to be wired or prepaid debit card information provided, particularly if the lender claims a loan has been pre-approved.
Warning Signs and Red Flags
To help consumers identify the warning signs of illegal lenders and loan scams this holiday season and all year round, Advance America urges consumers to take steps to protect themselves: