All lenders and brokers in the UK must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to offer or broker financial products. This requires a lengthy authorisation process which is only granted to firms who can demonstrate their commitment to treating customers fairly and responsible lending. To check if a lender or broker is FCA authorised, you will typically find this information in the footer on every page of their website and you can cross-reference this information on the FCA register here.
You can have peace of mind when entering your details if the site is hosted on a secure server, starting with “https” rather than just “http.” This extra ‘s’ provides a layer of encryption which makes your details more secure and harder to access from external sources. Applying on a website with a secure server will keep your personal details safe and sound.
Use of language
Unauthorised or rogue companies may use different language to promote their business, and this may be worth questioning. This includes phrases such as “guaranteed approval” or “100% acceptance” which might be too good to be true. A regulated lender should not provide any misleading information and carry out thorough checks prior to funding any customer.
A trusted lender will have real reviews from other previous customers online, through Google Reviews, Trustpilot, Feefo or Reviews.co.uk. Reading these reviews will also give you an indication of how recently the company has been trading and whether it can be a good fit.
Real office, contact phone number
Trustworthy loan companies will always have a real office and premises and should be easily contactable by email, phone or post. If you are visiting the website of a loans broker or provider and there are no contact details anywhere across the site, you should treat this with caution.