Using the Internet the Right Way when Researching Credit Deals

So you’re looking to get a good loan deal? That’s not too hard these days if you know how to do your research online. Many lenders have digitalized their businesses to a large extent, and you can find a lot of information about their deals at their websites and other places online. And it’s important to study that information in as much detail as you can, because it can make the difference between an okay deal and a great one.

Of course, sometimes you’ll be limited in terms of how much time you have for your research. You should be ready to do some research on short notice in this case, and know how to filter the information you see.

Google Isn’t Everything

While Google is the most popular search engine, it’s far from the only useful source of information on the internet. You should things like your local forums (which might not be indexed by Google), as well as social media. Facebook can be a good place to find good deals, as there are various discussion groups that constantly share information about the best deals available on the local market. Talk to the people in these groups too – make it clear that you’re looking for directions on a loan with specific parameters, and you’ll be surprised how helpful some can be.

Use Alerts

Search alerts can be useful for a variety of things, but knowing when a good deal has popped up is probably one of the best applications right now. It’s easy to set up an alert for a number of search terms, and you can be immediately notified when there’s something available that might be right up your alley. Of course, you don’t have to keep your eye on those alerts 24/7, and you can instead just check up on them regularly to ensure that you haven’t missed anything.

Check the History of Your Local Market

The internet remembers everything – and as long as you use the right tools, you can peek into those memories and see what you might have missed in the past. There is often a wealth of information to explore online when you’re interested in things like historic trends and other details about the market’s past. You can use this information to your advantage by plotting some of these trends and attempting to predict how things are going to shift in the next weeks or even months.

These predictions can be difficult to make without enough data, but if you use internet archive engines and Google’s own cache, you can often get your hands on quite a lot of information that can assist you in your research. Just make sure that you validate everything you come across before integrating it into your data sets. Some pieces of information might have been obscured for a good reason – like because they were invalid.

Borrowing Online

In some cases, you may be able to get the entire process of taking out a loan done online without having to meet the lender in person at all. This is getting more and more accessible these days, and the convenience of a deal like that is not to be underestimated. There are some caveats here, of course. The most important one is that you should verify that you have the right kinds of payment accounts required to work with the lenders that you’re considering. Sometimes, lacking a credit card or a PayPal account might prevent you from getting the deals that you’re really interested in. On the bright side, you should be able to prepare for that without too much trouble.

Last-Minute Adjustments

If you’re working with lenders in person, it can be useful to have your smartphone with you. That way, you can do some last-minute adjustments and verifications before you put your signature on the dotted line. That’s right – it’s a good idea to take one last look at your phone right when you’re in the lender’s office and waiting to talk to them. Any kind of information you can come across will be useful in negotiating a better deal, and you should not give up on gathering that information until the last moment.

Just make sure that you don’t make any mistakes in your rush though. It’s possible that you might not notice a small detail in one of the deals that you’re considering, and as a result, you might attempt to negotiate with the wrong information as your leverage. This can degrade the conditions of your deal, so needless to say, be very careful with gathering any details. If you can afford to take your time and be patient, that’s probably a better idea.

Things Lenders Don’t Want You to Know

The lending market is quite fierce and competitive, and many of the companies on it guard their secrets closely. After all, they need to profit too, and it doesn’t make sense to reveal their best deals to their customers so openly. That said, there’s a lot that you can do to maximize your chances when working with a lender, and you should maintain a determined attitude when looking for a loan.

This is especially true if you’re a first-timer. Many lenders will try to take advantage of that fact by trying to paint the situation in a different way. But you must resist, and remember that a little time taken to study what you’re dealing with can often go a long way.

There Are Always Other Options

The most important thing to remember is that you always have another option available. Even if that option is to get up and walk out, it’s still one. Just because you’ve walked into a lender’s office doesn’t mean that you’re required to close a deal. It’s just like shopping at any other kind of store – this one just sells a specific type of product. Some lenders might try to play with your guilt by making you believe that you’ve wasted their time by refusing to agree to their terms. But remember, it’s their job to sit there during their opening hours and talk to people who’ve walked in.

Interest Rates Are Not Set in Stone

Just because a loan’s interest rates are written on the contract that you’re given to sign doesn’t mean that they can’t be changed. Some lenders might try to make you believe that it’s outside of their control, or that the right person is not available. But just keep pushing – and remember the previous rule we mentioned above. If you’re not happy with the rates you’re offered, you can always take your business elsewhere.

But in most cases, you’ll find that lenders can get surprisingly flexible if you have the right circumstances on your side. Things like a good credit score and the willingness to put up valuable collateral can go a long way.

You’re Probably Eligible for More Than You Think

On that note, make sure to familiarize yourself with your credit report and know where your current score places you. Most people are surprised when they find out how much they can actually get with their scores, and if you haven’t checked your report in a while, now might be a good time to do so. Talk to several different lenders and try to find out what kinds of deals they can get you, and use that as leverage in your negotiations.

That last bit is especially important. If you’ve been able to get a better interest rate from a different lender (but their deal didn’t suit you otherwise), you should definitely bring that up in your discussions. Lenders can be quite competitive, and they would often prefer to give you a deal that’s slightly worse for them, rather than let you get taken by a competitor.

Collateral Isn’t Always Required

With a good enough credit score, you won’t always have to put up collateral in order to get access to a quality loan deal. But even with a bad score, you might still have access to options that don’t require collateral. Unsecured bad credit loans do exist, and even though their conditions will be worse than other options on the market, at least you will have access to them. Plus, if you’re responsible about getting the loan paid off on time, you should be able to use the opportunity to improve your score for the next one.

Time Is Your Friend

We touched on this above, but it’s something that can’t be stressed enough. If you don’t need this loan for a major, urgent expense, you should take your time and carefully compare the deals on the market first. There will always be a better option right around the corner, and if you rush, you’re going to miss many of those. Sometimes, some of those options will only be available very briefly. You have to be lucky enough to be scouting the market at the right time in order to take advantage of them.

But for the most part, as long as you can set aside at least a week or two to properly compare rates and other conditions, and negotiate with a few lenders specifically, you should have an easy time picking a good loan that suits you in every way possible. Having a good credit score can make this much easier, but is not absolutely required. And as we mentioned above, even those with a bad credit score can use this as an opportunity to improve things and put themselves in a better situation.