If you are thinking of borrowing money then it is really important that you find a good lender. Most people will compare the products themselves and the prices and choose a loan which will be the best for them with regards to the cost and the terms. Although it is extremely sensible to do this, you should check out the lender before you sign anything as this could make a difference to your decision.
It is important to know whether you lender is likely to be helpful, treat you well, has a good reputation and provides good customer service. If you have any questions or queries once you take out the loan, you want to be confident that it will be easy to get in touch with them and that they will deal with you well. In order to find out there are a few things that you can do. It is good to take a look at some reviews of that lender online. Try to avoid looking at reviews on their own website but look at other sites to see what people are saying about them.
Try to read comments and find out what sorts of experiences people have had. Consider that there will always be some bad reviews, but if there are more bad than good, then you could have cause to worry. It is worth noting though that people are more likely to write a review if they feel really strongly about something and so only those that are really pleased or really annoyed are likely to write them. This means that reviewers may not represent a typical cross section of the lenders customers. However, this will be the case for all lenders and so if you compare them, then this should be fair.
Ask friends and family if they have had any experiences with that lender and whether they would recommend them or not. They may be able to tell you about things that they have personally experienced or things that friends and family may have told them about that lender and so it is worth finding out. You will also know that they will have no reason to be biased and have your best interest at heart.
It is wise to telephone the lender and talk to customer services. Ask them a few questions and out the loan so that you can find out how knowledgeable, friendly and helpful they are. Of course, they may not all be the same and so you may want to check by calling a few times and speaking to different people.
You may also be wise to try to find out how flexible the lender is. This means seeing if they will allow you to change you product if there is a better one available or if you need to miss a payment whether they will be understanding and allow this, or to reduce payments for a while if you are struggling to manage. Many lenders will allow this in exceptional circumstances so that you able to manage your finances and then get back on track when you are ready.
It can also be good to try to work out whether they are likely to put your interest rate up. Obviously this will only happen if you have a variable rate and most lenders may do this if the base rate is raised. However, it can be wise to see whether you can find some facts and figures to see how quickly the lender responds to market changes or whether they are prone to random increases in interest. Even if their starting rate is competitive, they may put the rates up once you have borrowed the money and so you want to protect against this if you can, by finding out more about the lender and using one that you trust not to do this to their customers.
You may feel that going with a lender that has a well-known brand name is important. In a way this can be good because they have a reputation as they are well known and should treat you well in order to keep that reputation. However, if they are big, they can afford a few complaints and so their reputation may not be so important to them compared with a small lender who needs all the business they can get and relies on good customer reviews to get new business.
This is a lot to think about, but when you are borrowing money it is a big decision that needs a lot of thought. You want to make sure that you are not only choosing the right product but have chosen the right lender as well. There are many things that you can do to find out more about lenders so that you can see whether you are making the right decision.