An Asian woman looks at her credit card before typing something into her laptop

The rise of online loans in the digital world and what to be mindful of

5 min

Information and technology have made online loans and borrowing an integral part of the society we live in today. The strive towards greater convenience and the use of smartphones has given us the ability to not just borrow money online, but to also search and compare the different loan options through online money lenders and banks. In this article we shall discuss the types of loans available and what we should look out for whenever we are looking to acquire cash urgently.

Digital marketing and its impact on credit facilities and loan applications.

It is almost certain to come across at least one advertisement on online loans or credit cards, whenever we are browsing on websites these days. Advertisements are a form of marketing and may be enticing to most of us. However, whenever looking to acquire a personal loan or any form of online financing, it is strongly advisable to properly read through the complete terms and conditions.

What should we look out for before any loan application.

Also, the advertised internet rate may not be the actual interest rates that borrowers may incur. With each loan application, we should look at some key details such as effective interest rate (EIR), total interest payable, loan tenure, and lastly early settlement charges/fees. It’s common to overlook the small intricate details on the loan technicalities, especially if we are in an urgent need to acquire funds, but it’s imperative to read through the loan agreement in detail to fully comprehend and understand the structure and payment of it. It’s oddly common to see borrowers sometimes arguing with financial institutions over late charges, fees, etc because most of us tend to briefly browse through the agreement. To avoid additional costs or unwanted fees, we need to adopt the habit of looking into all these details and clarifying any uncertainties we have with the loan provider (online money lender and banks).

Avoid being prey to marketing campaigns and consumerism.

Marketing has proven to be a successful method to boost a company’s revenue by luring individuals to purchase or take up a service/product not because of inherent need, but rather due to impulsive buying. This concept of consumerism is commonly seen across most societies and economies especially with the integration of most global economies. For the lenders, they found it beneficial to indulge in online lending, such as through  ads by banks and online money lenders in Singapore. Unfortunately some of us may fall prey to this and end up taking up loans or even apply for credit cards that we do not need. Many working-class individuals may look at credit cards these days as a form of lifestyle rather than ‘credit’ as we know it. This evolution of ideology towards credit and borrowed monies may cause overspending which would, in turn, lead to financial difficulties. It is always important to focus on our needs more than our wants to strike a good balance between personal finance and consumerism.

The need for personal data protection is imperative especially in an accelerating digital world.

Technology and digitalisation have undoubtedly made online lending financing revolutionary, however, at the expense of our personal data. Without a shadow of a doubt, if we were to weigh the pros and cons of the digital age, the benefits of data and statistics have led to a better society by mainly distinguishing and also by drawing links in terms of common human behaviour. Now, every time we put up a piece of information on the internet by clicking a button, we are putting up a piece of information about ourselves. Many of us do not realise, but our smartphones are actually a good representation of who we are as individuals. That is because we are using it daily and feeding it with all those valuable information and details about ourselves and it also serves as our guide to receive new information too. As such, whenever we go to any financial institution website, we need to be careful that we are browsing it safely. Many hackers and scammers prey on the general public by putting up malicious sites that may seem legitimate and look very similar to genuine ones. However, we may be putting our device and personal data at risk of these hackers. Also, unlike a physical piece of information, data uploaded on the internet is almost impossible to remove as most of the information on the internet can be retrieved and repossessed. Practicing due diligence and accurate awareness is of paramount importance especially these days as seen by the rise in the number of online scams and information leaks.

Apply for loans that are solely based on needs, and always seek the necessary advice from more than just one source.

In addition to these, it is always a good practice to fully be sure rather than speculative on the type of loan we are looking to apply and apart from banks, most online money lenders Singapore (licensed money lenders) would require you to go down to their branch to sign the loan agreement and to clarify any doubt you may have on any of the terms and conditions. Making sure of all these will enable us to take full advantage of online lending and financing. Lastly, do not depend or visit only one source whenever making a decision, and always remember to borrow what is needed and not wanted.

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