4.6.11 Advance fee loans

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Suppose you are having debt problems and need money. The phone rings or you receive an email, offering to get you a loan—guaranteed! All you have to do is pay a fee up-front.

Don't fall for such pitches. Most likely it is a scammer trying to steal your money, not lend you money.

  • Don't pay up-front. Legitimate lenders don't usually ask for advance fees.
  • Don't fall for promises that you'll get a loan regardless of your credit problems. If you have poor credit or haven't established a good credit history yet, it's unlikely that anyone will lend you money without charging large fees.
  • Be cautious about emails offering to help you get a loan. Many unsolicited emails are fraudulent.

Instead:

  • Get counselling from a not-for-profit credit counselling organization. (See the section on Credit counselling.)
  • Consider all your other options before getting an advance loan.
  • Get all the costs and other details before you decide to take out a loan. Shop around for the best loan rates and fees.
  • Have proof of what you were promised. Get the agreement in writing.
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