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Personal loans in Alabama can be found through banks, credit unions, or online lenders. Finding the best personal loan for Alabama residents doesn’t require a company to be located in the state. It is important to compare all your options, including online lenders who may offer lower rates than you can find locally.
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Online Personal Loans for Residents in Alabama
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Companies That Offer Personal Loans in Alabama
The following companies offer personal loans to Alabama residents.
Alabama Credit Union
A more traditional source of personal loans in Alabama is Alabama Credit Union. Founded in 1956, the credit union has been a member-owned financial institution with a strong reputation in serving Alabama residents.
Offering both deposit and lending products to businesses and individuals, Alabama Credit Union can be a viable option for borrowers in need of a personal loan for a larger amount than a starter or emergency loan lender can provide.
The credit union offers personal loan solutions for borrowers who have a strong credit history and verifiable income, with interest rates and repayment terms based on those factors. Loan amounts vary, but borrowers have the option of applying for a secured or unsecured loan.
Applications for an Alabama Credit Union personal loan can be submitted online or at any one of the credit union’s many full-service branch locations. Personal loan payments can also be made online, through automatic account deductions, or in person.
As a consumer finance company founded in 2002, Mariner Finance has a steady history of providing quick and easy personal loans to qualified borrowers.
In Alabama, Mariner Finance operates in Hoover, Tuscaloosa, Fultondale, and Huntsville. These loans can be used for debt consolidation, managing unexpected expenses, home improvement projects, funding a vacation, or paying for a wedding. Borrowers can qualify for either a secured or unsecured loans based on their financial needs, each which come with a fixed interest rate and a fixed monthly payment for the life of the loan.
The repayment term and interest rate of each Mariner Finance loan are based on the creditworthiness of the borrower. Applications are submitted online or in person at a branch location and can be approved in as little as one business day.
Covington Credit, a subsidiary of Southern Management Corporation and MyMoneyToGo.com, offers small-dollar amount loans with short repayment terms to borrowers throughout Alabama.
Southern Management Corporation is located in South Carolina, but it operates as Covington Credit in more than 40 Alabama locations, including Alabaster, Athens, Cullman, Brewton, Florence, and Greenville.
Loans offered by Covington Credit are installment loans with fixed interest rates and fixed repayment terms, and they can be a solution for those with less than perfect credit histories or scores.
Once a loan is approved, the borrower can pick up the proceeds in one of the company’s branch locations. Repayment for a Covington Credit personal loan is made in person at a branch office or by debit card over the phone.
How to Tell If a Consumer Lender in Alabama is Safe
With so many consumer finance companies operating in Alabama, it can be difficult to know which lenders are legitimate and which are not. Consumers can look to the Alabama Bureau of Loans along with the Alabama State Banking Department for information on certain lenders.
The Bureau of Loans is tasked with the administration and enforcement of the Alabama Small Loan Act, the Consumer Credit Act, and the Mortgage Brokers Licensing Act. Lenders that are not considered banks or credit unions may fall under the purview of this agency, and borrowers can look to its website for a search of registered and licensed lenders in the state quickly and easily.
Similarly, the Alabama State Banking Department is responsible for ensuring depository lenders, like banks and credit unions, are operating in a way that meets state and federal guidelines and regulations. Through this state resource, potential and current borrowers have access to search for chartered banks throughout the state, along with consumer access to the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System, or NMLS. The latter offers a simple tool to search for a specific lender by name or license number.
If a borrower is unsure if a lender is legitimate, utilizing these resources offers some direction as to which consumer finance companies should be trusted and which to avoid. Additionally, consumers can be proactive in working with a specific lender by being wary of certain activities. For instance, a lender asking for funds not specifically stated in the original loan agreement or as a penalty for prepayment may not be acting in the best interest of the borrower, nor a legitimate lender. Borrowers can do themselves a favor by avoiding lenders that make them uneasy or ask for anything above and beyond the initial agreement.
How to File a Complaint Against a Lender
In the state of Alabama, consumers have protections against bad actors in the lending realm. Most protections are focused on interest rate caps, especially for shorter-term payday or title loans, along with detailed information that must be presented to the borrower at the time the loan is funded. The loan agreement provided by the lender is the go-to document for what should take place with a loan, and the protections borrowers have against any breach of that agreement by a lender.
However, there are times when a consumer finance company fails to live up to its side of the agreement. When that takes place, a borrower may have a reason to file a complaint against that lender through a myriad of places. Here are a few.
The Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau is that nation’s largest database of registered businesses, small and large. Many lenders are listed on the BBB website, along with detailed information about the size of the company, the products and services it sells, and its recent or previous consumer complaints. Through the site, consumers can submit a complaint against a finance company quickly and easily.
Office of the Attorney General
Consumers also have the option of filing a complaint directly with the Alabama Office of the Attorney General. Issues surrounding fraud or deceptive practices by lenders can be reported to the office for follow up by contacting the consumer hotline at 1-800-392-5658.
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
In addition to Alabama-specific resources like the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General, residents of the state who interact with fraudulent or deceptive lenders online have another course of action to take. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has put together an Internet Crime Complaint Center, found here, where consumers can go to submit a complaint against an online lender that is not legitimate or legal.
Author: Jeff Gitlen