Financing for large, often unexpected expenses can be a challenge when consumers aren’t sure where to begin. There are countless outlets for funding, including traditional financial institutions like banks and credit unions, online lenders, and specialty finance companies like payday and title loan providers.
Each offers at least one form of a personal loan to consumers based on their credit history and score, income, or assets available to pledge against the loan as collateral.
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Personal loans provide a fixed rate of return in most cases, a fixed monthly payment, and for the most qualified borrowers, an affordable way to borrow money quickly.
Because there are so many financial institutions and finance companies making personal loans available to the borrowing public, it is helpful to have an idea of what lenders are out there in Alabama. Below are several personal loan lenders working to serve residents of Alabama, followed up with consumer protections and rights all borrowers should know.
Online Personal Loans for Residents in Alabama
Companies That Offer Personal Loans in Alabama
One option for borrowers in Alabama looking for a personal loan is NetCredit. As a subsidiary of Enova International, NetCredit primarily operates as an online lender offering a variety of personal lending products to consumers with a wide range of credit histories and scores. NetCredit’s mission is to provide a more personalize loan process, based on more than an individual’s financial track record. The finance company does not offer other financial products, but focuses its energy on personal loans only.
Borrowers residing in Alabama who are interested in a personal loan from NetCredit can apply for a loan in the amount of $2,000 up to $10,000, with no collateral required for approval. The finance company offers repayment terms ranging from six to 60 months, with interest rates ranging from 34% up to 155%. All loans approved by NetCredit are funded through Republic Bank & Trust, although loan servicing remains with NetCredit for the life of the loan.
Borrowers have the option to establish automatic payments from a checking or savings account, and there is no prepayment penalty should the loan balance be repaid in full before its maturity date. Applications for a NetCredit personal loan can be quickly submitted online, with an approval in as little as one day.
Another alternative to short-term, smaller loan amounts for borrowers in Alabama is Western Shamrock, operating in the state as Western Finance. For Alabama residents, Western Finance offers traditional installment loans with a fixed interest rate and fixed monthly payment. The company has a long history throughout the Southern United States, and it currently operates several branch locations in Alabama, including Mobile, Saraland, Bay Minette, Foley, Brewton, and Monroeville.
Personal loans in Alabama offered through Western Finance are often referred to as starter loans or emergency cash loans. Alabama residents can apply for a loan up to $999, with shorter repayment terms than traditional bank or credit union personal loans. Interest rates vary for Western Finance loans, based on the borrower’s ability to repay, budget, and income stability. Payments for personal loans in Alabama through Western Finance are accepted in branch locations, or by mail to the branch nearest the borrower.
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.
Personal loans in Alabama offered through Covington Credit range from $400 up to $1,300, with monthly repayments determined by the borrower’s ability to repay and budget. Interest rates are based on the borrower’s credit history in addition to income and other debt obligations. All applications for a personal loan with Covington Credit in Alabama start with a brief online form.
A representative from the finance company then contacts the applicant to discuss options and gather any information not included on the form. Once a loan is approved and process, the borrower can pick up the proceeds in on 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.
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.
Peoples Bank of Alabama
The Peoples Bank of Alabama also offers several personal loan options to qualified borrowers. The bank has a history in the state dating back to 1977, providing an array of financial products and services to community members throughout Alabama. In addition to personal loans, the bank provides access to deposit accounts, credit cards, auto loans, and home equity and mortgage solutions. Peoples Bank of Alabama has several full-service branch locations throughout the state, reaching the counties of Blount, Cherokee, Cullman, Etowah, Marshall, Morgan, and Jefferson.
Individuals looking for a personal loan with the Peoples Bank of Alamba can borrow a minimum of $3,000 for funding auto repairs, medical bills, home improvements, and debt consolidation. Borrowers typically know within a few hours after submitting an application if they are approved, and for what amount and interest rate. The application process is simple, and borrower’s repayment terms are based on credit criteria and income verification. All personal loans with the Peoples Bank of Alabama have a fixed interest rate and monthly payment for the life of the loan.
As a consumer finance company, Mariner Finance has a steady history of providing quick and easy personal loans to qualified borrowers. The company operates in 22 stations through a network of 450 branch locations, and it focuses on personal loans as well as auto loans and home loans in some states.
Founded in 2002, Mariner Finance has become well-known for its ability to make personal loans to individuals with less than perfect credit, and it has streamlined its application process in recent years to make it even friendly for borrowers. In Alabama, Mariner Finance operates in Hoover, Tuscaloosa, Fultondale, and Huntsville.
Personal loans in Alabama offered by Mariner Finance 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. Amounts ranging between $1,000 and $25,000 are available to Alabama residents.
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.
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
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