Fighting Back

Protect Yourself From Predatory Lenders

  • Use your financial common sense; if you can't afford it, you shouldn't buy it.
  • Plan a realistic budget and stick to it.
  • Have a savings plan so that you'll be prepared in case of a true emergency.
  • Keep your credit rating high so that you won't be forced to go with "sub-prime" lenders, where predatory lending is common.
  • Be skeptical about quick fixes and easy money.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Bad credit, no credit, no problem! This is one of predatory lenders favorite lines.
  • Buy here, pay here! Rent to own. No money down! You must act now! Some of their other favorite lines.
  • Any loan, including your first mortgage, which uses the equity in your house as collateral should be looked at very carefully.
  • Know what it is you're signing, and never sign documents that don't have all the terms filled in.
  • If you don't understand the contract in question, consult an attorney. Lawyer fees can be a bargain compared to the potential loss.
  • Shop around for loans of any kind; never say yes to the first offer.
  • Visit The Center For Responsible Lending for information about laws to protect you, or how you can get involved in the fight against predatory lending.
  • Don't let salesmen pressure you into something you aren't sure about.
  • Refuse to take out more loans to pay off already unmanageable debts.
  • Beware of the temptingly low interest rates that skyrocket after you've had enough time to shop more than you should.
  • Take responsibility for your financial well-being.
  • Predatory lenders are out there taking money, but don't let them take yours.

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