Choosing a lender can be difficult. Regardless of what type of loan or the cost of it, you will also want to make sure that the lender you choose is a good one. You will therefore need to think about what you consider to be a good lender and what criteria you would use to judge them. Then you will be better able to make a decision about who might be the best for you.
It is good to think about the reputation of the lender. Consider whether you have heard of them and what you have heard about them. Look at the company history, by reading their website and other websites and decide whether you feel that they are a company you would like to deal with. It may be that you want a company that advertises a lot and so is well-known, one that has been around for a long time or one that is fresh and young with new ideas.
It is very much a personal view as to what we see as a good reputation. It may be that we know a name and so think they have a good reputation but actually it may be because they were in the press for bad reasons but we just cannot remember those reasons. It could be we know a name because they advertise a lot, but that does not mean that they will be any better than a company that do not spend lots of money on advertising.
Finding out what other people think about a lender can be a great way to help you to judge them. Obviously we all have different likes and dislikes, but if we find out that quite a few people have had bad experiences then it may make us decide to choose an alternative lender. It can be good to start by asking friends and family. They have no reason not be honest with what they tell you and they will be able to let you know of their personal experiences with different lenders and whether they would recommend them or not.
You should also be able to find information like this online. So if you are nor comfortable with asking friends and family or do not have anyone to ask then this can be an alternative. It can even be useful even if you have asked others. There will be money forums and message boards which have this sort of information. You will be able to find out more about what people think of different lenders and it should provide you with a lot more information that asking people that you know.
For many people, the way that a lender treats its customers is really important. If you have any questions or get into difficulties with repayments, then you want to be sure that there will be a polite, friendly and helpful person able to assist you. You will need to consider whether you would rather communicate face to face, on the phone, by email or online and whether the lender that you choose will be able to help you in this way. You should also get in touch with them so that you know what they are like to deal with. Ask them questions about the loan you are considering and see whether they seem helpful and kind. Remember to get in touch with them using the means that you think you would normally contact them using. Then you will get an idea of how quickly you will get an answer.
For some people the ethics of a lender are really important. They want to choose one that does not invest money into things that they do not agree with. Some people will therefore purposely choose ethical banks. You can usually find out if they are ethical as they will tell you on their website, but you may want to do other online research as well, in order to find out for sure. There are not that many lenders that do claim that they are ethical though and so you may limit your choice this way. It may be that there are some that are better than others with regards to ethics even if they are not claiming to be ethical. It may also be that you have criteria on what sort of ethics you feel are important in a lender.
Obviously you will need to pick a lender that has the articular products that you want. You will want to look at the price of those products and how they compare to other lenders. It could be that you will be prepared to pay a bit more if the lender fulfils other criteria that you have. You may though, not be able to afford to pay much more, so you might have to compromise on what you get from a lender if you cannot afford the best one.