10 Trust Factors to Look for When Shopping for a Settlement Loan
Settlement loans exist to help plaintiffs make ends meet and get early access to the money they’re owed in a legal case. In a best-case scenario, you’ll get the money immediately, pay for all your bills and ongoing expenses as necessary, and then pay back the loan plus a Fixed Fee when you receive your actual settlement.
Unfortunately, not all settlement loans work this way. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a high-interest loan, owing far more than you originally borrowed – or you might end up owing hidden fees that nobody warned you about.
The Importance of Trust
If you want to feel good about taking out a settlement loan, you need to work with a settlement loan provider you trust. Qualified, reputable providers will be able to lend you the capital you need – without all the catches and gimmicks that end up hurting you in the long run.
The question is, how do you know who to trust?
Trust Factors to Look for
These are some of the most important trust factors to consider when shopping for a settlement loan provider:
- A professional website. First impressions matter, and professional organizations realize this. While the look and feel of a website may seem superficial, it’s a good indication of how much this company cares about customer perceptions.
If the website looks like it was thrown together over the course of a weekend, or if the content on the site reads like it was written by a non-native speaker, it could be cause for concern. If the website answers all your questions and looks like it was made by a professional, it’s a good first sign – but there’s much more to review.
- Transparent pricing. See if you can find out how this provider charges for their services. The easier it is to find this information, and the clearer that information is, the better. Ideally, a cursory glance through the website should introduce you to a Pricing or FAQ page where you can figure out whether this provider charges interest or a flat fee – and exactly what those fees might be. If the wording is ambiguous, or if it seems like there are a lot of additional, unnecessary fees, you might want to move on.
- A fixed fee (rather than interest rates). Ideally, your provider will charge a fixed fee, rather than an interest rate. Interest rates are common for conventional loans, and they work well in traditional financial situations. However, with a settlement loan, a high interest rate can compound over time, eventually increasing the amount you owe – and possibly leaving you with debt that hangs over your head indefinitely. Fixed fees are much more stable and predictable, so you’ll know exactly how much you’re going to owe, well in advance of getting the money.
- Reasonable fee schedules. It’s also important to find out exactly how much your lender is going to charge. Shop around to figure out what’s reasonable and choose a lender with a fee that seems appropriate.
- Guarantees. Settlement loans should be provided as “non-recourse” legal funding. That means if you lose your case, or if you’re not awarded a settlement, you won’t owe anything to the lender. If you took out a loan for $10,000 and you lose the case, you’ll get to keep that $10,000 and not pay anything back. Of course, the flip side to this is that most settlement lenders only fund cases with a high likelihood of succeeding.
- Quick payments. Most people seek settlement loans when they’re in a bad financial position, dealing with mounting medical bills, household expenses, and a limited working income. Accordingly, it’s important to work with a lender who can provide you with funding as quickly as possible. The best legal funding providers in the industry can get you capital within 24 hours of your approval, ultimately giving you money within a few days of your initial application.
- Reliable communication. If you have questions about your funding, is there someone you can call? When you send an email with a request for more information, do you get a quick response? Good, reliable communication is a huge plus in a settlement loan provider. If it takes days of effort to get in touch with an agent, you may want to work with someone else.
- Good reviews and testimonials. You should also pay attention to the reviews and testimonials this organization has received. If the institution has any history, there should be plenty of examples of people who have taken out settlement loans with this provider in the past. What was their experience like? Were they satisfied with the exchange? What do their biggest complaints seem to be?
- A good reputation. A quick Google search for your settlement provider of choice should help you figure out what kind of reputation this business has. If you find reports of fraud or shady business practices, you can walk away before it’s too late.
- Lawyer support. One of the best indications of a lender’s qualifications and trustworthiness is whether or not they’re supported by lawyers, who are typically familiar with settlement loans in general. Talk to your lawyer; do they have an opinion on settlement loans, or on this specific provider? Do other lawyers have testimonials for this service?
At Capital Now Funding, we do our best to help plaintiffs who find themselves in difficult financial positions. As such, we offer reasonable, fixed fees for our loans, we’re transparent on pricing and agreements, and we’re trusted by lawyers all over the country. Apply for a settlement loan through us today, or contact us for more information!