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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Beware of Unlicensed Internet Payday Loan Lenders

The Washington Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) recently took action against several unlicensed internet payday loan lenders for making small loans to Washington state residents at rates in excess of what the law allows.

So, how can Washington residents obtain a loan online while protecting themselves?

Verify the license of online payday lenders
Lenders doing business in the state of Washington must be licensed with DFI. You can check the licensing status of an online payday lender by contacting DFI at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334) or online at

Read the fine print
Be sure to read all the fine print in any and all documents you sign.

Never sign documents you don’t understand
If you don’t understand the terms of document or disagree with it, don’t sign it.

Never pay to obtain a payday loan
Be skeptical of anyone who asks you to pay an upfront fee to obtain a loan. This is almost always a scam.

Be careful giving out your personal information
DFI urges Washington consumers to be cautious when providing sensitive personal information, such as date of birth, bank account numbers, and social security numbers, on websites that purport to offer payday loans. Many of these websites are so-called “lead-generator” websites, which then sell consumers’ personal data to companies which may, or may not, be licensed to offer payday loans in Washington State. Make sure they are licensed and legitimate before handing over your personal information.

Complaints against payday lenders
If you have a complaint against a payday lender doing business in Washington, you can file it with DFI online at