Legitimate lenders never "guarantee" or say that you are likely to get a loan or a credit card before you apply, especially if you have bad credit, no credit, or a bankruptcy. They may charge application, appraisal or credit report fees, and are generally deducted from the loan amount.
If you are asked to pay BEFORE getting the loan, don't do it. It's fraud and it's against the law.
Fraudulent companies using the advanced fee loan tactic usually target consumers with poor credit scores. The consumer’s information is obtained through loan-targeted internet searches where contact information is entered.
If you have any questions about whether a transaction is legitimate, talk to your bank or credit union. The Attorney General of Maryland suggests that before signing for a loan with anyone, regardless of the terms, check to see if the person or business is licensed with the state of Maryland. If you are a Maryland resident, call the Division of Financial Regulation at (410) 230-6097 or contact via email at email@example.com. If you are outside of Maryland contact your local office of Financial Regulation.
Consumer experiences reported to BBB regarding advanced fee loans follow the same trends. They use bogus local addresses, fees are usually wired to Canada and consumers are out of pocket for hundreds of dollars. Complainants may wish to report their experiences to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police PhoneBusters, The Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre by phone at 1-888-495-8501 or by fax at 1-888-654-9426, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Consumers may also file a complaint or report experiences at http://www.ic3.gov, the web site for the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) where the FBI has partnered with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to take complaints and develop information.
Report individuals and companies who use the mail to promote advance fee loan scams to the office of the Postal Inspector in your area. Visit www.bbb.org to check the company’s report for customer experience and any possible complaints.