When you need to borrow money, where do you go?
Thanks to the internet, there are more options, but there’s also been a spike in South Dakotans complaining about problems with unlicensed lenders.
KELOLAND News looks into what you need to know to protect yourself.
Dave Bangasser has been in the banking business for almost 40 years. The Regional President of Dacotah Bank says the industry has changed a lot.
“Online lending, online bank services, places using the word ‘bank’ who aren’t even banks,” Bangasser said.
That’s one of the reasons why the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation is sending out a warning. The department says complaints about money lenders have recently spiked, and unlicensed lenders are operating in South Dakota.
“Once you enter into that loan and provide your bank account information and a debit authorization, it’s really difficult to get out of that situation,” Director of Banking, Bret Afdahl, said.
So how can you make sure a lender is licensed? Check out the Division of Banking’s website. There you’ll find a current list.
“If an entity is not regulated, no one is looking at their loan agreement to make sure it’s compliant with state and federal law,” Afdahl said.
“For the consumer it’s great to have more and more choices, but with those comes the opportunity that some of those choices may be bad ones or not the best resource for you,” Bangasser said.
That’s why Bangasser says it’s important to do your homework when looking for a loan, and it doesn’t hurt to do business sometimes the old-fashioned way.
“Walk in, know who you are doing business with, shake a hand,” Bangasser said.
Hand shaking that will hopefully not leave you shaking your head.