Beware of payday loan lenders who do any of the following:
- Require your personal bank account information or your Social Security number just to see their fees, interest rates, or what your loan payments may be.
- Do not explain the fees and interest rates.
- Will not provide a written loan agreement for you to read, agree to, and sign.
- Require you to release the lender from any liability; waive your rights for legal action, including arbitration; or authorize the lender to garnish your wages.
If lender requires an upfront fee – and requests it be with a prepaid, debit or credit card – do not send it. Oregon law prohibits lenders from charging upfront fees. Check here for the legal payday loan fees, and the interest rate that can be charged in Oregon.
Unsolicited Emails with "bait and switch"
Look out for unsolicited emails touting low interest rate loans and a promise of no upfront fees. Once you call, they will ask for a “proof of financial stability” (an upfront fee) and tell you the low interest rate is not available and offer a rate that is illegal in Oregon. See sample solicitation.
Be aware of unsolicited emails with loan offers that include a copy of the lender’s Oregon license. It is possible the license has been “lifted” from a licensed lender’s website and altered to look legitimate. Check our list of licensed payday/title lenders. For lenders other than for payday/title loans, call us at 866-814-9710 (toll free in Oregon)
Loan Referral Services
These services are not lenders, but they offer to match you up with one. Currently there are no licensed loan referral services in Oregon. An unlicensed service, and the unlicensed lender they may refer you to, may charge fees and interest rates that are more than what are legally allowed in Oregon.
Do not seek out or reply to unsolicited offers by a referral service.
Fraudulent check charges
You may be the target of fraudulent activity if you have applied for, and received, a payday loan by an unlicensed lender. We have received complaints from consumers who have been threatened by “collection agencies” for unpaid loan charges and demand immediate payment through a credit, debit or prepaid card. Other complainants described calls from “process servers” accusing them of sending bad checks and threatening legal action. The calls are likely phony.
If you receive these calls, do not follow the caller’s instructions. If you believe someone has fraudulently obtained your personal information, do the following:
- Contact all your creditors including your bank or credit union, your credit card company, cell phone provider and other utilities.
- File a report with your local police department or county sheriff’s office to document the possible crime for your creditors.
- Report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-438-4338 (toll-free) or click here.
- Regularly check your bank, credit card and other financial account statements for any fraudulent activity.
- Consider placing a security freeze on your credit files. Read the instructions here.