Tips for Online Credit ApplicationsDec 092020
Prior to COVID 19, there was already a push by financial institutions to transform their application processes from an “in-person” process to an online platform procedure offering a more convenient process to consumers. However, as a result of COVID 19 and the implementation of lockdowns and various restrictions regarding the movement of persons, out of necessity, that push by financial institutions became a catapult into the realm of online applications and approvals within the credit industry. Many of us who are accustom to the traditional process may feel a bit hesitant in transitioning into this new forum. To assist and continue to make credit work for you! here are a few tips to help guide you.
Conduct your research and make inquiries
With the transition to an online process, most of the information about the various financial products and loans are available at your fingertips online. Therefore, rather than undergoing the time-consuming effort of visiting various institutions to make queries in determining which option is best for you, you can review the information from the various websites to obtain a preliminary view of the financial products being offered. By researching online, you may also avoid credit checks being conducted through the in-person visits to the financial institutions as agents will usually seek to obtain a preliminary review of the consumer to be able to better advise or answer their queries. This will result in credit checks appearing on your credit report which may raise an alarm to future creditors.
The online platform may also provide more information such as customer service reviews which may not have been otherwise readily available to you. However, despite the fact that some information would be online, always try to confirm such details or ask questions through a direct call or email to the financial institution or using one of the online chat agents, if available. Remember, most websites may have a disclaimer regarding the accuracy of the information posted, its dependency on certain terms and conditions or the liability for it to change. Therefore, before acting upon the information always seek confirmation as to its accuracy and its applicability at the present moment and your particular circumstances.
Also, try to obtain an estimation of the timeframes for the online application process and the manner of finding out whether it was successful. Do you have to log back into the system, will an email be sent, will you get a call to confirm such?
Check your credit report
Not only should you research the financial product and institution but also research you. Review your eligibility like how you believe the financial institution would. The review will usually involve your credit report. You can request a credit report. Remember you are entitled to at least one free credit report a year. By having a report before applying you can see whether there is any inaccurate information provided on the report that would need rectifying prior to submitting your application or whether you have to prepare yourself to answer any questions regarding your credit ratings. To improve your chances of success for the application, a credit report can also highlight whether you have any accounts with small balances to clear off to improve your debt to income ration or whether you should bring any accounts that may have been in arrears current.
Make sure the information provided is Accurate and Complete
First, some applications have required fields that failure to insert information will result in the inability to proceed with the application process. However, even where the field is not a required field, an omission of any particulars may delay or halt the approval process. Therefore, it is also best to complete the application in its entirety.
Further, in this age of strict compliance and due diligence requirements within the financial sector, the information provided would be verified. Ensure that the most accurate information is therefore provided. Usually, a more informal approach is taken to things done online where nicknames are used or things are conducted on a first-name basis. However, an online application process is still a formal process. Ensure that your full legal name is submitted, ensure there are no mistakes in name, address, contact numbers or email address etc.
Having Supporting Documentation
Have all of the information you may typically require for an in-person application process such as bank statements, salary slips, personal identification cards and driver’s licence etc. Even though it is online, the qualifying criteria will still follow the standard traditional process.
Have your e-signature ready or other electronic tools
Remember, there will most likely be the standard requirements for signatures on online applications, there may be a need ahead of time to figure whether an e-signature can be applied or whether you may have to print and scan your signature. Your supporting documentation may also have to be scanned and uploaded as well.