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Advanced-Fee Loans: Credit Scams & Avoiding Consumer Debt

Credit scams are no joke and come in all sorts of helpful disguises, including advanced-fee loans. Identifying these unpleasant scams can make a big difference in your finances. Learn more about advanced-fee loans to avoid consumer debt.

Be vigilant about advanced-fee loans.

Be vigilant about advanced-fee loans.

How to Spot Credit Scams & Advanced-fee Loans

Unfortunately, credit scams typically target folks already struggling and looking for help or debt advice. These scams prey on people’s misfortune rather than being the helpful entity they claim to be. Whether you are living paycheck-to-paycheck or trying to build up credit, there are certain scams that should always be avoided.

What is an advanced-fee loan?

Advanced-fee loans usually come with trouble although being promoted as an answer to your current financial situation. It starts off as a promise or guarantee to give the consumer a loan after being denied by a bank or credit card company. Once they hook you in, certain undisclosed fees are charged with or sometimes without your knowledge.

What are the warning signs for advanced-fee loans?

Thankfully, the FTC has outlined the warning signs or red flags for advanced-fee loans. Typically, lenders offering credit scams work against the normal procedures of legitimate lending institutions. Take a look at these six warning signs of advanced-fee lenders from the FTC:

  • Lenders who aren’t interested in your credit history
  • Fees that aren’t disclosed initially or clearly
  • A loan that is offered by phone
  • A lender who uses a copycat name of a legitimate “rival”
  • Any lender who is not registered in your state
  • If a lender who asks you to wire money or pay an individual

Rather than use shady practices, trustworthy lenders don’t promise things that seem to go against their best interest. It’s a business- they need to protect themselves against non-repayment as much as you need to protect yourself against unfair terms. No matter what the deal, it’s absolutely critical to do your homework when it comes to securing new lines of credit or loans from anyone.

Finally, if you feel like an advanced-fee loan is the only option to deal with debt, you may be facing more financial trouble than you realize. A credit counseling agency, like ACCC, can offer advice and help.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Michelle is a regular contributor to Talking Cents. She has taken several financial courses on debt management and is ready to circulate what she has learned from them as well as lessons from her own life- family to DIY projects to student loan debt.

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