There are various financial institutions that one can turn to during emergencies. There are banks, online lenders, even government and non-profit organizations depending on the financial assistance that you require. We usually prefer storefront lenders over other options for borrowing money, though. After all, they offer many benefits that online lenders simply cannot provide.
But what are they and how are they different from other companies? In a nutshell, a storefront lender is a lending company with an actual brick-and-mortar office as opposed to online lenders that can only be “visited” online.
While there are online companies that have offline locations, most of these spaces are dedicated as workplaces to serve their employees, not as receiving areas for their clients to visit.
Yes, storefront and online lenders are financial businesses that are completely different from each other. Take their benefits, for instance.
- Storefront lending companies offer more flexibility when it comes to considering their clients’ credit scores. This is probably due to the human element that a storefront lender has, allowing them to develop a deeper relationship with all of their patrons.
- They offer more human interaction. Aside from forging more meaningful bonds with their clients, storefront lending companies allow their clients to speak directly with a loan agent.
You can say goodbye to annoying and repetitive chatbot responses. You won’t also need to worry about waiting for days or weeks at a time just to get an email response regarding a query that should’ve only taken a few minutes to answer if only you were able to talk with an actual agent.
Aside from that, this level of human connection can also help in relating your circumstances with your lender in case you need to request for your account to be recalculated or your due dates rescheduled.
- They offer more legitimacy. Since storefront lenders have a physical location, they are more likely to abide by their state’s lending regulations. They are required to do so, otherwise, their permits and certifications can be all revoked.
This provides a stronger sense of stability and peace of mind for borrowers compared to online lenders that sometimes have confusing multiple addresses or no addresses at all.
- Storefront lenders have lower interest rates. As a related advantage to their strict compliance, storefront lenders usually offer lower interest rates compared to online ones thanks to the state regulations that were specifically formulated to protect us, the borrowers.
This also makes for easy debt-repayment and increased affordability
- Finally, there’s a storefront lender anywhere. There’s one in every community, even if you haven’t discovered where their office is yet. The best way to find one is to ask your neighbors or other members of your community for their recommendations and directions or just simply be more observant whenever you go out to walk and explore.
One will also find their downsides strikingly different.
- You would still have to search for your storefront lender. There are probably thousands of storefront lenders in the country, if not more, and that’s only in the United States alone, so why are they challenging to find?
We can all blame it on our varying levels of awareness. Remember, those that you are not aware of can be invisible to you.
What’s more, is that this type of lending company seldom has accurate information online, and because of this, they are also rarely included in search results.
- It requires human interaction. We understand how some people view this as a downside. After all, the anonymity that online lending provides can lend the benefit of added privacy.
Don’t get it wrong, there are many online lenders that also conduct interviews. However, they do so using digital methods, a medium that can never compare with actual human contact.
If you feel anxious discussing your personal needs with complete strangers, then online lending is probably the better route.
- It’s less convenient. Lastly, since storefronts have an office, you can expect them to follow regular working hours as well. This can pose a problem especially for those who have irregular work shifts.
Meanwhile, you can always pursue your lending applications with online lenders anytime and anywhere. All you need is a portable digital device with a camera (to take photos of your document requirements) and a reliable network connection.
You can even send your application and requirements straight from your bed.
Another element related to convenience is the online payment methods that online financial institutions offer. There’s no need to stroll all the way to your lender’s office. You can simply send your payments with a few taps on your phone or with the help of an app.
When Is Storefront Lending the Best Choice?
Anyway, now that we have finished taking a closer look into each pro and con of the two most popular types of lending companies: storefront and online, the question is, what then? When would storefront lending be the better option? Would a service like netpayadvance.com or someone similar be good?
First of all, it is perfect for people who are wary of online transactions. It can be easy to overlook that there is still a chunk in our population who are not confident around digital technology. Take elderly people, for instance. Most of them would prefer storefront lenders over online ones on any day.
This option is also great for those who have less-than-stellar credit scores. As mentioned, storefronts relate to people better than any online lender could ever hope for. Because of this, they also tend to be more understanding of each person’s financial burden.
In fact, there are even storefronts that offer personalized loan plans to fit clients with unique needs.
When Is Online Lending the Best Choice?
On the other hand, if you are well-versed with the online world and you are confident that you can navigate your way through your online lender’s digital processes, then we definitely recommend this lending option instead.
It is also a nice alternative for people with really hectic lives who can’t even be bothered to drop by a storefront lender’s office despite their pressing financial need.
Lastly, this is perfect for people who can strongly relate to this digital-age adage: “If it’s not online, then it didn’t happen.” After all, most of the world’s public and private records are being uploaded onto the internet already.
The battle between storefront lenders and online lenders continue, especially in terms of borrowers’ loyalty and preference.
However, upon closer inspection with each of their strengths and weaknesses, it is clear to see that they are two distinctly different types of lending companies.
Storefront lending companies offer a more holistic lending experience. You’ll be able to enjoy tailor-made loan plans and flexible payment schedules. It’ll be easier to request repayment adjustments as well. Finally, they are also more accepting of people with low credit scores.
On the other hand, online lenders offer a more convenient experience. Since the entire loan application process is done digitally, you’ll be able to process it anytime and anywhere.
You can expect the loan and payment terms with them to be preconstructed and fixed, true, but it will also allow you to estimate your budget better and compute your loan and interest rates more accurately.
In the end, the verdict will still boil down to you, on which lender you think is best considering your unique situation, needs, and preferences. Good luck!