Don't fall for Internet loan scam out of desperation

Bankruptcy limits loan choices, but don't make a bad one


Credit Wise
Credit Wise columnist Kevin Weeks
With more than 20 years experience in the nonprofit credit counseling industry, Kevin Weeks joined the Financial Counseling Association of America (, @TrustFCAA) as its president Dec. 1, 2014. Weeks has extensive knowledge of both the credit counseling industry and the FCAA organization, having served in leadership positions for three of its member agencies and on the FCAA board of directors. In addition, Weeks is working with FCAA members to help develop a long-term solution to the student loan crisis through the website Weeks holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration, management information systems from Salem State University.

Ask a question.

'Credit Wise' archive

Question for the expert Dear Credit Wise,
I just went through bankruptcy and need a personal loan. I found personal lender over the Internet that would lend me the money. Here's the information that he is requesting from me, and his notes, which I copied from the form he sent.

Full Name of Account Holder:
Name of Bank:
Bank Address:
Bank Location:
Bank Account Number:
Routing Number:
Amount to be Transferred Into Your Account:
Western Union Transfer: If transfer of the loan must be a Western Union Transfer, except other was stated by the borrower which means, you will have to provide your Western Union Information's for the transfer of your loan funds which are this information:
Western Union Information's Receiver's Name:
Receiver's Country:
Receiver's State:
Text Question:
Text Answer:
Amount to be Transferred Into Your Western Union Account: For Notification, As I Stated, I will like you to get back to us with the Transfer Option you Intend to proceed with. You are to get back to me with the option in which you need this loan to be Transferred to you, Okay ...

How legitimate is this?  -- Margo

Answer for the expert Dear Margo,
While there are certainly legitimate institutions that do business via the Internet, this one screams "scam." 

I see many warning signs in the information they are requesting from you. These signs start with the request for your banking information and end with what seems to be an ungrammatical but urgent message to act now.

Do not do it. Your bank account number and bank routing number alone give enough information to create counterfeit checks on your account.  And that may be only the beginning. Western Union has a package of fraud awareness warnings on its website showing all the different ways its legitimate service can be bent to illegitimate ends. It begins with this warning: "Con artists use good people like you, and good money transfer companies like Western Union, to steal money." Don't be one of the victims. 

I know that having a bankruptcy on your credit report makes it very difficult to qualify for a personal loan, so I understand why this might seem like an attractive option for you. You do not say why you need the loan, but that should be the first question you ask yourself. Are there other steps you can take to alleviate your current situation, such as working overtime at your work or even taking on another job? Are there expenses you can cut? Is there a way to delay payment for now? 

The offer you're considering now drips with signs that it's a scam. If you can find a more legitimate offer, you still need to think twice and then think again. Whatever offer you take, be aware that having a recent bankruptcy on your credit report pretty much guarantees that you are not getting this money for less than a double-digit interest rate, and it could be as high as 50 to 60 percent. Again, be very careful.

This is very expensive money you are thinking of borrowing, so you need to be very sure that you understand that and are prepared to deal with the consequences. It is a sad fact that for many consumers the road that led them to bankruptcy is one they will travel over and over until they learn the underlying reasons for their financial problems. Explore all of your options before you move forward.

Be wise with your credit!

See related: Steps to regaining credit after bankruptcy

Meet's reader Q&A experts

Does a personal finance problem have you worried? Monday through Saturday,'s Q&A experts answer questions from readers. Ask a question, or click on any expert to see their previous answers.

Published: June 27, 2015

Join the discussion
We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

Follow Us

Updated: 10-28-2016

Weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, advice, articles and tips delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.