I Smell A Rat: Detecting Predatory Loan Offers

I Smell A Rat: Detecting Predatory Loan Offers

If you’re planning on taking out a loan in the near future, you need to know how to detect predatory lending practices. Although extensive knowledge of the mortgage and finance industry is the best way to detect bad loan officers, it is not the only way, so don’t despair! There are several easy ways to spot seedy loan officers.

High-Pressure Tactics

When loan officers use high-pressure tactics to get you to agree to financing, you should immediately find another loan officer. It is a common practice for loan officers to prey on individuals whom they believe are vulnerable. The elderly are prime targets for mortgage loan officers since older generations often live in their homes for decades and have built up substantial equity.

One Deal-One Lender

One sign of predatory loan officers is when they tell you that financing is only available through one specific lender. In reality, many lenders offer deals that are readily available. However, if you have a low credit score, you must be extra careful. Some reputable lenders do offer financing to people with low scores, but the terms of the financing cost more than a loan with a good credit score. Loan officers will target people with low scores by offering a once-in-a-lifetime deal, only to inflate the interest rate and tack on unnecessary fees. Talk to multiple loan officers, especially if you have a low credit score.

I Smell A Rat: Detecting Predatory Loan Offers

Final Closing Costs/Terms

If the closing terms you agreed to with loan officer are not the same as the terms when you are ready to close the deal, do not sign the papers. Immediately inform the escrow company there are discrepancies in the final terms. Some people automatically assume the terms at closing are the same as what was agreed to with loan officers. Unfortunately, some loan officers will add on fees or tack on additional costs without the borrower’s knowledge. If you do sign the loan documents, and later learn there were discrepancies, you can use this as a foreclosure defense in the event you default on your mortgage.


Predatory lending practices involve lenders who are willing to approve you for financing that is not in your best interests. However, there are subprime lenders that will extend you financing if you have bad credit. Before you sign, understand that risk-based lenders charge more in interest and closing costs. And if despite your best efforts you get caught up in a predatory loan, foreclosure defense lawyers can help you get retribution.

The Inextricable Link Between Entrepreneurship and Student Debt

The Inextricable Link Between Entrepreneurship and Student Debt

One of the key points of discussion at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meeting was entrepreneurship. More specifically how beneficial and productive it is to the American economy, and yet appears to be restricted to upper middle-class white men. The discussion went on to focus on how to encourage women, minorities, and the underprivileged youth to take up entrepreneurial programs and initiatives.

The answer to the first question about how to encourage people to opt for entrepreneurship is surprisingly in the US’s robust universities themselves.  Universities are ideal places to fetch for talent, thrive upon the learning environment and get the cream out of the youth. Hence, they have gradually become the breeding grounds for many new innovative businesses. Examples of some of the most viable and fastest growing business, Facebook and Snapchat evolved at the university level and then went on to reach unprecedented heights because of the high intellect of university students behind it.  And it is not just the meeting of bright minds that leads to business start-ups. Often college coursework can lead to the birth of a business, even when there is no particular ambition or confidence on the founder’s part in the first place. One example as CGI America quoted of such a case was of Veronika Scott, who founded a non-profit business that hires homeless women to sew sleeping bag coats. She said that when she started this project it was meant to be a class project, and had never thought that it would be established as a viable business.

However, for all the potential colleges and universities that play a pivotal role in nurturing entrepreneurship ideas, can also act as a stimulant for graduates ambitions and the economy as a whole.  It was agreed in CGI America by Clinton and the President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Shirley Ann Jackson that you cannot talk about universities fostering entrepreneurship and not talk about the massive student loan debt. Student loans are acting as a roadblock, holding back many entrepreneurs. Right now the loan figure is standing at USD 1.2 trillion. Nearly ¾ of the students will be carrying that debt for years after receiving their degrees and it will affect their decisions about housing, jobs, and even marriage.

Jackson was of the opinion that a possible fix for the student loan problem would be to start a loan forgiveness scheme for people who invest in the risk of starting businesses on their own accord. She expanded that such a policy would be similar to the loan forgives being offered for public service. And she also added that such a scheme would not be one of its kind. Right now if immigrants spend $500,000 or create 10 jobs in one region, they are offered visas to stay in the respective country.

Clinton talked about the inability to refinance student loans. He pointed out that a college loan is the only loan that you cannot refinance, which was truly unfair. (Clinton avoided any explicit nods to his wife’s presidential campaign, a key piece of which is a proposal for cutting down on student debt).

Clinton argued that student loans need to be treated like home mortgages because the education attained is more of a lifetime asset than any home owned.

Clinton also added that besides solving the problem of student loans, we also have to “re-dignify” skills training in this industry. He added that it was okay to admit that not everyone needs a college degree and skill training was equally important.