Since I launched Magilla Loans, I’ve found myself repeatedly telling people how it works. Whether I am in a social setting or a business meeting, people are curious to learn more. Magilla is an online loan aggregator, or as we like to call it, a search engine for loans. The term “aggregator” is still somewhat new and many users are still unaware it exists, although they have most likely used an aggregator for one reason or another. A few examples of online aggregators in the travel industry are kayak.com, trivago.com, and expedia.com.
I’ll start off by defining what an online aggregator is. The term aggregator, as defined by Dictionary.com is “a website or program that collects related items of content and displays them or links to them.” Most aggregators also list the related items side-by-side to easily view and compare the options. These websites are generally impartial with exception of sponsored (paid) recommendations, which may be highlighted or featured. Now let’s apply this to the lending world and learn about the differences between an online loan aggregator and an online lender.
The Application Process
The loan application process is one major difference between an online loan aggregator and an online lender. You will need to know your credit score (both personal and business, if you are seeking a business loan) before you start the process with either service. However, when you search loans via an online lender, you are actually starting the application process. Starting this process generally requires your birthdate, SSN, phone number, bank statements, and a credit check. Once the personal information is collected, it is generally sold to a list of lenders who, in turn, contact you directly. Some alternative online lenders can complete your loan request online and you may never be contacted by a person. (Although this is more common for personal loans or short-term loans with a small dollar amount).
Online loan aggregators do not need to verify your personal information before you shop loans. This is generally done with the lender directly and the documentation may vary from lender to lender. MagillaLoans.com enables you to search loans before revealing any private information, which is what makes our service different. It is very similar to what the travel industry aggregators offer. We ask a few questions, then show you loan proposals from our network of lenders. Thus, you do not start a formal loan application, you simply submit your loan request. Wouldn’t it would be strange if you were looking for a hotel room in San Francisco and the website demanded your credit card number before showing you the room rates? We agree, so Magilla is committed to keeping your information private.
Most online lenders offer automated loan approvals based on the information provided on the application. However, a large number of the automated approvals are generated from an algorithm and not your actual information. In today’s market, many folks expect instant gratification, so instant loan approvals are well-received. Instant approvals can be great, but are not typical for a large or long-term loans. These loans usually require the careful review by a real lender.
Some online loan aggregators work with real lenders in addition to offering automated approvals. Many aggregators require — and verify — your phone number and email address in order to loan request. Essentially, many of them make money by selling your information to their network of lenders. This is what makes Magilla different. We never request, reveal, and/or sell your private information. In fact, we only collect your email address to communicate with you. The benefit of using an aggregator, is the money you may save by finding the best rates available. Thus, aggregators are usually a better fit when you are looking for a high-dollar or long-term loan such as a real estate or business loan.
Avoiding online interactions and transactions is truly the best way to protect yourself from online predators and identity thieves. That is not realistic, especially in 2017. Remember what I said earlier about instant gratification? Nowadays, we expect instant gratification and we tend to like the ease and convenience of online transactions. Our culture has become accustomed to it.
When submitting information online is unavoidable, then I encourage you to be very cautious; especially with your phone number, SSN, date of birth, login credentials, or any banking information. Scammers are chomping at the bit to steal your private information. They are constantly trying to outsmart the security measures websites put in place. To learn more about online safety, check out our Identity Theft Risks page.
One of the biggest advantages to an online loan aggregator is they introduce you to a network of lenders you otherwise may not have known about, which can save you money. They are a great choice when looking for a long-term home or business loan. Online lenders can be a better option when you’re looking for a short-term or personal loan and you need the money fast.