I’ve been reading some articles lately about lead aggregators, and how they are bad for you. To give a quick and dirty breakdown, lead aggregators are those companies that profess to get you a mortgage and/or lower your bills if you fill out an online form (and they lure you in with the irresistible dancing shadows banner. How they came up with that one, I’ll never know). They also advertise on TV and the internet under the guise of getting banks to compete.
Basically what these companies do is take your information, and sell it to multiple bidders. These bidders then bombard you with offers, and even sleazier, they all pull your credit. This hurts your credit score.
So essentially, I wanted to bring up equipment financing (what I do) and lead aggregators (nowhere near what I do), because these two industries DO have one thing in common.
And that common thread is this: we both use an online form.
When you fall prey to a lead aggregator (bad), you usually did so by filling out an online form. But when you look to finance equipment (good), you also got started by filling out an online form.
So how can you tell the bad guys (them) from the good guys (me)?
It’s really pretty simple, if the company you are applying to is the company that actually gives you the loan, you’re probably dealing with a reputable equipment financing company.
Another way is to check websites. A lead aggregator will have a form, some articles, and little else. In fact, it all revolves around the form.
An equipment financing company will have a real website, complete with company information, address, phone number, and all the other things you expect a true company to have.
Lastly, reputation and experience matter. See what other people are saying, and see how much goodwill a company has. Some research will show you that a lead aggregator has little to none. Then research your equipment finance company. Do they have many years in the equipment leasing business? If so, you probably have a winner.
In a nutshell, I just want to dispel the notion that filling out an online form for financing is a bad thing. Yes, it’s a bad thing for some mortgages and such. But it isn’t when dealing with equipment finance.