$6,000 Addressed to You? OMG! What Should You Buy?

Just Because Someone Sends You $6,000 In The Mail...

Doesn't mean you should go about doing business with them. My boyfriend got $6,000 dollars sent to him in the mail. It came in an envelope, with a nice little card with his name on it. Right near a big and bold six grand.

This envelope is a recreation of the one he received, to protect personal information and to make it look better. Duh, pink's the best.

This envelope is a recreation of the one he received, to protect personal information and to make it look better. Duh, pink's the best.

No, it wasn't actually money he could use. It was an "Express Loan Card," and he clearly had to do something to get it. It was eye-catching. But were we gonna be the suckers to fall for a scam? I don't think so.

I was curious. And I wanted to find out more about this company, and why they were sending "six thousand dollars" in the mail. I asked my boyfriend if I could keep the card to do some research. And then...

I called them Up!

I was ready for the gimmicks of some deceiving, enticing fraudster. But, the guy on the phone sounded normal. I wasn't going to let down my guard so soon. So, I went full-on with my brutal, CSI-inspired questions. This is how our conversation went...

How soon can I get approved? Today. How can I apply? Online, or right now on the phone. When can I get my cash? 1 - 2 business days. How much money can I take out? Up to $15,000. Do you need my credit score? Yes, we'll base your approval on your credit score, but not just that, also your income and job.

Woah. You know when things seem too easy? Usually, that's not a good thing.

I discovered this with my next question:  What are the interest rates like? They start around 16 percent, but can go up to 30 percent!

First of all, if those interest rates aren't red flag material, then take a look at the whole process. Did you notice how willingly he wanted to lend me money? The lender didn't want to know much about me, who I was, or why I needed money. RED. FLAGS. And usually, when things are that easy, it's not the best thing for you, or your money...

In fact, it may even be considered predatory lending.

Tweet It!  If he's not asking for much info from you, and not giving much info in return...RED FLAG. Predatory lenders are careful not to disclose too much about their risky lending practices. @YoungFreeME http://bit.ly/1SK1jyV

So I did What Any Intelligent Human Would Do Next...

I took out a $15,000 loan.

Just kidding!

I did research. I compared interest rates for personal loans from other lenders. Specifically, credit unions. Just look at an example:

These personal loan rates are from the website of University Credit Union.

These personal loan rates are from the website of University Credit Union.

Instead of starting at 16 percent, rates start at 6.24 percent. That might not sound like much of a difference, but it is!

Take a look...

On a $1,000 loan, with a 16% interest rate, you'd pay $160 in interest.

On a $1,000 loan, with a 6.24% interest rate, you'd pay $62.40 in interest.

I know you probably don't fall for "too good to be true" schemes. They're out there, and sometimes, they seem attractive. Especially if you're strapped for cash, and need it quick. Just remember, there are always options...And you don't have to go with something if you're gut doesn't agree.

Now, I'd love to hear your stories.

Have you ever received offers that were off-putting? Did your gut ever tell you to steer clear? What was it like to walk away, or make a decision? How did you know it wasn't right?

Please do share!

Your stories, ideas and thoughts can be just what someone needs to make the right financial choice.

Take care!

Mallory