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Review of RapidMONEYLoan

Reviewed May 7, 2006 by William Stotler, PLIWatch.org

Click here to visit RapidMONEYLoan.

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This PLIWatch.org review contains: Summary, They Say...., Application, Documents and Electronic Signature, How Much Could We Get?, Customer Service Check, Good Practices, Questionable Practices, Technical Tidbits, Design Critique, Review Conditions

 

Summary

Claims to lend up to $1,500. On the Web since 2004. This Web site is published by a publisher Click to open a new window and see this word's definition.. When you fill out the prequalification form and application form, the actual lender Click to open a new window and see this word's definition. (PaycheckToday) charges $30 per $100 loaned on its electronic paperwork. PaycheckToday offered us a loan for $300.

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RapidMONEYLoan's Website Says. . . .

"Need Cash? Get up to $1,500* in your account by TOMORROW! No Paper Hassles! Nothing to Fax. Apply Online and We'll Contact You Within the Hour!"

Customer Testimonial: "Before I knew it, the money was in my account and my cash problems were solved!

 

Application

RapidMONEYLoan requires that an applicant: (1) Is employed or has regular monthly income. (2) Makes at least $900 per month. (3) Has a checking account. (4) Is a U.S. citizen. (5) Is at least 18 years old.

The RapidMONEYLoan application asked for a customer's: (1) Name. (2) Address. (3) Home Phone Number. (4) Work Phone Number (and extension). (5) E-mail address. (6) Date of Birth. (7) Employer Company Name. (8) Check Deposit Information. (9) How Often You Are Paid. (10) Social Security Number. (11) Routing/ABA Number. (12) Bank Name. (13) Account Number. (14) Main Source of Income (work or benefits). (15) Driver's License Number / State ID Number. (16) Names of Two Relatives. (17) Positive confirmation of Notice and Disclosures Acceptance (with a checkbox).

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Documents and Electronic Signature

After prequalifying and applying, we were forwarded to a set of electronic documents to provide an electronic signature. These electronic documents were served to our Web browser (securely) by PaycheckToday.

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How Much Could We Get?

RapidMONEYLoan's main page claimed we could get $1,500. (So did the "How It Works" section: "By filling out our 2-minute application you will qualify for a cash advance for up to $1500.00!") After completing the actual Application, our loan's electronic paperwork indicated we were approved for $300.

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Customer Service Check

Apart from a Contact Us form there was no customer service affordance (like a 1-800 number or Live Help) that we could check.

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Good Practices

1. RapidMONEYLoan's Website appears to be complying with the Patriot Act's stipulations about lending: "NOTICE: We adhere to the Patriot Act and we are required by law to adopt procedures to request and retain in our records information necessary to verify your identity."

2. The Privacy Policy for RapidMONEYLoan is honest about what their staff does with information you supply. (They tell you they can do anything they want with your information.)

3. An "opt-out" E-mail address is provided so you can "opt out" of E-mails RapidMONEYLoan might send you. (This won't help you, however, if they sell your information to another company and that company sends you E-mail.)

4. RapidMONEYLoan claims it is CAN-SPAM Act compliant.

5. To its credit, RapidMONEYLoan's Website was focused on taking our information in a clean and efficient manner, unlike many other payday loan Websites that are cluttered with awful distractions (flashing banner ads, popups, etc.)

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Questionable Practices

1. According to the Privacy Policy, RapidMONEYLoan reserves to do just about anything it wants with any information you supply. Your information is as secure as if you posted it in public on a billboard.

2. RapidMONEYLoan claimed $1,500 would be in our account tomorrow. Two falsehoods in one here. First, we visited this site on a Sunday morning. The fastest we would get cash would be early Tuesday morning (because our application won't even be processed and verified until Monday morning, at the earliest). Also, once we completed the application, we were prequalified for only $300. Based on the fact that the application form was a "dumb" form (it checks nothing--just collects information) we're pretty sure that nobody can ever get $1,500 and everybody gets the same $300 payday loan offer from PaycheckToday.

3. In the RapidMONEYLoan application we were asked to agree to binding arbitration Click to open a new window and see this word's definition. (and no class action lawsuits) as a way to settle any dispute that arises when we do business.

4. There was no public company mailing address or phone number available. (Note: Several E-mail addresses were provided on subpages. But, their Contact Us page had only a form--no other information.) We like to see at least a contact phone number on a Website so a consumer can call somebody if there is a problem.

5. We're 99.9 percent sure RapidMONEYLoan's customer testimonals are bogus. There are quotes raving about the site's "great customer service" but it doesn't actually provide any customer service because it's owned by a publisher Click to open a new window and see this word's definition., not a payday loan company.

6. This isn't really a questionable practice by RapidMONEYLoan, but instead by the payday loan company PaycheckToday. On PaycheckToday's electronic signature page one must "agree" to the contract by "electronically signing" before proceeding. Who was the wizard that put 300 lines of contract in a 4-line-high window? How is one supposed to really read the contract in a scrolling area that tiny? We think PaycheckToday just wants us to ignore the contract, sign on the line, and move on. Not good. (Because you can be sure PaycheckToday's "Reclaimation Department" will remind people "you read and signed the contract" when it's time to collect fees.)

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Technical Tidbits

1. RapidMONEYLoan "broke" our Web browser's Back button. We couldn't return to RapidMONEYLoan after we were forwarded to PaycheckToday to fill out their electronic paperwork. A cookie was used to kick us back to PaycheckToday everytime we tried to visit the original Website. We are pretty sure this is done so people don't accidentally return to RapidMONEYLoan once forwarded. But a better way to handle this issue would be for RapidMONEYLoan to tell a user that they need to complete their next steps on PaycheckToday and then push them to PaycheckToday.

2. RapidMONEYLoan's forms happily accepted bogus information--we entered completely fake (but correctly formed) information to move through the payday loan application process and were never stopped. We would expect that a good form on the Web would check a bit of information. For example, checking a phone number should make sure it is valid (e.g., a phone number with the form (555) 555-5555). But, the check should also see if it is reasonable (e.g., (555) is not a valid area code--our fake area code should have been rejected).

3. Geekery sidebar: The HTML and Javascript on RapidMONEYLoan were well-commented and formatted. Human readable. Sure, it adds K, but it was nice to see somebody taking a bit of time to comment their work appropriately.

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Design Critique

1. RapidMONEYLoan does not meet accessibility Click to open a new window and see this word's definition. standards:
    A. RapidMONEYLoan does not meet Section 508(c) compliance Click to open a new window and see this word's definition. standards.
    B. RapidMONEYLoan does not meet W3C WCAG Level A compliance Click to open a new window and see this word's definition. standards.

2. RapidMONEYLoan's code is poorly designed--the site failed W3C Webpage validation Click to open a new window and see this word's definition..

3. RapidMONEYLoan's main page did appear to work A-OK in multiple Web browsers on multiple platforms.

4. Overall, RapidMONEYLoan is a neat and tidy Web site designed to get visitors to apply for a loan. It is not overly pushy and, frankly, is understated in its marketing compared to other industry sites. However, the site does no better than others in the industry at informing the consumer about the "fine print" of what he or she can expect (in terms of fees, costs, etc.) than other industry sites.

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Review Conditions and Standards

William Stotler reviewed RapidMONEYLoan on May 7, 2006. Please Contact William if you have additional information about the reviewed Website, want to make comments, or note errors in this review.

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