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OLA Best Practices

Online Lenders Alliance is NOT a member of the OLA (Online Lender's Alliance), since it has thus far been cost prohibitive. However, we do abide by the tenets of the OLA Best Practices guidelines.  Best Practices are typically standards intended to set a benchmark for high quality products or services within an industry. In this case the industry is online lending. These standards and practices are industry-governed rather than mandated.  By following these best practices, we more effectively achieve our mission.

Resources for Consumers

OLA represents companies who provide a useful and valuable service to consumers, helping bridge the gap in household cash flow between paychecks, usually for urgent needs such as emergency medical expenses, unusually high utility bills, unexpected car repairs or unanticipated education expenses.

OLA and our member companies believe all consumers should be conscious and informed about the risks involved with online borrowing. Part of OLA's mission is to educate consumers about the online lending industry and its practices. We also provide resources including credit counseling, education and assistance where appropriate.

Using Online Short-Term Loans Responsibly

While online short-term loans can offer you the ease of borrowing within the convenience of your own home, there are significant financial risks when borrowing money. Thus, OLA urges its customers to use loans responsibly. Below are a few tips:

  • Be aware that online short-term loans are real loans and must be paid back within the terms laid out by the lender.
  • Read all the terms of the online loan carefully before agreeing to the loan. OLA member companies are required to provide full disclosure of loan terms to customers.
  • Online short-term loans are like any other loan and come with a fee. If you must extend the amount of time in which you can pay back the loan, the fee will most likely increase.
  • Applying for an online loan requires you to submit personal information including your bank account information. Look for information on the lending website about protection and security of your personal information. OLA encourages its members to display the OLA logo on their websites so consumers can borrow with confidence.
  • Never agree to loan terms you cannot afford. For example, do not borrow more than you can repay in the allotted time frame.
  • Do not use short-term loans as an unrealistic or long-term financial solution.
  • Do not use a short-term loan to pay off an existing loan.

Credit Counseling Resources/Information

The Community Financial Education Foundation is a good source of information for consumer tips and budgeting information.  Click CFEF to visit the site.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) provides financial education and resources through their Adult Education Program, Money Smart. Further information can be found at

If you are having significant financial trouble and need professional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at or 1-800-388-2227.

Also, the United States Justice Department lists approved credit counseling services by state and judicial district at

OLA Best Practices

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